MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Oregon (STPNS) -- WALTERVILLE: Many people make New Year’s Resolutions pledging to lose weight, get in shape, exercise more, etc. Several local residents have put those ideas into practice for the past few months at Aunt Ding’s Restaurant in Walterville. Exercise groups have been meeting twice a week in the “Supper Club” area of the facility. They say there’s room for more and, “You’re welcome and encouraged to join us.”

Certified Personal Trainers Nick Hammond and Eric McCormack lead the classes every Tuesday and Thursday. Nick starts training at 9 a.m. and Eric’s group meets at noon. Classes are drop-in, casual with comfortable dress, and fees are by voluntary donation. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

Aunt Ding’s owner, Gena LaMere, became acquainted with Nick and Mike when she decided to improve her own health. She says she’s experienced changes and improvements in her own life that she wanted to share with the local community - donating the use of her facility.

Classes typically last 30 to 45 minutes. Stretches and exercises are designed to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and range of motion. There are no age or health restrictions. as many participants fall into the category of “senior citizens,” but younger and older people are welcome. Participants are encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities, and exercises can be modified to accommodate folks with restricted mobility or other special considerations.

In addition to the group exercises, both Nick and Eric work with local gyms, teaching one-on-one or in small groups, and assist people in maximizing health choices, including nutrition and diet counseling.

The participants range in age from 72 to 85.

“In addition to meeting twice weekly with the noon group, I also work with Eric at a local gym.,” notes Anne Bacon. “My initial goals were to improve balance and strength, but I am especially thrilled with my increased flexibility.”

Other enthusiasts include Kris Dodds, who said, “I find my posture has improved and I stand much straighter now.”

For Bob Dodds, the activities have translated to his golf game. “I have increased range of motion in my elbows and shoulders and my improved posture is a big item.,” Dodds said. “I’m 85 and I recently hit a 270 yard drive on the golf course—the best I’ve done in years.”

To attend sessions, just drop in, or for more information call Eric at (541) 510-5893 or Nick at (541) 606-3010.