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Omaha Magazine

Keeping the Pace

Jul 21, 2014 10:22AM ● By Jillian Humphries
When not chasing after his 6-year-old pup named Lily, retired University of Nebraska-Omaha professor David Corbin is keeping things interesting.

Following his 31 years teaching health education, Corbin has continued to maintain an active lifestyle both mentally and physically. He serves on several boards, including the Health Association of Nebraska, and is involved in Project Extra Mile. He also recently co-authored the textbook, Health for Life, which will be used in high schools.

At the end of a long week breaking a mental sweat, Corbin leads an exercise class for older adults at deFreese Manor. He started the class in 1983 after giving a presentation about exercise and older adults. A participant asked him if he would be interested in leading such a class and he has been there every Friday since.

The class ranges from 80 to 90 in age. His oldest participant lived to be 105, only quitting at 100.  Now, as Corbin approaches the age of his attendees, he has come to appreciate the class even more.

“I benefit from the range of motion and resistance exercises,” says Corbin. “They help me and the participants stay more fit by emphasizing the types of exercises that can help to live independently.” The class includes many exercises that can be done while seated. Many incorporate homemade stretch bands created from old tire inner tubes, scarves for juggling, and rubber balls.

Tai chi and dance are also a part of the mix, and Corbin is no newbie to the dance scene. He met his wife, Josie, at a dance class. She’s the director of The Moving Company, the University of Nebraska-Omaha troupe that is one of the oldest college-based modern dance companies in the country. Corbin joined the company, one that boasts an all-ages, intergenerational roster of talent. At the age of 68, Corbin doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“It’s true what people say,” he says. “Use it or lose it. Learning new things is probably the best thing you can do for healthy aging.”

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