Charlotte Maness will be 83 years old in May. She credits her longevity to keeping her busy with activities.

Maness, who is usually busy this time of year preparing for a show as the president of the Stanly County Concert Association, activities at the Central United Methodist Church, or one of the other organizations she works with, has been looking for other ways to get well to stay and active during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am grateful that I have the energy and the desire to stay busy,” said Maness.

Last spring, she participated in a healthy living program by phone through the Stanly County Senior Center. She also took a chair yoga class in Alexandria, Virginia.

Now she takes part in Functional Fitness, a virtual training program that the senior center offers every Tuesday at 3 p.m.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that she has [the program] and I want to go on like this, ”said Maness. “She makes it really interesting, really easy.”

The “she” is Pamela Sullivan, the centre’s program coordinator.

“This pandemic has turned life upside down for almost everyone, preventing people from working, socializing, and doing everyday activities,” Sullivan said. “Older adults are more likely to limit their activities to reduce the chance of contracting coronavirus. While it is important for older adults to protect their health during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also important that they remain physically and mentally active. Seniors in our community now have the opportunity to participate in courses virtually or in person. “

Functional fitness “encourages older adults to stay active and gain strength, balance, and flexibility to reduce the risk of falls, boost the immune system and improve the quality of life at home,” she added. “Studies show that regular exercise can help older adults remain independent and prevent many health problems associated with age.”

Maness said Sullivan kept it simple with exercises of either standing up or sitting in a chair during the 30-minute or shorter class.

“When you sign up for something like this, you get into the habit of doing it,” said Maness, who also attended Zoom Coffee Chat, which takes place on Tuesdays at 9:00 am.

“I just appreciate the fact that they are trying to do as many things as possible,” said Maness. “I’m just encouraging people to try. The senior center – ours is really good. It is a beacon for many people who have no other plans. “