Vivian's Story: Exercising for Better Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing one in four deaths each year.
That's why each February, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) marks American Heart Month to raise awareness about heart health and the steps one can take to reduce their chance in developing heart disease. This is also why our Serving Seniors team remains determined to deliver services in as close a capacity to "normal" as possible - day in and day out.
When the Serving Seniors facilities closed last year, our Activities & Volunteer staff jumped at the opportunity to implement new systems, build better infrastructure, and plan a robust response to combat social isolation. Today, these systems are in place and we continue to establish new partnerships with local organizations and expand our programming capacity.
Popular enrichment activities such as our Weekly Walking Groups and Feeling Fit classes have resumed at multiple sites, allowing seniors to stay active, and join their community in weekly exercise. Even with the recent omicron surge, these activities continue to take place at a limited capacity.
Vivian, a regular at our Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, participates in both the Feeling Fit classes and Walking Group twice a week to reduce her stress and maintain her fitness.
"I really enjoy participating in the Walking Group and classes every week," Vivian said. "It has helped me make friends and feel fit during the COVID-19 pandemic."
In 2021 alone, Serving Seniors hosted 441 enrichment activities with an average of 708 senior participants per month. Even though COVID-19 continues to bring new challenges and obstacles, our team is committed to ensuring all seniors can live happy and fulfilling lives.
According to the NHLBI, getting at least 2.5 hours of physical activity each week, just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, can improve your overall heart health.
If your lacking motivation to get started, invite a colleague, friend or family member to keep you on track! Studies show people with friends or family who support their efforts to be physically active are more likely to be successful.
To learn more and take action this month, visit: nhlbi.nih.gov/heartmonth