featured-healthhealthIssue 17

Aging With Movement

By Alex Cantatore

 

Everyone looks forward to retirement. But what if a life spent behind a desk leaves your body too weak to enjoy it?

 

Enter the Healthy Aging Association, a local non- profit that offers fitness programs, health and nutrition education, and fall prevention strategies.

The Association’s goal is simple: to keep older adults active in their communities, living independently.

“We’re living longer, and we want to do that gracefully,” said Kim Viviano, Director of Health and Wellness with the Healthy Aging Association.

The secret, Viviano says, is to keep moving. The sedentary lifestyle of modern office work and our television-driven leisure time often leave older Americans lacking the strength needed to live their day-to-day lives.Age With Movement (25 of 25)

A whopping one in three seniors has fallen. Though relatively inconsequential to younger Americans, many seniors simply lack the strength to stand back up.

In total, the Modesto Fire Department gets about 10 calls a day, Viviano said. Two or three of those are simply to help a local senior stand up.

One fall often leads to a twisted ankle, or a broken hip. And those injuries soon lead to more falls.

But there’s another way, the way of movement, fitness, and strength championed by the Healthy Aging Association. And to spread the word about senior fitness, the Association holds a 5K — 3.1 mile — walk on May 1, every year.

The Age with Movement Celebration kicks off Older Americans Month, held each May. The event has grown dramatically since its founding nine years ago, but the focus remains the same: being active, being healthy, and having fun.

Seniors take a 5K walk along a shady, riverside path at East La Loma Park. Near the playground, an expo offers tips about healthy living and demonstrations of seniors playing ukuleles, doing Zumba, and performing tai chi.

The Age with Movement Celebration is really about sharing the Healthy Aging Association’s message of fitness with the senior community, Viviano says.

“We have so many success stories,” Viviano said.

Most of those success stories start with the Healthy Aging Association’s flagship program, Young at Heart. The senior fitness classes are offered at 33 locations countywide, 18 in Modesto alone, with each site holding two to three classes a week.

The exercises aren’t hard, Viviano says. But they’re transformative.

Wheelchair-bound seniors work on their strength with rubber exercise tubes. They test their flexibility, and train their balance. Exercises are done sitting or standing, tailored to any fitness level.

“By week six, they’re out of their chairs,” Viviano said.

Much of the workout focuses on the crucial task of sitting and standing. It’s about building a range of motion in the hips, and strength in the core.

Statistically, the class is working. A 2014 study showed that 91 percent of Young at Heart participants have improved strength in their upper and lower bodies. And a whopping 44 percent said they have fewer falls annually because of Young at Heart.
July_August_Final_SeniorIssue_webOur program reduces fall risk,” Viviano said. “We’re building that strength in the lower body.”

Anecdotally, the class is just as powerful. Viviano tells about one man who could barely walk before the classes. At first, he was happy just to be able to move a little bit more. Now, he’s riding his bicycle three-to-five miles every day.

That story isn’t unique. Another participant once told Viviano that “Life is good again” because of the Young at Heart classes.

At the Age with Movement Celebration, there’s no requirement to walk the full 5K. Some seniors walk a half-mile, while others go for the full distance.

But these seniors don’t seem to walk shorter distances as they age. Instead, as their strength grows from fitness classes, Viviano sees the same seniors walking longer and longer distances.

The secret is simple, Viviano said.
“Keep moving,” Viviano said. “Keep moving.”

 

 


 

For more information, visit www.HealthyAgingAssociation.org.

 

 

Class Schedule:

Ceres

Ceres Community Center | 2701 Fourth St.
Mondays & Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Ceres Seventh Day Adventist Church | 1633 N. Central Ave.
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

 

Modesto

Alzheimer’s/ Dementia Support Center | 700 McHenry Ave., Ste. B
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Church of Christ | 901 W. Rumble Rd.
Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Modesto Senior Center | 211 Bodem St.
Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Sutter Gould Health Education & Conference Ctr. | 1700 McHenry Ave. Ste. 60B
Monday’s, Wednesday’s, & Friday’s from 8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Houser Glen Senior Apartments | 1225 Houser Ln.
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Mancini Hall |718 Tuolumne Blvd.
Mondays & Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Ralston Tower | 900 17th St.
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Seventh Day Adventist Church | 1614 ‘H’ St.
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Copper Creek Clubhouse | 4141 Copper Creek Dr.
Monday’s, Wednesday’s, & Friday’s from 8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Marple Manor | 530 Coffee Rd.
Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church | 2105 Lancey Dr. | Father O’Hera Hall
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Big Valley Grace Church | 4040 Tully Rd.
Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Dale Commons | 3900 Dale Rd.
Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Shelter Cove Community Church | 4242 Coffee Rd.
Wednesdays & Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Church of the Brethren | 2301 Woodland Ave.
Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

MICL / MJC West Campus | 2201 W. Blue Gum Ave. | El Capitan Bldg.
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

 

Newman

McConnell Adult Center | 1388 Patchhett’s Dr.
Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

 

Oakdale

Gladys L. Lemmon’s Center | 450 E. ‘A’ St.
Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 

Patterson

Grayson United Community Center | 8900 Laird St.
Mondays & Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Hammons Senior Center | 1033 W. Las Palmas Ave.
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

 

Turlock

Covenant Village of Turlock | 2125 N. Olive Ave. | Berg Hall
Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

 

Waterford

Waterford Community Center | 540 C St.
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

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