Seniors stay strong – Personal trainer Leslie Magnum, left, teaches functional fitness classes at Quality Living Services' senior center in Atlanta. Magnum, who is the owner of Young at Heart Wellness, says regular physical activity helps seniors tackle everyday tasks. "People need to know that seniors are living. They want to live. They don't want to sit around and not do anything."
Seniors stay strong – Magnum starts his classes with deep breathing and stretching exercises. Toe touches stretch out the lower back, buttocks and hamstrings, preventing muscles from cramping during walking or bending.
Seniors stay strong – Toe raises strengthen the calf muscles and help with balance. Good balance can prevent falls, Magnum says.
Seniors stay strong – The seniors in Magnum's class use 3- to 5-pound weights for arm exercises. Pressing the weights overhead helps strengthen their shoulders and forearms, which can aid in putting away groceries or getting objects down from high shelves.
Seniors stay strong – Squatting dumbbell rows strengthen the lower back, quads and biceps. This helps seniors get up and down out of chairs without assistance, Magnum says.
Seniors stay strong – Strong abdominal muscles protect the back from injury, Magnum says. This move involves scissoring the legs so each foot touches the mat in rapid succession.
Seniors stay strong – The lean-back fly also helps strengthen the abs and back so bending over and picking up objects is easier, Magnum says.
Seniors stay strong – "This helps us to get out of bed," Magnum says of the butt bridge, which works the hips and lower back.
Seniors stay strong – Magnum incorporates moves from Pilates and yoga into his classes to help with flexibility and range of motion.
Seniors stay strong – Magnum also teaches what he says is the largest seniors aerobics class in the United States. More than 100 of the center's residents -- some of them nearing 100 years old -- gather to groove to music on Wednesdays. Aerobics helps coordination, balance, energy and mental health, Magnum says.