Vancouver’s isolated seniors take zumba classes from their balconies

A Vancouver residence is keep its seniors moving while in isolation by fitness running classes outdoor. Isabelle Raghem reports.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver seniors residents are not letting social distancing stop them from getting up and getting exercise.

Val Ellis is a resident, at the Tapestry at Arbutus Walk retirement home, she says it’s a nice change of pace for those living in the building.

“The wonderful, I think it’s great. It’s making people get up to do something. When most of the time was sitting around doing nothing”

Armed with a microphone, speakers and several other people dancing along, kinesiologist Luis Diez says with so many self-isolating, exercise and movement are critical.

“We teach regular exercise classes for them. With what is going on, we can’t teach them so we thought, Okay, why don’t we still teach the classes?”

Tapestry at Arbutus Walk is an independent living community in Kitsilano.

Among several safety measures, the facility has recently cancelled all its fitness classes in response to the spread of COVID-19.

Van Ellis who typically takes six fitness classes each week, this pop-up class is much appreciated.

“It’s different from sitting by yourself, a single person here, and other people to talk to,” she says. “To call out the names and it really is important, very encouraging.”

Diez says for many of the seniors, socializing is extremely important and can’t be forgotten during the pandemic.

“These are residents that are used to be social, they drive cars, they play golf, you know, they’re staying and they’re self-isolating. So we have to keep them engaged.”

The organizer says the class not only allows seniors to get outside but also gets them moving and interacting with one another.

The dance class is held every Tuesday at 11 a.m.

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