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Taking Steps towards a Healthier JC

Jersey City is home to a vibrant and active senior community, where hundreds participate regularly in free, City-sponsored classes including yoga, zumba, aerobics, tai chi, swimming, salsa dancing, and spinning. However some seniors who want to stay active are interested in less regimented or intense opportunities for exercise. To make sure we were serving these residents, the City developed a walking program that could be offered both indoors or, weather permitting, outdoors.

Summer weather relegated our walking program to our indoor track that we share with New Jersey City University. Seniors get to walk around the second-floor indoor track, which overlooks the NJCU Athletic Center gym, five days a week from 9:30 – 11:30am. The unstructured nature of the walking program means participants can complete as many laps as they want at their own pace. Jersey City resident Christine Williams said,  “The walks are enjoyable because they are inside. No bugs! No heat! No rain!”

Jersey City’s Senior Affairs Division has also been busing seniors to the mall for shopping trips, which is another great opportunity for unstructured, indoor walking exercise. Seniors also find the mall trips to be a great opportunity to chat with friends and meet new people. Following a recent mall trip, Alma Stanberry said, “it was a great day and walking with friends and moving some of these old bones. I’m looking forward to next week.”

With the arrival of Autumn and cooler weather, plans are in the works to take the seniors on outdoor walks through different Jersey City parks. We will pick them up in our buses and provide each senior with a boxed lunch and a pedometer so they can record their progress. Another way we are all working together for a #HealthierJC.

About the Grantee

Jersey City Department of Health

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 nine divisions, this multi-purpose public health agency provides services is driven by a "Health In All Policies" approach. The Division of Food & Nutrition seeks to reduce hunger and food insecurity and increase the consumption of healthier foods.