Ph: 401.466.2974 | Fax: 401-466-5476

Health and Wellness Programs

On-island programs and classes

Block Island Health, Wellness and Fitness Classes


Move 360
Instructor: Cindy Kelly

Location: Island Fitness Schedule varies, visit for more information.

Cindy Kelly, Nia Instructor

Cindy Kelly offers an alternative way to enhance health and fitness with “Move 360”, a movement practice that will condition your whole body, burn calories, improve balance and relieve stress. Combining movement forms derived from many other practices such as dance, martial arts, pilates and yoga, eclectic music drives the 55 minute class through the phases of warm up, energetic movement, cool down and stretching. “Move 360” promotes full range of motion in all the major joints and emphasizes conscious movement at any level. Cindy encourages each participant to sustain a level of intensity that will be challenging but pleasurable. Step, kick, get down, get up and dance your way to holistic health…and have fun doing it!

Cindy immersed herself in expert aerobic dance classes throughout the 1980’s in Boston and New York City when the practice was first expanding and evolving. With the knowledge she obtained from her varied experiences, she began designing and leading her own aerobic classes when she moved to Block Island full time in 1989. In 2010 she became certified in Nia, a neuromuscular movement practice ( and advanced to the Blue Belt level.

Cindy is continuing her education and is currently studying for the American Council on Exercise NCCA certification as a Group Fitness Instructor.

Seated Strengthening Exercise Classes

Instructor: Robin Lewis

Location: Community Center
Every Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Endorsed by the Senior Advisory Committee Gloria Redlich Senior Coordinator
Phone: 1-401-486-9278

Robin Lewis is an American Arthritis Foundation certified exercise class instructor. Thirty minute seated exercise classes are held at the Community Center at 10:30 am on Tuesdays and Fridays for all levels of fitness. While most of the class is performed while seated, there are some standing exercises (which can be modified for those who choose to remain seated). If you are rehabilitating after a surgery or illness, newly embarking on a fitness program, or just enjoy a gentle form of exercise, this class could be for you. We work on core strength, range of motion, balance, low level aerobic intervals and strengthening using weights, stretchy bands and yoga blocks.


Tai Chi Classes

Instructor: Tom Hobin

Location: Community Center
Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.

Endorsed by the Senior Advisory Committee Gloria Redlich Senior Coordinator
Phone: 1-401-486-9278

Tom Hobin, Physical Therapist and Tai Chi Instructor

Tai Chi consists of slow gentle movements and breathing and movement meditation. Tai Chi is known to be beneficial to one’s health: improving balance, decreasing risk and fear of falling, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep patterns, alleviating depression, supporting the immune system and beneficial for conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Cost of classes on a sliding scale from $5 to $15 Attendance at first session is free of charge!



Caregiver Support Group

Facilitator: Kerri Gaffett
Phone: 1-401-714-2716

Endorsed by the Senior Advisory Committee Gloria Redlich Senior Coordinator
Phone: 1-401-486-9278

Location: Block Island community Center
Every other Tuesday 4-5 pm

Kerri Gaffett leads a Caregiver Support Group on Block Island for those who care for their loved ones. It is important for caregivers to have a place to express themselves and their concerns and experiences in a safe, understanding environment. Within this group, you can expect to receive emotional support, practical assistance with the problems you face and the latest information about caregiver support. All group sessions are confidential and free of charge.

Women’s Recovery Group

Facilitator: Kerri Gaffett
Phone: 1-401-714-2716

Location: Block Island Community Center
Every other Tuesday at 4pm

The Women’s recovery group is for women of all ages wishing to connect and form relationships in a non-judgmental environment. Whether you are new to recovery or have been sober for decades , please come join us on alternating Tuesday at 4:00pm at the BI Community Center.

Gentle Barre

Instructor: Robin Vila
Phone: 1-401-465-7986

Location: Elevation Studios Downtown
Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.

A 30 minute class focusing on balance, strength, and lengthening, using ballet barres for support. This class is no impact, and helpful in combating osteoporosis and arthritis. Attendees should be able to comfortably stand for half an hour to participate. By donation.

Tabata Training

Instructor: Robin Vila
Phone: 1-401-465-7986

Location: Elevation Studios Downtown
Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 7:15 am

The Tabata class is high intensity interval training. It consists of seven 4 minute segments, broken down into intervals of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. There is a 5 minute warm up, then seven different exercises (push-ups, planks, burpees, squats, etc) done in 20 second intervals, with an 8 minute cool down/stretch at the end, so about 45 minutes total. It can be modified to meet most anyone’s needs, but is best suited to those with a moderate level of fitness. The class stresses working together to keep everyone on track. It is a fantastic way to step up a level and build cardio fitness.

Chair Aerobics

Instructor: Robin Vila
Phone: 1-401-465-7986

Location: Old Harbor Church
Tuesday and Friday 10:30 am

Robin Vila, Health and Wellness Instructor

The chair aerobics class is a vigorous and uptempo activity that includes some mild interval work. The focus is on range of motion and joint mobility and core strengthening. There are usually between 3 and 8 participants, and it is 30 minutes long. It works well for a person of any age who sits for long periods of time and wants a program to do mid-day. It is ideal for older people who would like to increase their fitness and well-being. Robin likes to think of the chair as an exercise apparatus, not just a place to sit.

Robin Vila: Robin is 57 years old and has been living on Block Island for 39 years. She has two adult children who were raised here, 4 dogs and a horse, and she has been teaching a variety of fitness classes on Island since 1981. She is certified by the Arthritis Foundation as a Chair Exercise Instructor, and is certified by the International Fitness Association as an Aerobics Instructor.

Restorative Yoga

Instructor: Michael Chapman

Location: Elevation Studios Downtown
Time varies, check for listings.

Michael Chapman, Yoga Teacher

Restorative yoga is a gentle approach that can be used to create space in areas that are compressed, relieve tight muscles, build stronger bones and help induce the relaxation response when restorative postures are incorporated. Gentle resistance poses will gently and safely lengthen muscles while creating mild compression on bones. Classes are designed to move slowly so you can feel what’s happening on the inside. There is a strong focus on breath to sooth the mind and many aspects of the sequences are done dynamically in an effort to bring more blood flow to the muscles. The intention is to create healthy movement patterns so circulation can flow and improve joint mobility.


Island Fitness

Founder: Eileen Birk

Location: Block Island Maritime Institute

Island fitness provides a wide variety of fitness classes designed to help each participant reach their individual fitness goals. Spin classes provide cardiovascular and strength building opportunities, while Barre will target total body strengthening and stability exercises with no prior dance experience needed. The Yoga and Strength & Stretch classes are best for individuals looking to tone and build muscle with a heavy focus on stability and flexibility, which are critical for all age groups. All of Island Fitness’ classes welcome any fitness level; whether a person is looking to rehabilitate an injury, or to start or continue a fitness routine, there is a class to meet those goals.

About Eileen: Having once weighed 240 pounds herself, Eileen Birk found her passion for fitness after suffering strokes and seizures. She resigned from corporate America and moved to Block Island with her husband, two sons, and spirited puppies. Her weight loss success story has also been featured in Shape Magazine. She writes a monthly column in the Block Island Times providing fitness tips and ideas that can be done at home.  She has her Group Fitness Instructor (the highest level of group fitness designations) and Personal Fitness Trainer certifications through AFAA / NASM.  She received specialized training as a Spin instructor through Mad Dogg, which owns the Spin brand, and her barre training through Barre Above.  These certifications require yearly continuing education to ensure the most up-to-date form, technique and science is practiced.  She is currently working on her nutritionist certification too!  As are all of Island Fitness’ instructors, Eileen is CPR / AED certified.  

BIHS Event Calendar

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Wed 15
Thu 16
Thu 16

Tai Chi

August 16 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Fri 17