73-year-old San Angelo woman strives to keep healthy living alive

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San Angelo, Texas — At Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo one woman is keeping healthy living alive. Joan Countess is 73 years old and has osteoporosis, but rather than that stopping Joan: that’s what is motivating her to lead a group of senior ladies through line dancing.

“we know we need to exercise, so why not have fun doing it,” Joan Countess Resident at Baptist Retirement Community said.

A group of ten ladies are line dancing for their health at Baptist Retirement Community and out of a handful of classes offered there, 73-year-old Joan countess is the only resident to run her own exercise class, and as she tells it moving is key.

“We need to keep moving as we age, and this is the way to do it,” Countess said.

Line dancing has been a significant part of Joan’s life for over 20 years and now she’s sharing line dancing with others with a 45-minute class that has zero breaks in between. For the dancers it’s more than just a body exercise, it’s also an exercise for the mind.

“we don’t concentrate so much on this remembering of the steps exactly, we just know we need to move, and we remember what we can,” Countess said.

Erin Kelly, Director of Marketing with the Baptist Retirement Community has seen patients go through a lot with their body from operations and such and she tells us classes like Joan’s are crucial.

“It increases blood flow, it helps minimize any injuries they might have, any wear and tear as their body ages,” Erin Kelly the Director of Marketing with the Baptist Retirement Community said. ‘It’ll help’

Countess has osteoporosis and her line dancing class helps her and the other ladies who take part as well.

“Many of our ladies here have arthritis, I personally have osteoporosis, and this is the best exercise I can do for my osteoporosis,” Countess said.

Joan’s class is getting the body moving, but it’s also touching hearts. Erin Kelly loves seeing the residents take control of their lives in such a positive way.

“This is really neat to see and we really encourage our residents, if they have these talents or gifts to really try to bring them to others,” Kelly said.

While the class is still new Joan is enjoying her group of line dancers.

“They’re all good and they’ve been doing this for two months and I think they’re a great group of ladies,” Countess said.

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