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Activities available at the Shawnee Senior Center

Amy Riggins

It’s 2020, Shawnee! This is a start of a brand new year and a new decade! Or, at least it seems like a new decade. Have you been following the debate of what actually counts as a decade? Is it 2020-2029 or 2021-2030? There’s lots of discussion and ideas out there, plus plenty of good ol’ public opinion. According to several surveys, most of the population is leaning towards thinking 2020 starts the new decade, while scientists and other experts say technically it won’t start until 2021. But either way, we can say with all certainty that the “2020s” have begun!

If you are aged 55+ we hope you plan to spend some of your 2020s with us! At both the senior center at 401 N. Bell and the community center at 804 S. Park, the City of Shawnee Recreation Department provides activities and events geared towards seniors of all ages. You name it: Fitness classes, cards, Bingo, crafts, puzzles, music, dancing, Bible Study, discussion groups, billiards, dominoes, Pickleball, walking, health checks, etc. you can find these and more at one of our locations. For a schedule or more details about our programs, call us at 405-878-1528.

Project Heart serves a nutritious lunch each weekday at noon at the community center. If you happen to be aged 60+, you can register and make your reservation for a lunch the day before, with a suggested donation of $1.50. Age is the only requirement, as this is not an income-based program. For more information or to get registered, you can contact Project Heart at 405-275-4530.

January is often the most popular time to think about New Year’s resolutions or setting goals for the new year. Many of these tend to be health and fitness related. Are you thinking about making a personal change to help increase your overall health and wellness? We have many opportunities to help encourage you to be more active and healthy!

Each weekday morning, the Municipal Auditorium gym is open for individuals aged 55+ to walk. The gym is adjacent to the senior center, and walkers must enter through the senior center doors. After we get you checked into the center, then you are free to walk in the gym. Sixteen laps around the basketball court, including out through the lobby, will net you one mile. Come avoid the outdoor elements this winter and walk with us! Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a friend!

Have you tried Pickleball yet? Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the USA, and you can play it right here in Shawnee. In case you don’t know, Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, with some unique rules of its own. For anyone aged 55+ we are offering a new FREE time to play Pickleball in the Municipal Auditorium Gym on Tuesdays, 9 to 11 a.m. We can even provide you with a paddle and pickleball for use here at the gym. Enter through the senior center, check in at the front desk, and our staff will direct you.

Other times for Pickleball for anyone in Shawnee include Wednesday and Fridays, 1 to 3 p.m. (Open Play - $2), Thursdays, 6:15 to8:30 p.m. (Paddle Play - $3), Saturdays, 9:15 to 10 a.m. (Beginners Play - $3), and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Paddle Play with Challenge Court - $3). Starting in March, we will add Tuesdays, 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. (Round Robin - $3). Be watching for more information about monthly and yearly Pickleball Passes!

We also have several FREE fitness classes for those aged 55+ at both the senior center and the community center. Our fitness classes are taught by certified instructors and are designed for all fitness levels. Beginners are especially encouraged to come, as the instructor will assist you to adjust the exercises to suit where you are starting out. In all of our classes, the exercises can be completed standing up or while seated in a chair. Here is a summary of our fitness class schedule:

Classes offered at the senior center:

Enhance Fitness, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Taught by Beth. Combination of cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility, strength training, and balance enhancement.

Tai Chi for Better Balance, Tuesday-Thursday, 8:15-9:15 a.m. Taught by Cyndi. 8 basic Tai Chi movements designed for balance, core strength, relaxation, and stress reduction.

Restorative Stretching, Monday-Wednesday, 9:40-10:40 a.m. NEW TIME! Taught by Angie. These gentle stretching exercises and yoga poses will help with flexibility, muscle strenth, and increasing breathing and circulation. An excellent help with encouraging stress reduction.

Forever Strong, Tuesday-Thursday, 9:30-10:30 a.m. NEW TIME! Taught by Angie. A basic strength and toning class. These exercises will help with overall body conditioning.

Tai Chi for Better Balance, Monday-Wednesday, 4:00-4:45 p.m. NEW CLASS! Taught by Randy. 8 basic Tai Chi movements designed for balance, core strength, relaxation, and stress reduction.

Classes offered at the Community Center:

Chair Fitness: Flexibility & Stretching, Monday-Wednesday, 11:00-11:45 a.m. NEW TIME! Taught by Angie. These gentle stretching exercises and yoga poses can all be completed while seated in a chair. Designed to help with flexibility, increasing breathing, and circulation.

Chair Fitness, Tuesday, Thursday, 11:00-11:45 a.m. Taught by Angie. A basic exercise program designed for strength and increased circulation. All exercises can be performed while seated in a chair.

All of our fitness classes are “drop-in,” as you do not need to be enrolled, and remember, all classes are free for ages 55+. For more information about our fitness programs, please contact us at 405-878-1528 or you can email me at amy.riggins@shawneeok.org

For those who like Square Dancing, the Square 8’s Square Dancing Club meets at the Senior Center on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 7:00-9:30 p.m. Cost is just $3.00 for dancers, or $1.00 for those who like to come for the fellowship, food, and fun. Square Dance lessons are starting up in January, so call us for more information.

If Country and Western music is more your thing, be sure to check out the Storytime Band performing each Tuesday and Thursday at the Senior Center from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Did you know they have been providing great music and fun at the Senior Center for over 20 years at the center? Come out to enjoy the fellowship , and relaxed atmosphere, and scoot your boots if you are so inclined!

A new discussion group will begin in January at the Senior Center, hosted by Shirley Gregory. Join her on Mondays at 1:00 p.m. for “Jesus: Fact or Fiction - An Open Discussion.” The Women’s Grief Support Group will also continue to meet on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. with Jamee Walters. In addition, there is a Bible History Study Group led by Bill Hailey which meets at the Community Center on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Two special events will take place this week: The Diamond Kiwanis Bake Sale will be on Tuesday, January 7, from 8:30 a.m.- Until Sold Out. All proceeds go towards the purchase of books for the Early Childhood Center. We will celebrate all January Birthdays all day on Thursday, January 9. Join us for birthday cake and snacks at the Senior Center, and if your birthday is in January, you can sign our January Birthday Poster. Join us for some treats!

Be sure to stop by either location to pick up a copy of the January calendar so you can see all the activities offered at the Senior Center and the Community Center. The Project Heart lunch menu is included, as well as the fitness class schedule. Or you can call us at 405-878-1528 and we can mail you one.

Tune in on Wednesday mornings at 8:35 a.m. for the senior happenings focus during the “Mike in the Morning Show,” found at KGFF on your radio dial at 109.1 FM or 1040 AM.

As always, we look forward to seeing YOU in 2020 at the center!