SIDNEY — The Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County is partnering with Wilson Health to start a new program called Live Healthy, Get Active for senior center members and patients from Wilson Health in Sidney.
The exercise program begins in the new year, Jan. 3, 2023, and is a continuing event throughout the year. Participants can also join in at any point throughout 2023. The only requirement to participate in the program is to be age 50 or better and be a member of the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County, if you are not already a member of the center, it is easy to join. Simply call the center at 937-492-5266.
There are two ways for center members to participate. They can participate by accumulating mileage by running, jogging, walking or biking in the fitness room at the senior center or by accumulating hours of activity while participating in various exercise classes offered at the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County. Individuals participating can chose one or both of these methods to accumulate miles and hours towards prizes.
“We’d like to see them do it (exercise) in the Senior Center, but we’re promoting good health, so we aren’t going to say they can’t (exercise outside of the center for the programs). We’re just going to take them on their honor. If they take a walk through Tawawa Park and say they walked two miles, well then they can come in and fill that out. It’s an honor system and geared to just really get people moving, get people active,” said Executive Director of the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County Rachel Hale.
The idea originated with one of the center’s Board of Trustee members, Larry Donahue, who presented a vague idea of a program to help seniors get moving to Hale who ran with the idea and contacted Wilson Health for a partnership. Hale contacted Wilson Health to include their patients over the age of 50 and allow the doctors to refer them to the center.
“With the way the health of everybody is right now, some people are COVID-scared and they don’t want to go out and about so they stay at home, well that’s defeating the purpose of their health. They need to be healthy, they need to be active,” said Hale.
Another way the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County is helping its members stay active and healthy is through their Lunch and Learn luncheons and a partnership with the Area Agency on Aging. The partnership with Area Agency on Aging will bring a six-week Healthy Living Seminar to the center. Attending center Lunch and Learn events will count towards hours of exercise and if members attend all six sessions of the Healthy Living Seminar, starting Jan. 27, the sessions will count towards attendees Live Healthy, Get Active hours.
“She (Rachel Hale) just had this idea for a program and it fit within our mission. Anything we get offered to do down there, it’s a fantastic place, we were on board and excited about it,” said Jenny Huelskamp with Wilson Health.
For their part of the partnership, Wilson Health is providing the prizes for various goals in the Live Healthy, Get Active program. In the mileage program, certificates are given at the 100, 250, 500 and 800 mile-markers. Prizes are also given out when an individual reaches a certain mileage. At 250 miles a participant will win a water bottle, at 500 they will win a t-shirt and at 800 miles their names are entered into a drawing for a free renewal of their Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County membership in 2024.
If participants are counting their hours of exercise, certificates are given out at increments of 50 hours. The same prizes given out for the mileage program are given out at 200 hours, 400 hours and 500 hours.
There will also be an end of the year award that includes a plaque and acknowledgement in the Sidney Daily News and the Senior Center Newsletter in January 2024.
“I’m really, really excited about the program. I jut feel it’s important that our seniors know what’s out there as far as healthy lifestyle choices and different things they can do. Even if they don’t have a lot of mobility, there’s still a lot they can do exercise-wise. We have the chair exercise, the chair yoga; there’s still things they can do, even with different disabilities,” said Hale.