Everyone has the potential to enhance the quality of his or her own life.
The Wellness Program at the Orange County Department on Aging helps you “Exercise your Best Life” through tailored and diverse exercise choices.
For the past two years the program has been promoting the “Exercise your Best Life” fitness theme to seniors in our community. The theme incorporates the collaboration of the Orange County Department on Aging and the UNC Gillings School of Public Health Capstone Team, 2012-13 identified activity barriers, motivation findings and recommendations in community surveys.
This theme is designed to increase length and quality of life through regular and sustained physical activity as we age. It also incorporates the Orange County Department on Aging Mission: to provide leadership in planning and operating a system of integrated aging services through state-of-the-art senior centers, serving as focal points for coordinated community and individualized programs designed to educate seniors and their families and maximize health, well-being, community engagement, and independence of older adults at all functional levels.
The most commonly cited barriers for older Americans to exercise include lack of time, motivation, and health status concerns. If you have a chronic condition, regular exercise can help you manage your symptoms and improve your health, and reduce the signs of dementia, anxiety and depression. Findings from surveys, focus groups and interviews conducted with community members in Orange County show that older adults are motivated to exercise through tailored physical activities based on their preferences. Group and non-group exercise classes, health status, time limits, and understanding the tangible benefits of exercise can motivate older adults to become more active.
Exercise is not just for getting healthy; it can also be used for staying healthy. This is why our program also includes evidence-based, balance classes and walking programs for injury prevention, improving and/or maintaining fitness. Nancy Alton, the on-site personal trainer says, “I have seen several seniors’ improve in health and wellness after taking the balance class and being involved in the wellness program.”
Some older adults think that aging means you have to lose your ability to participate in daily activities that promote wellness. Participants at the Seymour Center Wellness program located in Chapel Hill and the Central Orange Senior Center in Hillsborough, have participants as “young” as 95 years old. They take exercise classes, and utilize our state-of-the-art exercise equipment, as well as work out with our on-site Personal Trainer.
The exercise activity you choose to achieve your best life depends upon your age, gender, health status and preference. Although each person’s physical status and wellness goals may be different, the mission of our Wellness Program is the same for everyone- to enhance the physical and mental health and social well-being of older adults in Orange County so they can live as independently and productively as possible.
Come visit us at the Seymour Center located at 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill or the Central Orange Senior Center at 103 Meadowland Drive in Hillsborough. We are here to help you … Exercise your Best Life.
Latonya Brown is the wellness coordinator for the Orange County Department on Aging. She provides health and wellness opportunities and resources through daily programming and special events at both senior centers.