It's 8 a.m., and 18 "bone-builders" in Ashland are bouncing through hallways at The Grove, keeping their muscles warm and heart rates high in between exercises.
They belong to a fitness class called "Building Bones Step by Step," an approach that focuses on improving muscle strength and balance while slowing bone loss.
It sounds like heavy-duty stuff, only it doesn't exactly feel like participants are slaving away. They're smiling and laughing. The camaraderie is tangible. They're having a good time.
So what's going on here?
"Fun!" laughs Ashland's Stephanie Stewart. "I come here to feel good."
Now in its eighth year, the class is taught by Ashland fitness veteran Carol Lee Rogers, who based it on research by Oregon State University's Bone Research Lab. She combines aerobics, weight exercises and core training to build strength, balance and independence.
"I was worried about my bones, and I wanted to fit into a bikini," laughs Stewart. "Now I feel strong, healthy and beautiful."