“In January 2020, the Board of Directors of the AVA: America’s Walking Club, declared the first seven days of April to be “National Walking Week” which would include the traditional “National Walking Day” sponsored by the American Heart Association from 2007 to 2019.”
At The Boulevard Senior Living in Wentzville, MO, we strive to make sure that our residents stay active and healthy to ensure they enjoy their golden years in the best ways possible! Each of our residents has unique interests when it comes to fitness – some enjoy walking outdoors at local parks while others get their workout in at our cardio drumming classes. With that in mind, we adapt our fitness programs according to the tastes of our residents, utilizing both in-house fitness classes and our vendor partnerships to provide a variety of choices for our residents to stay active. Due to our unique resident group, the classes we provide may vary from those of our sister communities so that we are all meeting the needs of our individual residents.
As a Resident Services Director, there are multiple things I do to motivate my residents to stay active. In our Independent Living community, I publish motivational sayings, along with the weekly announcements for our walking club and daily exercise, in our Weekly News newsletter. In our Assisted Living neighborhood, daily reminders and recruitment for the daily exercise classes. We also implement fun and engaging forms of exercise such as balloon volleyball, ball toss, etc.
The Boulevard Wentzville offers various types of unique fitness events. We just implemented Boulevard Steppers Walking Club this month. Residents walk to YouTube walking videos such as walking in National Parks and Forests while walking in place or around the room. My goal is to implement a “spin” class using the same concept while utilizing stationary bike pedals.
When we think of celebrating National Walking Week, we don’t just see a way to stay active. We see an opportunity to interact with those in our communities and meet new friends along the way. In celebration of this week, walkers are encouraged to find the motivation to get active.
In Celebration of National Walking Week, I plan on taking residents to the local walking trail, encourage residents to take their dogs on walks around the community, and have the Walking Club walk through various National Parks and Forests via YouTube. Residents will track their steps throughout the week and the resident with the most steps will win a prize!
To continue a walking effort throughout the year, I will continue to promote our walking club and add various ways to keep track of steps and emphasize the importance and benefits of walking. When the weather permits, I’ll have outdoor destinations for walking such as parks and nature areas. During inclement weather, I’ll plan walking indoors or in enclosed malls. Establish “trails” within the community neighborhoods (AL, IL, MC), with distance noted for each lap of the “trail,” will be utilized. The “trail” distance will be documented on a Walking Club form and turned into Resident Services for acknowledgement and credit.
If you would like to participate in National Walking Week efforts in your area, visit https://ava.org/national-walking-week/ to find out more!