Let's get Moving with C.A.L.L.

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. – Donna Marhal wants to get people moving. It is how she helps keep seniors active throughout their entire lives.

Beginning Jan. 31 at Central Arizona College’s Superstition Mountain Campus, the nationally certified group fitness instructor will begin her twice-a-week class Let’s Get Moving.

The class is part of the Central Arizona Lifelong Learners’ Health and Wellness Series currently underway through Pinal County this spring.

The self-paced workouts will run every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-10 a.m. until March 27 in Room 444. There will be no classes during spring break March 18 and 20.

The class will consist of 15 sessions with current C.A.L.L. members required to pay a small one-time $20 instructional fee. Non-members are also invited to join the class and learn more about C.A.L.L. program for $30.

Last year Marhal earned her Group Fitness Certification in Apache Junction through the National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA). She offers the class out of her commitment to giving back to the community.

“The key to so many health issues is exercise - just ask your doctor,” Marhal, who is also a C.A.L.L. member, explained. “This good-for-you class includes a warm-up, some stretching and movements, and some weight-bearing activities. The movements are simple to learn and you will work at a level that is comfortable for you, but will also be challenged and will gradually improve.”

But the class is more than just exercise and fitness, according to Marhal.

“I offer fun in my classes. If a class isn’t enjoyable, no one will come. People are encouraged to be challenged in the class but they are free to work at their own level. They should leave happy and pleasantly fatigued.”

Fatigue isn’t something Marhal has in her vocabulary. She aggressively seeks new ways to help seniors, especially in the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon area.

“I am currently working on two new certifications, one on water exercise and one on exercise and arthritis,” she said. “I am constantly looking at new ways to educate myself on different aspects of exercise and health and ways to share that with the community.”

A native of Milwaukee, Marhal spends her winters in Arizona but returns to the semi-rural suburb of Oak Creek in Wisconsin, a city much like Apache Junction.

“I graduated from Gateway Technical College in 1995 with a degree in horticulture production,” she said. “Growing things has always been a passion of mine so I took it to the next level. Unfortunately most of the plants out here I never learned about in class.”

She turned her attention to the local YMCA in nearby Cudahy, Wis., working for four years in the personal fitness department. It was there Marhal would meet with members, teaching proper use of fitness equipment while also advising on diet, exercise and stretching.

“I presently work for the Oak Creek Parks and Recreation (OCP&R) back in Wisconsin. I have been employed there for more than two years, leading adult fitness classes, an upper body class and a walking group. I also lead an aerobics class for my church.”

Marhal currently leads an adult aerobics class at the Venture Out Mesa RV Resort and plans on working at the Kelly Senior Center in Cudahy and the OCP&R when she returns to Wisconsin in May.

Her involvement with all of the different agencies in Arizona and Wisconsin that cater to seniors is where she draws her energy.

“My work at the YMCA brought out a positive way to use my love for seniors,” Marhal explained. “I saw a need for adults to stay in good physical shape if they want to remain active and independent. I took it to another level by doing fitness classes. My classes offer a good warm-up, aerobics, light and heavy weights, and a pleasant cool-down and stretching atmosphere. It is a nice, well-rounded workout. We start marching and finish on the floor.”

According to Marhal, her use of weights in her program offers a strength benefit, better aerobic workout, and stronger bones and muscle.

“I want my class to have a stronger core that will help prevent falls and poor balance, and I want to allow people to remain active as long as they can.”

Taking her class seems to be the best way to get there.

For more information about the C.A.L.L. program, to register for a class, or to receive a current catalog, please contact Vera Walters (480-677-7707 / vera.walters@centralaz.edu) or Joel Beck (480-677-7721 / joel.beck@centralaz.edu).

C.A.L.L. is an enrichment program for adult learners of any age without regard to previous education. C.A.L.L. provides its members with a variety of informal, low-cost, high-quality classes, study groups and field trips.

With an unwavering commitment to serving the citizens of Pinal County and the East Valley, anyone can join the C.A.L.L. program for just an $89 annual membership fee – an unbelievable bargain that entitles participants one year of unlimited classes from the date of registration.


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