Move with Diane Essentrics will offer Aging Backwards classes at the Rio Rancho Aquatic Center, starting Sept. 6th from 10:15 to 11 a.m.

The center currently offers Essentrics Lengthen and Strengthen classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. The aging backwards program is similar to Essentrics, but it is gentler.

This program taught by Diane Sullivan (Certified Level 4 Essentrics Instructor), is designed to help people who want movement classes that are a bit slower paced. The focus will be on range of motion, balance, mobility and gently building up strength. Chairs are used, like ballet barre, to offer support and security if you find balance to be an issue.

According to Chhanda Dutta, PhD, chief of the Clinical Gerontology Branch at the National Institute of Aging, exercise can help make you stronger, prevent bone loss, improve balance and coordination, lift your mood, boost your memory and ease the symptoms of many chronic conditions.

According to Sullivan, that is what this class is all about. Much of the effects of aging are caused by lack of movement.

“It’s much like a piece of clay. If you leave the clay laying out without use, it becomes hard and unyielding. If you keep working and moving the clay, it becomes pliable, flexible and resilient. Moving our bodies gently helps us gradually loosen tight joints and muscles allowing you to move freely,” she said.

Her class will work on the flowing movements of Tai-Chi, which create health and balance. It will also focus on the strengthening theories behind ballet which create long, lean flexible muscles, and the healing principles of physiotherapy, which creates a pain free body, according to Sullivan.

“Get moving so you can start aging backwards,” Sullivan said.