With Latin-International music to move to, Mesa residents and several city leaders burned calories at a Zumba class Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Red Mountain Multigenerational Center.
It was part of the “Heart Your Health” fitness and wellness fair hosted by Mesa City Councilman David Luna.
He was joined by Mesa City Manager Chris Brady, Mesa Deputy City Manager Kari Kent and Mesa Mayor John Giles for the Zumba workout in a mirrored room at the center, 7550 E. Adobe St.
“The Zumba workout was tough because I was trying to keep up with Dave Luna and he obviously has been doing this for longer than I have. I’ve never done Zumba before. That was my maiden voyage at Zumba,” Mayor Giles said. “It was great. This is the multigenerational center; I noticed a lot of folks who were older and it was the perfect-intensity exercise for a senior. Like me.”
“It was definitely fun. I like to participate in aerobic activities that are engaging and keep your mind going and keep you active,” Councilman Luna said of the Zumba class. “I typically do step, I do spin-cycling, I do Tabata and I do sculpting classes, because I believe exercise is really important for us. If we want to live healthy lives, it’s important that we eat well and we also exercise. The multigenerational center is an ideal place because it meets the needs of not only young kids, but middle-aged and our seniors as well. That’s why I did this; I really wanted to promote the multigenerational center,” he said.
For more information on the multigenerational center, go to www.mesaaz.gov/parksrec/RMMC.
The center’s rock-climbing wall was open 8-11 a.m. for the second-annual event. Nine-year-old twins Shelby and Saige Wells, students at Zaharis Elementary School, used ropes to climb the wall as their mom, Mary Wells, looked on.
“We came last year and I always bring my kids with me,” Ms. Wells said. “That was the first year they got to check out the rec room they have for the kids – the game room.”
Ms. Wells works out at the multigenerational center, she said.
“I actually come here to the gym – the free weights at the gym and walking, the treadmill or the track right here,” she said.
Shelby’s favorite exercises are football, baseball and softball, she said.
Saige’s favorites are basketball and rock climbing at the multigenerational center, she said.
Officials from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses’ Phoenix Chapter gave free health assessments including taking blood pressure, body mass index and percent body-fat testing.
“It’s our mission to promote the health of Arizona,” Adriana Perez, NAHN president, said. “And especially things like heart-health because that’s the No. 1 cause of death for all people. Arizonans are affected at very high rates, so we wanted to come and do education in one part and in the second part we are promoting health-insurance coverage. In Mesa there’s a high number of those who don’t have the coverage; all we do is provide education and resources for where to go.”
For more information about NAHN, go to www.nahn-phx.org.
Other classes at the fitness fair were for Yoga, Power Step, Pilates, body sculpting and stationary-bike cycling.
A nutritional breakfast was served 8-11 a.m. Booths were set up by businesses and agencies such as
Mountain Vista Medical Center, Mesa Fire and Medical Department and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
“I like to see what’s going on – just curious, I guess,” Anna Wagar, a winter resident from Saskatchewan, Canada, said. “I’ve been around to most of the booths and talked with the people and had a muffin and an orange juice.”
Ms. Wagar has been to the multigenerational center before. Her favorite exercises are walking and swimming.
Her husband, Darcy, said he gets exercise with swimming, walking, golfing and playing bocce.
“We like to go to wellness events for information and just to get ideas and stuff to do,” Mr. Wagar said. “We’re members of the Senior Advantage at Mountain Vista (Medical Center), so we attend their seminars – health-related seminars – whenever we’re down here.”
Lorraine Bazzoli, a winter resident from Warrenville, Illinois, visited each of the tables at the wellness fair, she said.
“Everybody is very sociable and very informative. I had my cholesterol tested and the glucose and I got good reports – I’m happy about that,” she said.
She exercises at her housing complex, so she has not used the multigenerational center’s equipment.
“I’m at Mesa Regal Resort and we have everything there. We have exercises, sitting exercises, standing exercises, we have our swimming pools there, we have exercise rooms there with all of the machines, so I really don’t have to come here for their exercise classes. I use the swimming, the stretch exercises in the hall. I don’t use their machines though; I don’t think I need that,” Ms. Bazzoli said.
Councilman Luna said he had heard nice comments about the fitness and wellness fair from the people who attended.
“Yes, I think they are satisfied,” he said. “I had one person tell me that ‘If I hadn’t attended last year’s event, I wouldn’t be coming here’ and so that’s what I’m really trying to do is promote this center among my District 5 community so they know that we have a place where they can exercise.”
“Obesity is a national epidemic. We have a sedentary lifestyle now – especially our senior population. I think they are becoming more and more aware of the need to be fit,” Mayor Giles said. “This is what people want – people want activities, they want multigenerational centers, they want Zumba classes. This is what the city needs to do to respond to what people need and want right now.”