January 24, 2023
CORAL GABLES, FL—With exercise and fitness among the top new year’s resolutions, finding a new workout may be just the trick to maintaining one’s commitment to a healthier lifestyle. At The Palace at Coral Gables, octogenarians and nonagenarians may have found a solution.
They’ve discovered InstruMix, and attend one of The Palace at Coral Gables’ InstruMix classes held on Saturdays and Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. in the movement room of the active retirement community. Usually, 15–20 residents participate. It’s hard to believe that amid the sounds of upbeat music and laughter, they are working out in a fitness class.
According to InstruMix founder Aysha Tenouri, participants use five different percussion instruments—including bells, maracas, egg shakers, castanets and shaker sticks—along with colorful scarves, while executing a range of motion movements. People can either sit or stand based on their abilities.
The 45-minute class incorporates warm-up and warm-down music along with the main songs. InstruMix uses music and movement in a fun, engaging way to increase physical and mental wellness.
“First and foremost, we want people to have fun,” said Tenouri. “Exercise shouldn’t be drudgery. InstruMix isn’t based on people keeping up with dance steps like Zumba. There’s no wrong way in an InstruMix class. People feel good during the class and that incentivizes them to continue.”
Class participants echo her thoughts. “The class is wonderful,” said Palace resident Anita Wong. “It makes us move everything and it’s easy to get a work out.”
Fellow resident Sarah Wishnia said the class helps her shake off the blues. “I feel so happy and look forward to meeting up with my friends, including Anita,” Wishnia said.
Tenouri developed InstruMix at her mother’s suggestion, creating the program geared to older adults. She had been teaching music to children as well as working as a yoga instructor, and needed a change. She created InstruMix as a course that professional trainers can use for teaching seniors. It is being used throughout the country as senior living communities seek new techniques to keep residents active.
InstruMix is more like getting together for a party because people don’t feel as if they are exercising; the gathering becomes social. While playing instruments and waving scarves, residents develop a greater range of motion and get stronger.
“We’re always striving to offer residents new, innovative fitness classes. It’s so important to keep them motivated to work out,” said The Palace’s director of entertainment, Pamela Parker. “As soon as we introduced InstruMix, the class took off and residents were raving about it. We needed to add a second class because they wanted more.”
In addition to InstruMix, The Palace offers 10 different classes each week, including Pilates, aquacise, tai chi, yoga and Zumba. All are taught by professional instructors. A personal trainer is also available for residents who enjoy using fitness equipment.
“People enjoy the camaraderie of their neighbors, especially when they’re in a class,” said Parker. “They don’t need to worry about wearing the latest in fitness fashion. It’s just important to keep moving!”