The legendary Oak Ridge Boys had an early hit song entitled, “Sail Away.”

The Patrick Lynch Public Library will be sailing away — or SAIL-ing away — with a new fitness program beginning this morning.

The Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) is a fitness program for older adults, which can be done either sitting or standing. Those participating in the classes will be performing exercises that improve strength, balance and fitness that are critical for staying active and reducing the risk of falls.

The classes will be from 11 a.m. to noon every Tuesday and Thursday, beginning this morning and end Feb. 17.

“This is through OHAI (Oklahoma Health Aging Initiative) of Oklahoma Human Services,” said Leslie Langley, the regional supervisor of the Southeast Oklahoma Library System — which includes the Patrick Lynch Public Library as well as the libraries in Arkoma, Heavener, Spiro, Talihina and Wister. This is the only one (SAIL program class) in LeFlore County.”

The classes will be conducted by Michael Maxwell.

“Michael Maxwell is coming up from Durant twice a week to do (the classes) here,” Langley said. “It’s a fitness class for seniors (citizens) and older people/adults. It’s free, but he (Maxwell) takes reservations (calling him at (580) 745-4174 or e-mailing him at michael-maxwell@ouhsc.edu), or they can call the (Patrick Lynch Public) Library at (918) 647-4444 so he will know how many people are coming to his classes.”

Each class will include warm-ups, stretching, cardio, balance and strengthening exercises as well as a cool down. Maxwell has had successful SAIL programs elsewhere, and he is bringing them now to Poteau.

“He has hosted this program in Wilburton and McAlester,” Langley said. “This time, he’s doing it in Poteau and Antlers. We do have a yoga class that is happening Tuesdays and Thursdays in the mornings from 10-11 a.m., but these classes will be suspended while these (SAIL) classes take place.”

Langley said she is very pumped for the SAIL program to begin this morning.

“I’m very excited about the SAIL program,” she said. “I’m even qualified to participate in it — and I might just do that. People can decide if they’re old enough (to participate).”

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