Aging:Senior Exercise Program

Department Info

Senior Exercise Program

Office For The Aging





The Dutchess County Senior Exercise Program is sponsored by the Dutchess County Office For The Aging, with partial funding provided by the New York State Office for Aging and the U.S. Administration on Aging.  It is the Tufts University Strong Living Program, an evidence based program for which our coordinator has received training in the curriculum.  The program grew out of published research on bone density in older adults.  It is designed to counter the effects of osteoporosis and lead to improvement in mobility, muscle strength, stamina, balance and independence.


Participants start with one pound weights and gradually increase the weight when they feel they are able.  Classes meet twice a week for one hour at the locations listed.  



Background Information

The Dutchess County Senior Exercise Program, as the name suggests, offers workout sessions for senior citizens in an effort to regain balance as well as bone density. The concept came from studies done in the late 1980's involving a volunteer group of both women and men, 86 to 96 years of age. This resulted in an increase of general strength as well as emotional comfort. Most importantly, members of today's program have experienced less falling then before, and so are able to go about their lives without worrying all the time. In addition to this, general activity can improve as it becomes easier to move.

Also, through strength training, even seniors can shape their body and lose unwanted inches. Classes are conducted in a circle of about 15 to 20 people, using a chair for support and free weights. These weights can be used for both legs and arms. Programs have been set up in different communities in Dutchess County and are accessible to over 800 seniors. In attending these classes, seniors will not only build personal strength, but also learn nutritional and safety information that will help in their daily lives. The Dutchess County Senior Exercise Program is run by the Dutchess County Office For The Aging.


Our exercise program has been in existence since 1997 as a pilot program and it was fully instated with a grant in 1999

  • The primary goal of our exercise program is for seniors to lead healthy and independent lives
  • Our exercise program is in approximately 18 municipalities in the county, with 50 different classes
  • Our program currently has approximately 900 seniors enrolled
  • Exercise programs meet twice a week and are usually an hour long
  • We have had participants as old as 103, and group leaders as old as 93!
  • The maximum number of members in one class is 20
  • All of our leaders are volunteer

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Listen to What other Seniors are Saying…

"This is a very good thing for a person to do-mentally.”

“My knees are better. This is a chance to get out of the house rather than looking at four walls all day! It’s a good program.”

“This program helped me with confidence, balance; getting out and meeting people. The Leaders…are both Excellent, dedicated, full of humor and handle class with tact and sensitivity. [They] are understanding and faithful of carrying out the directions to the letter.”

“I enjoy the camaraderie. It has helped me sleep better.”

“I can lift more weights; I don’t get dizzy as often and haven’t fallen since I started the class.”

“I’ve noticed that I can get up at Mass without holding on the pew in front of me…”

“Great class-benefited with legs-last year was kind of weak –now stronger, feel better.”

“Posture improved, good program-not stressful physically.”

“Class is helpful form a social standpoint. Helpful with health also.”

“I loved them [the exercises]. More people should do them. [I can get] Under cabinets-can get down better easier due to strength exercises.”

“I think if all seniors can do this program, they should do it. I received a benefit.”

“…2 wonderful leaders. Enjoyed the class.”

“I haven’t fallen since I started attending the class.”



Letter From Program Consultant

Dear Exercise Participant:

Thank you for your interest in the Senior Exercise Program, which is sponsored by Dutchess County Office For The Aging with partial funding provided by the New York State Office For The Aging and the U.S. Administration on Aging. This exercise program is a progressive weight training and balance improvement program designed for seniors. Research has demonstrated that participation in this exercise program will lead to improvement in balance, mobility, muscle strength, and independence.

There are now over 50 classes located throughout Dutchess County with almost 1,000 seniors participating in this program. The classes are led by trained volunteers, who are committed to the success of this program.  The classes meet twice a week and each class lasts about one (1) hour.  A list of classes is included in the application, so you can select the class that you prefer. Classes are filled on a first come, first served basis, so you must commit to attend the classes regularly to receive the full benefit of the exercise program. Please try to let the leader know when you will be absent. If you are absent from class for a month or more, a doctor's script is necessary to return to class.

All participants must fill out and sign the Senior Exercise Program Application (.pdf), which includes a Doctor's Consent Form and Demographic Statistical Sheet, and mail all completed forms to Office For The Aging, 27 High Street, Poughkeepsie NY 12601,  or fax to (845) 486-2599 before starting classes. A suggested donation for this program is $25 per year and can be mailed in with your application. Checks should be made out  to DCOFA Senior Exercise Program. We will call you upon receipt of these forms and make every effort to place you in your preferred class.




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Todd N. Tancredi,Director Todd N. Tancredi
Dutchess County Seal