Often referred to as the hidden gem of Portsmouth public television, Alexis Mason’s "Priority One" chair exercise program has aired hundreds of episodes over the past decade. The 30-minute broadcast is available on PPMtv, channel 98, Monday through Friday at 8 a.m.

Mason came to a career crossroads about 10 years ago, after a reorganization at the Portsmouth YMCA, where she served as fitness director.

“When one door closes, you punch a hole in the wall and see yourself out!” she said.

Since that time, she has expanded her base with personal clients, and she decided it was time to bring her television program out from behind the cameras.

In April, Mason will launch PortsFIT, an indoor fitness course that target clients with limited mobility.

“I asked myself, ‘How can I do more?’ I want to make fitness inclusive. PortsFIT is for anyone, of any age, who wants to exercise at their own pace. I’ve worked with clients who use wheelchairs, have partial paralysis, or are recovering from strokes. Some people just have aches and pains, and these classes are perfect for them, too,” she said.

Mason is offering a free class at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 1.

PortsFIT classes will be held at the Fox Run Dance Hall and Studio located in the Mall at Fox Run in Newington, New Hampshire. Online registration is required. PortsFIT’s first regular session goes from April 8 through June 10.

“Fitness industry goals are impractical and unrealistic for many people. We don’t have to go 90 miles per hour, seven days a week! PortsFIT allows someone to walk in and do what they can, on that particular day," Mason said. "We’re not Olympians. Some days a person has lots of energy, and on another day, maybe they come in to socialize, laugh, move around a bit, do whatever they can do! And that’s OK.”

Mason described PortsFIT as an opportunity for participants to walk out feeling energized after using their bodies in a way that works for them. She also guarantees great retro tunes that will make everyone want to move, including music from Motown, the '60s and '70s, and even some Rod Stewart thrown in just for fun.

“Age isn’t a dictator. I have an 87-year-old client who uses 5 lb. hand weights and can do 16 lunges in a row. My mission is to let people know they can use the body they woke up with that day. Just keep moving,” she said.

For more information about PortsFIT or to register for the free class, visit their website here.

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