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Maris Grove Residents Learn How to Get Fit in a Flash!

January 9, 2012

Special Fitness Presentation by Professionals Educates Seniors About the Importance of Leading a Healthy Lifestyle With a Special Surprise...

GLEN MILLS, PA - Some Maris Grove residents filled the community's Cardinal Clubhouse Catering Room earlier today to learn about senior wellness and how they can resolve to get fit in the New Year.  They were, however, in for a bit of a flashy surprise...
The Maris Grove Fitness in a Flash program was aimed at increasing awareness of exercise, good eating habits and overall wellness for the senior population.  This program was led by Maris Grove Wellness Manager John O'Donnell - a trained fitness instructor whose discipline is in senior fitness - and by former Philadelphia Phillies pinch hitting star Greg Gross - who currently serves as hitting coach for the team.
Both Mr. O'Donnell and Mr. Gross gave examples of stretching and exercise techniques, talked about dietary guidance for the senior and gave demonstrations of what older adults can do to live a more enriching lifestyle.  Then they were interrupted in a flash...
While Mr. Gross and Mr. O'Donnell were in full discussion on fitness, approximately 8 Maris Grove residents barged in through the front doorway of the catering room in formation, another 8 or so came in through the back kitchen door, and one more cohort of about 8 stood up from the audience - all wearing bright canary yellow t-shirts that read "Fitness in a Flash."
As Mr. Gross was speaking, the yellow-clad group of residents formed a Fitness in a Flash, flash mob (See YouTube Video: to further raise awareness on the subject of fitness.
Led by Mr. and Mrs. Alvin and Evelyn Jacobs, the Fitness in a Flash group danced and sang the song "Hands Up" (Give Me Your Heart), but changed some of the words to reflect fitness for seniors.
The program, which was performed before a room filled with about 85 residents, helped energize all in attendance and also got many thinking about the importance of fitness, which is a critical part of Maris Grove, and Erickson Living's, core values for its residents.
"The Fitness in a Flash presentation was designed with one thing in mind, to promote overall health, fitness and wellness education," said Maureen Heckler, Maris Grove executive director.  "Our community places a tremendous emphasis on physical fitness for its residents and works to promotes all types of activities to help enrich their lives, whether it be through a light workout in the wellness center, walking throughout our campus or proper eating habits in our healthy restaurants."
Mr. O'Donnell said, "There are so many things that a senior can do to get and keep fit, including proper stretching techniques and easy exercises.  Also, at Maris Grove, residents can take full-advantage of our wellness center, which offers state-of-the-art workout equipment, a full aquatics center, aerobics classes and training---all aimed at increasing blood flow, respiratory capacity and helping with the strengthening of muscles."
John O'Donnell has been a member of the Maris Grove Resident Life Wellness team since the community opened in 2006, and brings a diverse and extensive background to the community with 16 years of experience as part of the National Athletic Trainers Association with his board certification.
Mr. O'Donnell is a certified athletic trainer and holds dual certifications from the National Strength & Conditioning Association as a certified strength & conditioning specialist, and certified personal trainer.  Additionally, John has over a decade of experience working in the senior fitness field.
As a result of Mr. O'Donnell's training and experience, he is a firm believer in the "A Sound Mind in a Sound Body" principle and encourages everyone to participate in an active lifestyle, which includes regular exercise.  At Maris Grove, he assists residents in beginning and maintaining an exercise program and instructs the Chair Yoga, Water Aerobics, Aquacise and Balance & Mobility Training Programs.
Philadelphia Phillies current hitting coach Greg Gross was a critical component of the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies World Championship Team known for his pinch-hitting prowess.
Mr. Gross was with the Phillies for 18 seasons and his 117 pinch hits are a Phillies career record, with the second place pinch hitter spot landing at a distant 53 hits.  Known as a clutch player, Mr. Gross would rope some important hits, and he held a career batting average of 278.  He has been called the greatest pinch hitter in Phillies history.
The Maris Grove Wellness Center is free for residents and is open seven days a week.
Approximately 1,300 people live at Maris Grove, an Erickson Living full-service retirement community that promotes a vibrant lifestyle.  Erickson Living develops and manages 16 full-service retirement communities that provide worry-free living for America's seniors - the country's fastest-growing population segment.  Erickson
Living's refundable entrance deposit and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into every community, lead to demonstrated resident benefits.  For more information, visit