Move for Well-being Update

Written by Gary Eley on April 30, 2013

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Move for Well-being has been active traveling to Senior Centers, Parks and Recreation Centers, Residential Settings for Seniors, and Statewide Conferences for Seniors and Corporate Wellness Programs.  The Move committee of the VSGA consists of Don Kjelleren, Phyllis Bartley, Deborah Worthley, Marti Powers, Freda Nieters, Dot Slack, Tom Raub,  Ute Talley, and Kim Mihan and Gary Eley as Co-Chairs.  We have all been busy the first four months of 2013 putting together the posters, flyers, brochures, displays, and promotional materials for our new initiative.  We have been traveling to Rutland, Castleton, Poultney, Richmond, Williston, Essex Junction, South Burlington, and Burlington to tell people about Move and to discuss Fitness, Fellowship and Fun.  All together we have visited 19 different gatherings this year and we have 7 more meetings scheduled in the months ahead.

One of the most encouraging things we have found in the places we have visited is the wealth of opportunities that are provided in senior gathering places for physical and social activity.  We have found classes in Tai Chi, Yoga, Bone Builders, Dancing, Zumba Gold, Walking Groups, biking, hiking, and other physical activities.  Many centers have an activity period every day so that people can gather daily for some form of physical activity and to share a meal together and socialize afterward.  One center in Poultney, ‘Young at Heart’  has a family style lunch for over 70 people a week four times a week and their physical activity classes are held before this get together.  People from all over Rutland County come to this center on a regular basis. Almost all centers have at least one weekly lunch and daily activities as well.

Our presentation not only tells people about the Move program, our website for tracking exercise activity and promoting a more active lifestyle for seniors, but we engage our audiences in discussions about fitness: BMI weight recommendations, cardio conditioning, strength building, flexibility and diet. We also discuss the importance of friendships and social activity as an aspect of well-being.  We discuss what friendship means, how we meet people in activities of common interest and what it means to truly listen and share our lives with one another.  We stress how physical activity with others offers us the opportunity to build friendships and to benefit our health at the same time.

Our discussions around diet and food invite people to a better understanding of the role that proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables play in maintaining our health and well-being.  We discuss the role that portion sizes play and how to guard against a diet that is too high in animal fats and salt or includes too many sugars or sweeteners in our daily intake of calories.  Our participants are encouraged to look at their current weight and physical condition and to set goals and plans that will improve their overall health and well-being.

Finally, we address the importance of Fun and Happiness in our lives.  We examine how we create happiness for ourselves and what role physical activity and social activity play in creating happiness and a sense of fun in our lives.  Research by Tom Rath in his book: “Vital Friends” has shown that people who have at least three close friends will live 5 years longer and are healthier than people who do not have a network of close friends.  Also he found that people who have a close friend at work tend to stay with a job five times as long as people who do not have a close friend at work.  Most people we find when asked: “What are the most important aspects of your life?” will answer: “Family or friends, and physical and mental health.”  We feel that paying attention to our physical fitness and engaging in physical activity with friends is one of the best ways we can achieve well-being in our daily lives.  Move is dedicated to encouraging this in people over 50.  Amazingly, spreading this word and living this way may be one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and for those we care about the most.

Tell your friends about MOVE and encourage them to join.  You can register for MOVE by going to the register page, or you can call 802-373-3188 for more information and to receive MOVE brochures or log books.

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