Aging Well: Aging Well offering computer and ski classes |

Aging Well: Aging Well offering computer and ski classes

Tamera Manzanares

Melissa George helps students in the senior computer basics class at CNCC in Craig. The college is offering a similar class for older adults in Hayden during Wellness Days at The Haven Community Center.

— The New Year has brought new learning and fitness opportunities from Aging Well.

In Hayden, Aging Well is partnering with Colorado Northwestern Community College to offer a beginning computer class for older adults at The Haven Community Center.

The class is an exciting addition to the gentle exercise, health and social activities offered during Wellness Days, held every Wednesday at the community center.

In Steamboat Springs, Aging Well, a program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, will highlight the fitness and social benefits of classic cross-country skiing for older adults during a class offered at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center.

The class will be an opportunity for individuals with some classic ski experience to work on their technique and enjoy the company of other participants.

Computer basics

Typing letters or memoirs, e-mailing distant family members, catching up on news or doing research online — these are just a few of the many ways computers can be helpful to older adults.

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With little or no computer experience, however, the prospect of learning the ins and outs of these tasks can be overwhelming and intimidating.

Providing older adults a comfortable learning environment among their peers is the concept behind the upcoming computer basics class at The Haven Community Center.

Correctly powering up and down a computer, understanding keyboard functions and saving information on a CD are examples of beginning tasks participants will learn, instructor Karen Gilroy said.

What the students learn beyond that largely is up to them. Gilroy will encourage them to bring up any concerns and questions during the class.

"There is no set course — we can be very flexible," she said. "I'm happy to do whatever the class wants."

Gilroy will talk more about the class and answer questions at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday during Wellness Days at The Haven Community Center. Her presentation will follow lunch.

Ski fitness

Cross-country ski instructor Marti Irish hopes participants in Aging Well's classic ski class stay for lunch.

The class, aimed at older adults with some Classic ski experience, likely will be as much of a social outing as a fitness opportunity.

After all, what better motivation is there to get outside in the cold than to plan an outing with friends?

The class at the ski touring center will take place just before lunch. Afterwards, participants can enjoy a well-earned meal together at the Picnic Basket, the center's small café.

Cross-country skiing can be a good winter option for older adults because it is easy to learn, low impact and a great workout.

Because cross-country skiing requires simultaneous work from the upper and lower body, it is considered one of the best all around aerobic exercises. A slow but steady pace can provide a good workout while challenging a skier's balance. A person looking to build endurance can pick up the pace.

Irish plans to help participants work on their technique, including timing, weight transfer, and glide so they are more efficient and enjoy more benefits of the sport.

Equipment, waxing, warm up and preparing for the winter season are among other topics that will be discussed.

Irish led a Nordic walking class in the summer. She expects the Classic ski class will be similar in that participants will develop camaraderie and enjoy the activity together outside the class.

"I'm looking forward to encouraging them to make it a social event," Irish said.

— Tamera Manzanares writes for the Aging Well program and can be reached at Aging Well, a division of Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, is a community-based program of healthy aging for adults 50 and older. For more information, visit or call 871-7606.

Computer basics

Colorado Northwestern Community College is offering a beginning computer class for older adults during Wellness Days at The Haven Community Center in Hayden. The class is from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 20 through Feb. 24. The cost is $30 for adults 62 and older. Karen Gilroy is the instructor. For more information or to register, call Lindsay Giessinger at 276-7291.

Gilroy and Giessinger will discuss the upcoming class Wednesday at Wellness Days. Lunch is at noon and the presentation will follow at about 12:30 p.m. Lunch costs $3. For more information, call 871-7676.

Adult ski fitness

The VNA’s Aging Well program is offering a cross-country ski class from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, Jan. 18 through Feb. 22, at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center. The class is for individuals who know how to cross-country (classic) ski on easy terrain. Marti Irish is the instructor. The cost is $45 (includes trail pass). For more information or to register, call 871-7676.

For information about equipment rentals, visit or call 879-8180.

Calendar Journals

Aging Well Calendar Journals now are available at Off the Beaten Path and Epilogue bookstores in Steamboat Springs, and at Hayden Artisans’ Marketplace and Yampa Valley Feed in Hayden. The journals, featuring photos of active older adults in our communities, are available with a $15 donation to the Visiting Nurse Association. For more information call 871-7676.