Senior citizens benefit
Travel for Fitness program
The first session of the Travel for
Fitness, which was held at three of Garrett County’s senior centers,
ended recently and registration is already under way for a second
session. Elaine Kackley, the fitness director for the Area Agency on
Aging, worked with 48 county seniors in Grantsville, Friendsville and
Oakland to improve health and increase flexibility through a 12-week
program that she developed.
“I was really pleased with the
response from our seniors. They want to improve their health and are
willing to work at it,” she said.
Many of the seniors in the fitness
outreach program have medical conditions, which must be considered in
developing any fitness routines, Kackely explained. “Of the people
participating in the classes, 18 reported having bone and joint and
problems associated with arthritis; five reported having had heart
attacks; 23 are being treated for hypertension; nine have been diagnosed
with diabetes I or II and 24 have high cholesterol,” she said.
Kackely, who has been directing the
Flowery Vale Senior Health and Fitness Center since it opened two years
ago, is versed in designing programs that address the health needs of
older citizens. “We are mindful of the individual’s limits and work
to stretch those limits for each person. Six weeks into the program
participants reported that their range of motion had improved and that
they had less pain in their joints,” she said, adding that 75 percent
of those in each class are doing 20 minutes of aerobic activity, along
with stretching, flexibility and resistance training each session.
Resistance bands, light hand-held
weights, a “balance beam” and a stability ball make up the fitness
equipment used for the outreach program. Kackley loads all this in her
vehicle and drives from center to center each week to deliver this
specialized health management program to county seniors. “We are
really pleased with the response to and success of this program,” said
Ronnie Padmos, of the Area Agency on Aging.
Kackely is currently registering
seniors for the next 12-week session to be held Oakland, Grantsville and
Friendsville. For more information, call the Kackley at (301) 746-8050.