Getting some gains

State Sen. Johnny Ray Salling, left, County Executive Johnny Olszewski, and county Director of Aging Laura Riley show off their muscles at the Fleming Senior Center’s new fitness studio on Friday.

The Fleming Senior Center opened up its new fitness studio last Friday to much fanfare from local officials who helped it along the process.

The $24,000 fitness studio, which includes cardio and weight training equipment, and will be staffed occasionally by a fitness trainer who will run orientation programs, has been in the works as Fleming is one of the few senior centers without one.

“Of the county’s 20 senior centers, 13 have fitness studios, but 7 don’t have one,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski (D) said at the senior center last Friday. He said from assessments of senior centers, those who have access to fitness studios are “more likely to feel like they are thriving.”

Before the senior center opened its fitness studio, only 39% of seniors at Fleming reported they felt they were thriving, 10% below the county-wide average, Olszewski said.

“We worked, from our state side, for federal dollars,” Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-6) said, lauding the teamwork that went into funding the fitness studio.

“It’s a blessing to have good people that work together,” he said. “When we work together, we achieve great things.”

“I wish I could give a certificate to everybody that’s here, because you are our support system,” Donald Jones, the president of the senior center’s council, told attendees which included many senior center members.

The fitness studio will be open during the senior center’s hours. Those who wish to participate must register as a member of the senior center and schedule an orientation session.