Those who know Elease Edwards, of Tyler, know that if they call her home at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. they may very well go unanswered, even if she is just a few feet away from the telephone.
Ms. Edwards values staying healthy and fit, and when Texercise programs, titled “Range of Motion” and “Body Works” - both exercise programs that are geared toward seniors - come on My Tyler TV 3, she pulls up a chair close to her television and does the workouts.
From using a hula hoop to stretch and strengthen her limbs, to lifting her legs off the ground and moving them back and forth as if she were running, at age 105, Ms. Edwards enjoys using the exercises to stay fit.
“It helps with my arms. It helps with my legs,” Ms. Edwards said. “It just helps me to exercise my whole body.”
Texercise is a statewide fitness campaign, developed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services to educate and involve older Texans and their families in physical activity and good nutrition throughout their lifetime, according to an informational booklet released by DADS.
Kay Odom, supervisor of the Tyler Senior Center, implemented the class several years ago and it continues to take place there at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. In September 2015, the program became available on the city government access channel. It can be viewed by those who live in Tyler and have Suddenlink cable.
Velma Johnson, a friend of Ms. Edwards, participates in Texercise at the Tyler Senior Center and spoke with Mrs. Odom about sharing some bags of free Texercise materials with a few people she knew couldn’t make it out to the center but could benefit from doing the exercises at home.
Ms. Edwards was one of those individuals and has been enjoying the program for about nine months. Since then, she has advocated the program to family and friends, even asking those who come over while she is exercising to join in.
“She is a real inspiration for me, with just her energy and what she gives to our family” said Anita Smith, Ms. Edwards’ niece.
She said it meant a lot to see her aunt still exercising and staying in shape at age 105.
On June 8, Mrs. Odom visited Ms. Edwards at her home in time to join her for a 3 p.m. showing of the Texercise program. Until then, the two had never met and Ms. Edwards had only watched Mrs. Odom do the exercises on T.V.
Mrs. Odom said it has been amazing to see the reach of the program expand. She added she is glad to see the effect Texercise has had in Ms. Edwards’ life.
“This shows you that if you do take care of yourself and you stay active and you have a great kindness in your heart … God will help you overcome the obstacles that you have in life,” Mrs. Odom said. “It's been lovely to watch it go from here to someone’s home that’s 105. My goodness, what an inspiration.”
Texercise programs “Range of Motion” and “Body Works” can be seen daily at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on My Tyler TV 3. The program is available on channel 3 on the city government access channel to those who live in Tyler and have Suddenlink cable. Texercise also takes place at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday at the Tyler Senior Center, 1915 Garden Valley Road.
The class is free and offered at the center for people ages 55 and older. For more information, call the center at 903-597-0781.
To watch the programs online go to parksandrec.cityoftyler.org/Facilities/SeniorCenter.aspx, scroll down under the Texercise tab and select Range of Motion or Body Works.