The City of St. John's has expanded its exercise programs for senior citizens.

Twice a week at the Kilbride Community Centre, seniors can pay a $3 drop-in fee and go through gentle exercise routines.

Classes began last fall at the Centre, and spaces are now almost maxed out. 

Jason Marshall, a chiropractor and the class instructor, said he keeps classes small to ensure everyone gets the most out of it now, and in the future.

"One of the main focuses I try to take with these classes is balance and fall prevention," said Marshall.

"Because a lot of seniors as they age, they get a little bit more tentative as they walk, balance goes down hill.

Unfortunately if someone were to fall, that's when health issues can really come about …things like hip fractures, or stuff like that, and that's when things can become serious. So if we can prevent that fall, then we can prevent all these things that in the future could take away someone's independence."

Shirley Bishop is a regular participant who finds the classes helpful.  

"I have a touch of arthritis in my hips and my knees," said Bishop. "So, I'm more flexible that way, after I do an exercise class."

Even after a fall, Marshall said seniors shouldn't let exercise go by the wayside. He added the benefits aren't only limited to the physical.

"We even have people here who are in their late 80s," said Marshall. "It is amazing the difference that it makes, just a small amount of exercise can make in someone like that, their confidence, their balance, their mental health as well."

The classes are scheduled through the spring.