Despite being surrounded by homemade cookies and gingerbread houses, this exercise class stayed focused on the crunches and moves. But there was also a unique sprinkling of green in the class. After all, it is the holiday season.
"Holiday Greenings" was the theme at last Thursday night's exercise class for Baby Boomers at the Senior Center on Whittier Court. And, when your instructor is a serious go-greener advocate, you get to have some fun with that idea. At least this class did.
Instructor Denise Boucher is a co-chairman of the EAC (Environmental Action Committee), sponsored by Andover/North Andover's League of Women Voters. As she bellowed "march it out," participants passed a variety of green — or recycled — gifts to each other. Regifting was cool right down to the wrappings. Green tissue paper, a green dish towel and used green bows were spotted.
"It's a special green gift-swap ... but we added some fun by passing the presents," said Karen Payne-Taylor, who heads the BoomerVenture program at the Senior Center. "We just thought with all the holly, wreaths and Christmas trees popping up at homes and stores right now, this certainly was the season to think green."
The green theme was a hit as it added some laughs to the class.
"What is this?" laughed Diane Tisberg of Andover as she passed a container of Planet laundry detergent adorned with a used green bow.
She handed off the detergent to Payne-Taylor who giggled as she did some bicep exercises with the container. She had already handed off a recycled gift wrapped in a green dish towel.
Chris Jean, who works in the front office at Bancroft School in Andover, was the recipient, and she was like everyone — just adding the green to her aerobic routine.
"This class is fantastic," Tisberg said. "Adding greenery is something new for this class, but it's fun. We always have a good time here."
At the end of class, there was a gift swap — called "YES" for Yankee Environmental Swap. The green gifts were opened.
Payne-Taylor said green boomers are plentiful in town. They care about the environment. When Boucher suggested a green theme for class, Payne-Taylor said she was on board quickly.
"The best present we can give our children is a cleaner, greener planet. One of the easiest ways to do this is to recycle and reuse," she said.