Starting the new year with Fitness Palooza for older adults

Courtesy San Diego Oasis

Starting the new year people often make resolutions only to be disappointed. But when it comes to staying healthy, San Diego Oasis, a nonprofit dedicated in helping older adults live rich and vibrant lives, is holding its annual Fitness Palooza on Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at San Diego Oasis’ Wellness Center located in Grossmont Center. Highlighting Oasis’ dance and fitness classes, the event is free to the public.

Every year, the event encourages older adults 50+ to come together to find their new favorite exercise obsession and step outside their comfort zones. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in 20-minute sessions highlighting some of San Diego Oasis’ dance and fitness classes, including Soul Line Dancing, Cardio Drumming, T’ai Chi Chih, and more. For those that have poor to average balance, a session on balance training will also be available.

“Starting a new fitness goal can be scary,” said Simona Valanciute, president and CEO, San Diego Oasis. “But our instructors help our members through every step of their wellness journey. Whether they are looking to pick up a new dance skill, build better balance or just have fun working out, our instructors make each class experience exciting, easy and enjoyable.”

Valanciute said this is an annual tradition that people look forward to it.

“The beauty of this is that it is never the same thing,” she said. “The idea is that when we reemerge from the holidays with new resolutions to stay well, be strong physically and mentally, that physical part is a celebration.”

Valanciute said they pick five or six instructors that usually teach at the Wellness Center and asks them to do a 20-minute free demonstration of their class.

“We try to offer a variety,” she said. “Something low impact, something high impact, something dance, something fitness, something loud, and something quiet.”

Valanciute said they try to do something new each year, and this year they are offering cardo drumming.

“Imagine the large exercise ball that is used for defense stretching and exercises,” she said. “We put that ball on a pedestal and we give everyone drumsticks. The music is loud. The music is fun. You could cardo drum sitting on the chair, or you could be walking around the ball or standing up as you are doing these exercises. The rhythm is changing so the idea is that you are having an upper body workout. This can accommodate a full ability, from limited ability to you can do anything. It is just so much fun. You can be walking around the ball. You are banging that ball low, high, in the air, diagonally, vertically…The rhythm is changing so you are thinking about the rhythm and following the instructor. You are definitely working every muscle in your arms, chest, and shoulders.”

Valanciute said Oasis offers classes fully in person, fully online, and hybrid classes.

Schedule for San Diego Oasis 2023 Fitness Palooza:
• 10 – 10:20 a.m. | Cardio Drumming | Andra Valencia
• 10:30 – 10:50 a.m. | Zumba Gold | Pamela Toomes & Laura Muto
• 11 – 11:20 a.m. | Soul Line Dancing | Ed Griffith and Lee Wells
• 11:30 – 11:50 a.m.| Better Balance: Free from Falls | Russell Rowe
• 12 – 12:30 p.m. | T’ai Chi Chih | Michelle Sarubbi

To learn more about this year’s Fitness Palooza, upcoming San Diego Oasis classes or for ways to give back to the organization, visit