Senior citizens staying in shape with special Fitness 19 program


Disco music blared over the speakers at Fitness 19 in Malverne as about 30 senior citizens followed intently along to instructor Ada Coonerty’s calm tone as she encouraged and motivated them through various exercises.

Among the seniors working up a sweat was Lynbrook resident Elaine Perez, who attends the senior fit class every Monday and Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. “I think it’s great,” Perez said. “I look forward to it. I think it’s very, very nice.”

Senior fit is designed to give seniors and older adults a total body workout. Some days Coonerty plays disco music. Other days its jazz or some old favorites like Elvis Presley, she said. She added that the seniors each have their own limitations and thresholds for what they can do, but they all perform very well — including Perez.

“I think she’s doing great,” Coonerty said of Perez. “She holds herself up very well. She has a great sense of humor and a positive attitude. That’s all you really need for this class.”

Perez showed her sense of humor when she quipped that she is “21 plus-plus” when asked her age. She said that she saw an ad for the class in the newspaper and decided to give it a try. “The instructor is adorable,” she said. “They’re very friendly there and it’s very nice and very clean.”

The seniors go through exercises that workout all different parts of their bodies. Coonerty said that they do twists to work on their lower-bodies and arm circles to stay loose. They often do squats or work on their abs as well, she added, and they sometimes participate in zumba and different dance routines. “Any movement that a young person can do, they can do, just slower and modified,” she said. “You’d be surprised. They are awesome. They’re an awesome group.”

Coonerty has been teaching the class since Fitness 19 opened at 356 Hempstead Ave. in Malverne in March. She has been a fitness instructor for the past five years. In addition to the senior class, Coonerty also teaches insanity — a class that focuses on cardio conditioning and group drills, spin classes and P90X.

A basic gym membership for Fitness 19 costs $15 per month with an additional $99 enrollment fee. A full access membership that includes classes is $19 per month with a $99 enrollment fee. Those interested in the senior fit class can sign up online at, or at the front desk for $10 per session.

Coonerty said she is always excited for new members and to teach the class. “I love it,” she said. “I look forward to it every Monday. I look forward to it every Thursday. No matter what’s going on in my day, I know that I’m gonna come here, I’m gonna be happy with them and I’m gonna go home feeling great.”