Fitness a Passion for Longtime MCA-TV Host
Linda Francis has taught healthy living to Moon residents for more than two decades.
Never underestimate the power of exercise, said Linda Francis.
"It's really important for [senior citizens] to keep their balance and to build strong muscles, and it wards off dementia and depression," Francis said.
Francis began her show in 1985 after a member of the Moon Board of Supervisors told Francis that her local workout classes might be a good fit for the then-fledgling MCA-TV.
Francis taught fitness courses at Robert Morris University, and her aerobic workouts were decidedly high-impact. Soon, Francis slowed the pace of her routines to better suit the Moon-area senior citizens watching her show.
"We started the program before senior fitness was really the thing to do," Francis said of the show, which is geared toward those older than 55. "There really wasn't much out there for senior wellness then."
Former Moon communications director Meghan McNamara said Francis's show garners a large viewership and praise from MCA-TV's audience. Viewers gave the show high marks during the public access channel's most recent viewer survey, McNamara said.
Francis instructs her viewers in a way that enables seniors to exercise from the comfort of their living rooms. Her show has become one of the longest-running programs on the station.
"[Francis is] so well-known in the community," McNamara said. "She definitely has a following, and she's very passionate about what she does, which is promoting health and wellness at every age."
"I would say the first thing you can do is to start walking," Francis said of her advice for those just beginning to take on a workout routine. "Build it gradually to 30 minutes a day, and be sure to use handweights."
Francis, who moved in 1966 to Moon Township for an airline job, got her start in fitness while working in the mid-'70s at the Sewickley Valley YMCA .
She keeps fit walking the Montour Trail, playing tennis and biking.
"I feel like it is a passion for me," Francis said. "I feel everybody should be out there doing some kind of exercise. It's not just about being able to dress yourself as a senior citizen anymore. You need to be able to have a full life."