At 67 years old, Amy C. Moore isn’t just any fitness instructor. Her passion for fitness began in her early adult life, but now, as a senior herself, she works every day to get other seniors up and moving.
Moore began teaching fitness classes over 40 years ago.
“I started teaching after watching instructors in the fitness classes I took and knowing I could do it,” she explained. So she began teaching classes here and there to fill in for instructors when they were out, and people quickly loved her style of teaching.
“I’m all about fun!” she beamed. “I hate fitness classes that don’t let people talk. In my classes, we talk, we laugh, and we have fun. There’s a lot of humor in my classes. It makes the class so much more enjoyable, and if you’re not a fan of exercise, it makes it go by so quickly!”
Soon, she became a full-time fitness instructor, specializing in teaching aerobics. She currently teaches three different aerobic classes and two water aerobic classes at the YMCA.
But Moore’s classes aren’t only fun and games.
“I have 20-year-olds all the time coming in that can’t keep up with me,” she laughed.
She often has younger people coming up to her after the class, asking her how old she is.
“They never believe me when I say I’m 67!” said Moore.
Moore teaches students of all ages. She has some classes that range between 20-80 year-old members, while others are senior-specific courses.
She is especially passionate about senior fitness.
“The bottom line is, if seniors want to live longer, have a better quality of life, and feel better, exercising just three times a week will give them that,” said Moore.
“I always tell people to bring a friend the first time they come to a class. It’s not so scary if you have someone there you know,” she said. “Once you get in the door that first time, the rest is easy. The first baby step is just coming to a class.”
This ease is undoubtedly due to the fast friendships that she has seen form and grow in her classes.
Finding community is an incredibly salient aspect of senior fitness.
“It can be lonely to be a senior. The social aspect of these group classes is so important,’ said Moore.
One class she teaches is a water aerobics class that involves nothing more strenuous than walking around the lazy river.
“Seniors come to this class and just talk because it’s a slow-paced class,” Moore said. “They’ll walk around the lazy river, share recipes, and enjoy being around other seniors. Then, as they get more comfortable and feel better about themselves, many will move up into a more intense water aerobic course. But they don’t have to, and it’s at their own pace. Some stay in this first level just because they enjoy it.”
Moore shared many fond anecdotes of different seniors she has taught over the years.
“The friendships that form are beautiful. Once, a woman I taught every week broke her hip and was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. The whole class got together, visited her in the hospital several times, and helped her recover. Soon after, she was back in class.”
She shared other stories of:
One man who remembered everyone’s birthday and never failed to have all class members sign a card.
One man in his 90s who sang after every class.
Friends who come in on days where there is no class just to play cards.
Her classes becoming one big family.
“One gentleman used to come into the YMCA often, and he used a walker. One day, I suggested he try my water aerobics class. He looked at me like I was insane,” she laughed. “But I told him he could get in with a walker if that would make him more comfortable.”
“He surprised both of us when took me up on my offer. Now, he’s a completely different person. He doesn’t need a walker anymore. He has lost weight, and he has gained so much more enthusiasm for life. He really appreciates every day he’s here.”
For Moore, this is the best part of being a fitness instructor.
“It makes me feel so proud that I encouraged that transformation for him. The best part of my job is all the lives I get to touch. It’s very rewarding.”
Moore encourages all seniors to attend fitness classes, both for the physical health benefits as well as the social benefits.
“There are fitness classes out there at all levels. It can be as simple as walking, or as intense as an aerobics or strength-training class. There’s really something for everyone. Find something you enjoy doing, and soon, you won’t be able to stop!”