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Jacquelyn Rodgers shares her philosophy about fitness, and inspires members of the WLACC to get active.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: TIM VANBERGEN  - Jacquelyn Rodgers believes our bodies are meant to be active and that activity enhances every aspect of life.

The West Linn Adult Community Center staff knows that fitness is important for people of all ages.

WLACC contributor Keli Stevens invites Jacquelyn Rodgers, the center's fitness instructor and a senior fitness specialist to share thoughts about the many benefits of fitness. Following are comments from Rodgers:

My philosophy is that every person is unique. We all have certain genetic predispositions, health history and different personalities. My philosophy as a personal trainer is that we all must find the right balance. I love that my job gives me the ability to change a client's outlook on exercise. One does not realize their own capabilities until they challenge themselves. The human body is meant to be physically active. By incorporating exercise and proper nutrition into our lives, we are able to enhance every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. As a result, you will have more energy to enjoy life, and reduce the risk of illness and disease. Being fit and living healthy is a lifestyle!

Benefits of core strength

Think of your core as a muscular corset that stabilizes your entire body, helping to give you a center of gravity, whether you're at rest or moving.

We draw upon our core strength whenever we walk, sit, exercise or perform activities. Individuals with weak core muscles have an increased risk of backache and injury, since they lack adequate spine support. Pilates, yoga and other core strengthening exercises and core-engaging workouts can help reduce discomfort, improve mobility and improve support for the spine in people of any age, thereby reducing both acute and chronic pain.

It is vital that seniors, especially, maintain core strength to preserve mobility and function. Some great benefits of core strengthening are: alleviates back pain, better athletic performance, improves posture, improves balance, prevent injuries, feel better and more confidence and develop lean and long muscles.

How to build core strength

By stabilizing the torso you are creating a co-contraction between the abdominal muscles and the back muscles. It means all the muscles work together to create a stable entity.

Back muscles are often tight and weak in people, causing the spine to get out of alignment. The result is pain, risk of injury and bad posture. Pilates can help us correct these issues.

You can retrain your body to move in a safer, more efficient pattern of motion for better injury recovery, sports performance, good posture and optimal health. Remember, if you build a building on a poor foundation it will eventually topple. The same goes for your core stability muscles.

WLACC classes

I teach Yoga/Pilates Fusion every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8-8:30 a.m., and Strength and Balance from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the center. I will be teaching Pilates Reformer in the fall.

I also teach Boot Camp twice per week in West Linn. Boot Camp is fun, challenging and a fantastic workout. Classes are Tuesday and Friday from 5:30-6:30 pm.

I am also happy to train you in your own home. Please call me at 531-992-6100 or email me at www.bodytoolfitness.com to sign up.

The WLACC lunch menu this week features chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes and peas and peach cobbler on Friday, Aug. 4; meatballs with marinara, spaghetti, garlic bread, green beans and ice cream cookie bars on Monday, Aug. 7; and Italian sub sandwiches, beef and tomato chowder and M&M cookies on Wednesday, Aug. 9. Cost is $5 per person.

Contact the WLACC at 503-557-4704, or stop by at 1180 Rosemont Road, West Linn.

Jacquelyn Rodgers is a fitness nutrition specialist, NASM-certified personal trainer, senior specialist, mat Pilates instructor, Power Yoga instructor and is AED and CPR certified.

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