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Encinitas Community and Senior Center offers a variety of popular programs

Health barre class with instructor Lori Massey, far right.
Health barre class with instructor Lori Massey, far right.
( / Courtesy photo)

There is no shortage of activities for seniors in the city of Encinitas. In fact, there are about 66 programs offered that conveniently take place right at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center.

Appealing to adults in their 50s up to their 90s, the senior center is a tremendous community resource that has grown in leaps and bounds since its opening in February 2002.

Many of the activities offered are centered on physical fitness, said Vicki Rubenstein, recreation supervisor with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “A lot of our movement classes do really well,” she said, adding that yoga leads the way as it serves “the body, mind and soul.”

One of the most popular yoga classes is the Silver Age yoga program. “It fills up quickly so we do tend to have a waitlist for that,” said Christie Goodsell, senior center manager.

Consequently, the center recently introduced a new yoga class, “Yoga for Men.” The workout helps build stamina and improve muscle flexibility. Held from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, the next four-week session begins Oct. 7, said Goodsell.

Exercise with Carl Grubbs is a synchronized fitness class that helps build strength, improve balance and flexibility by using elastic stretch bands. And Charla Thomas’ Fun-Sway class features low-impact movement to upbeat songs from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s.

Others get exercise through t’ai chi chih, barré, chair yoga, line dancing, pilates, zumba and more. “People want to keep moving,” said Rubenstein. “It’s a big trend.”

Classes are also offered in the fine arts, computer technology, games and music. There are also outreach services, special interest programs and a nutrition program.

In the center’s banquet hall, monthly dances with live music and refreshments attract up to 100 participants at a time. And the Duplicate Bridge program has grown with about 80-100 people competing.

All programs take place at the center with the exception of the volunteer-run transportation program.

“We have volunteer drivers who utilize their own vehicles to pick up seniors who are residents in the city and take them to different places like the pharmacy, the store or to a doctors appointment,” Goodsell explained.

The Single Seniors Club is also held off-site. The group meets together throughout the month at local restaurants and once a month for activities at the center.

The range of programs could not be offered without the help of about 165 volunteers who serve at the center in various ways, said Goodsell. Some help in the computer labs, others help support the nutrition program and there are others who facilitate programs like the bereavement support group, along with those who offer unbiased information on health insurance programs and elder law.

There is always a demand for volunteers, said Goodsell. “Even if you only have just a couple of extra hours a week free, we are in need for drivers for our seniors, as there is a waitlist, and we also have openings for tutors in the computer lab.”

Classes are available for both residents and non-residents of the city, with a discounted rate for the former. There are no membership dues and classes are generally paid for in advance a month at a time. Several classes are complimentary for seniors.

The Encinitas Community and Senior Center is located at 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas. The senior center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information or to volunteer, call 760-943-2250 or visit www.encinitasparksandrec.com.


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