Bring it on! Senior walking challenge for the West Shore

Spearheaded by UH St. John Medical Center, seven area senior centers are forming walking teams for the hospital's six-week-long "Bring it On! Senior Walking and Wellness Challenge." Competing senior centers include: Westlake, Bay Village, Lakewood, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, Rocky River and Avon.

This friendly challenge offers great motivation to start that walking program you have been promising to do. If you are already physically active, this is a great way to stay motivated and maybe "up your game," to shed those unwanted, stubborn pounds. If you aren't fit, it is a great way to start moving.

While this is a team challenge, it is also really a personal challenge. All fitness levels are welcome. If, at the end of the program, you have increased your average number of steps per day, then you are a winner.

The walking program begins with baseline health screenings on Thursday, Aug. 2. Personnel from UH SJMC will record your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index and waist circumference at this time.  You will also receive a "goody bag," which includes a pedometer, and schedule of health talks and events that you can attend throughout the six-week challenge for extra "points." Nurse navigators will also be on hand at the screening to provide one-to-one consultation for those who have concerns about their results.

Participants keep track of their steps walked during the six weeks and turn in a final total number at the end of the challenge. Health screenings will be repeated on Sept. 13, followed by results and an awards ceremony on Sept. 14. Bragging rights are given to the senior center with the most steps as well as screening improvements and participation in healthy behaviors. Even more exciting are all the individual prizes for most improved results. It is heartwarming to experience the tears of joy for those who have really impacted their results in a positive direction.

To sign up for TEAM WOW, Walkers of Westlake, or for further inquiries, call 440-899-3544. We will give you more specific instructions at that time. All those age 50 and up are welcome! You do not have to be a Westlake resident to join our team. TEAM WOW members will have the option of "group walks" on Fridays at 9:00 a.m. on the Westlake Recreation Center track.

To sign up for the Bay Village Sole Mates Team, call 440-835-6565 or 440-899-3442, or email Connie Lupica at The Sole Mates will meet at the Dwyer Senior Center at 9:00 a.m. on Fridays to walk by the lake.

I have been part of the team since I became "eligible" a few years ago, and have noticed the benefit of wearing the pedometer and taking those extra steps to meet my personal goal. The only thing you have to lose is the stuff you want to lose!

Lydia Gadd

I am the Director of the Senior and Community Services Department for the City of Westlake. I am also a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.

Read More on Senior Living
Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 9:26 AM, 07.03.2018