Like a brickhouse

Published 10:39 am Monday, June 29, 2015

Phil Simpson from Cabell  Huntington Hospital gives balance screenings at the senior health fair at Brickhouse Cardio Club in Proctorville on Friday.

Phil Simpson from Cabell Huntington Hospital gives balance screenings at the senior health fair at Brickhouse Cardio Club in Proctorville on Friday.


Senior Health Fair highlights life-changing results of SilverSneakers program


PROCTORVILLE — At the inaugural Senior Health Fair hosted by Brickhouse Cardio Club in Proctorville, seniors gathered to take advantage of free health resources and learn more about SilverSneakers classes.

The fair provided a way “to be sure seniors are aware of programs available to them (through SilverSneakers and Brickhouse),” Proctorville Brickhouse Cardio Club owner Angie George said.

SilverSneakers, a program provided to seniors through most insurance companies, offers benefits such as free fitness classes. For many of the attendees at the fair, the free SilverSneakers classes offered by Brickhouse have been life changing.

When Janet Yost stepped through the door of Brickhouse to begin SilverSneakers classes two months ago, her health was failing.

“When she started classes, she could hardly walk,” said George.

Although at first she was reluctant to begin classes, Yost, who “was incapacitated” and “couldn’t walk in a straight line two months ago,” decided to start the program after a neighbor told her about it.

“I came. I was nervous,” said Yost.

After Yost began the classes, her fears were put to rest. Yost said the people involved in Brickhouse SilverSneakers classes “accept you for who you are.” Throughout the recovery process, Yost said her fellow classmates have been supportive.

“I have a bunch of women and men cheering me on,” she said.

Thanks to the free SilverSneakers classes, Yost has been able to regain important aspects of her life. When she started SilverSneakers classes at Brickhouse, Yost relied on a cane to be able to walk anywhere but now uses her cane only to help her walk in new terrain.

Yost credits the SilverSneakers classes offered by Brickhouse with changing her life physical and emotionally and said she feels emotionally whole after participating in the classes.

Yost said her progress is “truly amazing.”

“The emotional support you get from the people here is amazing.” Yost said, who encouraged other seniors to take advantage of the SilverSneakers classes so they can reap the benefits.

Wanda Damron, who is recovering from a stroke, relies upon SilverSneakers classes to keep in shape and help in her stroke recovery. Damron attends classes three days a week.

“We do enough to break a sweat,” she said. “We use every muscle.”

Like Yost, Damron encourages other seniors to get involved in the SilverSneakers classes that are tailored to the individual fitness levels of the participants. Damron said the classes keep in mind the safety of participants and are not intense enough to risk injury to seniors.

“I love it,” Damron said.

Marie Nelson came to the senior health fair to have her balance checked at one of the free health screening stations. Like Nelson, many seniors are concerned about their balance, George said. When a senior’s balance is off, it can be problematic, leading to falls and other injuries, according to George.

At Brickhouse, Nelson participates in classes focusing on balance.

In the future, George said Brickhouse will offer special events about balance for seniors.

While SilverSneakers classes focus on fitness, participants said that the classes are not boring.

“It’s a wonderful program,” said Doris Hesson. “It’s fun.” Nelson agrees. “It’s very enjoyable.

Seniors interested in finding out more about SilverSneakers can visit More information about Brickhouse Cardio Club’s SilverSneakers classes is available via their Facebook page or by calling the club at 606-633-1970.