SAILING INTO HEALTH: Library patrons staying fit with special program

Apr. 23—The Stay Active and Independent for Life Class has been helping Tahlequah Public Library patrons stay fit since February.

TPL Library Clerk Jane Adams is the instructor for the free SAIL class, which meets twice a week at the library. Adams said she was trained by the Oklahoma Health Aging Initiative, which hosts various health-related initiatives and classes.

Anybody 18 years old and older can attend the class, but Adams said those who are 60 and older will report information to the OHAI through the University of Oklahoma. Paperwork related from OHAI is filled out by those 60 and older every so often to gather information on whether the classes are helping people.

Adams said the fitness program focuses on small strengthening exercises and stretching, as well as balance.

"As you get older, you start to have little changes where things that were easy before, like standing on one leg or just stepping over something, and you don't make it and you lose your balance and you fall. So it's just trying to keep people's balance better than it would be if they're not doing anything," Adams said.

Joan Buch and Lora Neldon both participate in the class every week.

"I think just as we all get older, we want to stay active as long as possible," Neldon said.

Neldon said the class helps with their balance and strength, and Buch said it also encourages a community spirit. This is because the group meets twice a week with most of the same library patrons, who also attend a class at the NSU Fit.

"We all know we can do a lot of this at home if we want to, but it's not the same," Buch said.

Those who can't stand for the entire hour-long class, Adams said, can instead sit and adapt the motions to their needs. Those with balance issues can sit and raise their legs to simulate the walking exercise.

Adams said patrons can bring their own small weights, and she recommends participants to bring water.

Those who can't go to an in-person class can access virtual classes at

Check it out

The SAIL Class takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays at the library's Carnegie Room at 10 a.m.