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Simi Valley Seniors Use Boxing To Stay Fit, Focused And Happy

SIMI VALLEY ( — A group of seniors in Simi Valley are putting on the boxing gloves to stay fit and focused.

The program is called "Sit And Box" and it allows seniors -- many older than 90 -- to get a workout in, stay limber and sharp. They're not just punching a bag -- organizers of the class say the seniors are also fighting off old age, depression and inactivity.

CBS2/KCAL9's Amy Johnson attended the weekly workout and watched the group punch, jab, spar and punch some more.

Located at Vintage Simi Valley -- an assisted living facility -- the class is becoming more popular with more and more of the resident's every week.

Said 92-year-old Andy Wade, "It's very important. You gotta keep moving. And you have to move all parts of your body."

He takes the class with Belva Wade, his wife of 60 years. She assured Johnson that when she's jabbing the punching bag, she isn't thinking about Andy. "Maybe I've thought about him," she quips, "but I can't hit the bag hard enough."

The class is the brainchild of activities director Flo Trapani and started about 15 months ago. The program has already won an award from CALA (California Assisted Living Association) because it is so innovative and working so well.

John Peters, the executive director of Vintage Simi Valley, wasn't sure at first. "I had this vision of black eyes, and people having to go to the hospital and how do I explain that to the state, to the families?"

But Johnson reports the classes have gone off without a hitch. It started with five residents and has grown to 20.

Said another participant, "I think anything that gets us out of our rooms to exercise is good for us."

Christian Dorn, 92, said he boxed back in high school. "It's a lot different. We used to stand up, now we sit down."

Boxing is new for one 87-year-old fan of the class."I used to fight the boys when I was little," she said with a laugh, "but never with boxing gloves."

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