Roseanna (standing) supports another Senior Planet member at the gym
Recently, Senior Planet launched a Team Captain program, helping fitness enthusiasts who are over the age of 60 lead workout teams in locations throughout New York City. These social workout groups span a variety of activities and are appropriate for a variety fitness levels, and are a great way to connect with new friends while supporting your health. Roseanna Sottilaro is one of our new Captains, so I sat down with her to learn more about what exercise means to her.
Senior Planet: What inspires you to exercise?
Roseanna: I love the feeling I know I’ll have after I’m done working out. I always feel amazing. Even if I’m feeling tired or sluggish, I’ll push myself to go because I know I’ll feel energized after just half an hour.
So what’s your fitness routine?
I like working out at the gym. I usually start my workout in the cardio room on the bicycle or the elliptical or treadmill. Then I’ll use the weight machines. My favorites are the leg press, the abductor and adductor machine, and the lat pull-down machine. I can control those machines really well.
I’ve been going to the gym twice a week, but I’m trying to make time to go three times. I used to go four times, but the holidays threw me off.
Why do you like exercising at the gym, in particular?
I really like using the machines. I also like seeing people my age who I can relate to. It’s motivating to see my peers who have their own exercise mission.
I work out at the Chelsea Recreation Center, and I like that it’s clean and isn’t crowded. It’s also really affordable. The people are really friendly too, especially when I wear my Senior Planet t-shirt. People will always come over and tell me about the events they’ve been to there.
How do you feel you’ve benefited from working out?
I have a lot more energy and I’m a lot more positive. I don’t get caught up in whining and negativity anymore. I feel younger. I’m a lot more flexible and stronger and I find that I’m able to do more than I used to.
I also lost 19 pounds when I first started working out. Truthfully, I felt so good and so much stronger that I didn’t even pay attention to the weight loss as much.
That’s amazing! Why did you decide to become a Team Captain?
I took the fitness classes at Senior Planet and had a really positive experience. The courses ended, but I wanted to keep working out and I thought this would be a great way to attract and meet other people I could exercise with.
What would you tell people to encourage them to join you?
The gym isn’t as hard or intimidating as people may think. They can even start with 15 minutes and keep building. Working out with someone else can be really motivating. When you see people exercising, you feel their energy and want to do it too. And it’s not about competition at all. It’s all about camaraderie.
It’s important to be physically active. It impacts your life in so many positive ways. It helps your outlook, which helps your relationships and other areas of your life. You feel a high that goes beyond the gym. You just know it’s going to be a good day.