Senior Planet News

New Fitness program for the New Year

Ring in the new year with movement!

In January, OATS is expanding its Team Senior Planet fitness program with a range of activities that will take place in various locations in New York City. Volunteers, all over 60 and members of Senior Planet, will be team captains, sharing an activity they enjoy.

So far, this includes walking together, going to the gym together, and doing functional exercises together. “Team Senior Planet brings groups of older adults together to work on their health goals in a more social setting, with the help of technology,” said Fiona Adams, Program Lead at OATS. “The team captains will help us expand the program by sharing their passion for fitness and supporting others in their communities in exercising each week.

“It’s important to reach out to people who are marginalized by the fitness industry,” said Elise Feuerstein Karras, 68, personal fitness trainer and social worker. She plans to lead an exercise group for seniors, including people using walkers and wheelchairs.

“This is not only about being fit, ”said Karras. “A  class brings people together and alleviates loneliness and social isolation. Exercise is an antidote to depression, a major  mental health problem of older people.”

“I wanted to give back to Senior Planet,” said Roseanna Sottilaro, 66, “I received so much support from the instructors who helped change my life from doing almost nothing during the day to taking charge of my life and well being.”

Sottilaro goes to the gym regularly and wants other seniors to join her in using the aerobic machines and weight resistant machines at the Chelsea Recreation Center (part of the NYC Parks Dept.) She took two Senior Planet-led classes there herself.

“This lifestyle is infectious and I want others to give it a try,“ Sottilaro said.  “I aim for a healthier body and mind for my peers and myself.”

The list of specific activities and all the leaders will be available in January. If anyone is interested in becoming a team captain or wants to know more about the program, please contact Fiona Adams by email at or call at 917-446-2088