“In January 2020, the Board of Directors of the AVA: America’s Walking Club, declared the first seven days of April to be “National Walking Week” which would include the traditional “National Walking Day” sponsored by the American Heart Association from 2007 to 2019.”
At VITALIA Senior Residences® at Westlake in Westlake, OH, we strive to make sure that our residents stay active and healthy to ensure they enjoy their golden years in the best ways possible! Each of our residents has unique interests when it comes to fitness – some enjoy walking outdoors at local parks while others get their workout in at our cardio drumming classes. With that in mind, we adapt our fitness programs according to the tastes of our residents, utilizing both in-house fitness classes and our vendor partnerships to provide a variety of choices for our residents to stay active. Due to our unique resident group, the classes we provide may vary from those of our sister communities so that we are all meeting the needs of our individual residents.
As the Resident Services Director, I motivate my residents to stay active by offering a wide variety of exercise programs. Sometimes we have a guest instructor come in for a new look and new take on the programming. I personally run a stretching program, and we utilize the virtual calendar a couple days a week to vary the exercise activities. We also use YouTube, Chair Zumba, Yoga, and stretching videos. I always participate in the programs because I enjoy staying active with my residents and leading by example.
A unique fitness event that our community offers is exercise with noodles. In this class we use pool noodles as weights. Resistance bands are also utilized for this low-impact activity. This class really appeals to residents that may have limited mobility and/or limited strength.
When we think of celebrating National Walking Week, we don’t just see a way to stay active. We see an opportunity to interact with those in our communities and meet new friends along the way. In celebration of this week, walkers are encouraged to find the motivation to get active.
Here at Vitalia Westlake, we are celebrating National Walking Week by getting outside to go for as many walks as we can. We’re going to track our steps with pedometers and cell phone apps, and different prizes will be awarded to residents who reach certain step count milestones.
A resident-run walking club meets three or four days a week at 4pm in our lobby. They walk outdoors in the courtyard during nice weather and inside the building when Mother Nature spoils the day. Our residents appreciate staying active while also being in a space that makes them comfortable. We plan to offer a mix of fitness options throughout the year so they never get bored. I have a passion for wellness myself, and I love to relay that to my residents by offering lots of opportunities for us to keep moving.
If you would like to participate in National Walking Week efforts in your area, visit https://ava.org/national-walking-week/ to find out more!