“A new year a new you”
The Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services Division of Senior Affairs has many activities for seniors throughout the City. Our two senior centers offer tai chi, aerobics and Zumba classes every week. We also offer Zumba, aerobics and yoga at various locations throughout the city. At New Jersey City University, our seniors enjoy walking on their track, swimming in their pool and spin cycling classes. This spring, we will be having walking tours throughout the city and will be doing walking trips daily with many of our lunch sites.
While many seniors enjoy attending classes, others may not be able to get to classes in the cold weather. We are working with the Eat Smart, Live Strong curriculum in order to encourage seniors to exercise even when they are unable to get to the various locations for organized exercise: a New Year’s Resolution for a “New Year, New You.”
We are distributing pedometers to all our seniors in our programs with a “log,” asking them to keep track of the number of steps they take in their daily activities. We aim for this to encourage seniors to walk further every day. We will also give them new exercises every two weeks to change the pace up. These exercises don’t require any additional purchases of weights, mats, etc. In fact, the instructor told them to use a bottle of water as a 1 pound weight. Other ideas to get motivated include:
• Find an exercise buddy
• When running errands, park your car farther from the store or office
• Dance around the house
• Attend one of the city’s fitness classes
• Step up the pace when you have to walk somewhere
• Play/dance with your grandchildren.
We will then encourage our center directors and instructors to have regular discussions with the seniors to check on their progress.
The seniors at Joseph Connors Center were actually very intrigued by the suggestions of how to remain active even if the weather prevents them from attending any of the city’s fitness classes. The instructor explained how to wear pedometers while cooking or doing housework. April Lisotto, one of our members, says “I feel so much better since I started coming to the classes regularly. I was always used to being on the go so even at home I try to move around a lot. On nice days I will even just walk around the corner.”
About the Grantee
The Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services is a public agency that strives to build a culture of health. Through the department’s divisions, this multi-purpose public health agency provides services needed to promote overall health in the community. The Division of Seniors Affairs promotes active living through social and physical activities such as exercise, Zumba, Yoga, Tai Chi etc.
Cohort: North 4
Funder: New Jersey Department of Health
Cities: Jersey City