Sit-N-Fit exercise program gives low-impact workout

Ruth Edwards is lucky to be alive, much less exercising.

The 52-year-old had a brain aneurism and a stroke last August. The Albany resident said she still gets dizzy and has trouble walking.

“I think these exercises will help,” said Edwards, one of the more than a dozen people who showed up Friday at the Sit-N-Fit exercise class.

The class, led by Parks and Recreation of Denham Springs instructor Lisa Sistruck, is designed to increase strength, cardio endurance, and range of motion in a low-impact workout.

“The class covers all aspects of fitness,” said Sandy McMcGowan, of PARDS, adding that the exercises are appropriate for beginners and seasoned exercisers.

Patsy Stewart, of Springfield, experienced a minor stroke recently, and now has trouble with coordination.

“This is something I’m trying so that I can get better,” the senior citizen said.

The program, which “works every muscle group,” was altered for the seniors to include exercise balls instead of heavy weights, said McGowan said.

By using various range-of-motion techniques with a chair, participants learned to transfer the exercises they do on the fitness machines to exercises they can perform at home, McGowan said.

After just 20 minutes into an intensive session, Edwards and many other participants let out sighs. But without hesitation, Sistruck pressed on.

With a ball in each hand, Edwards pushed the balls overhead and then to the side before repeating the exercise.

Karen Hyorth followed the same pattern. The Killian resident, who was in a motorcycle accident in 2006, has now learned to walk without a walker but said she needs to get back in shape without injuring her leg. Hyorth had knee replacement surgery after the accident.

“I love that the library does things like this,” Hyorth said. “They have excellent programs.”

For information on classes offered at the Livingston Parish Library, log on to

For information on PARDS, call (225) 665-5405.