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October 27th, 2021
by Andrew Alonzo | [email protected]
This past Wednesday more than 100,000 seniors participated in the 28th annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day at over 1,000 locations around the nation, according the the event’s website.
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At the California Botanic Garden on Wednesday, AgingNext, along with Charles Schwab, hosted a downscaled fitness day event where over 100 seniors learned about dieting habits and how to maintain a healthy brain, and took part in a variety classes.
“We thought it’d be fun to partner with California Botanic Garden … just have an outdoor event and get active, vibrant seniors involved in having a walk and knowing the importance of exercise and nutrition,” Floy Biggs, AgingNext CEO, said. “We wanted to make sure we were educating people about the opportunities and importance of knowing the resources that are available as you’re aging at home.”
Ten vendor booths were set up in the courtyard near the garden’s gift shop, each focusing on different aspects of health and fitness.
Inter Valley Health Plan offered Medicare information, while a registered dietitian and nutritionist from WesternU Health discussed common nutritional myths and explained what seniors should be looking out for on the back of food labels: spoiler alert, it’s high sodium.
Hendrick’s Pharmacy informed attendees about the availability of COVID-19 booster shots at the pharmacy, and volunteers from the city of Claremont’s senior program chatted with attendees about upcoming opportunities at the Joslyn Center.
A dental hygienist explained which products can save, or harm our teeth. Again, it’s those that are high in sodium.
Other participants included AgingNext, Casa Colina, Wolfe’s Market, and Women Rise Psychological and Wellness Center.
Various exercise sessions were available including tai chi, meditation, yoga, pilates, bone building exercises and mentally stimulating walks around the garden grounds, refreshed by Monday’s storm.
Inter Valley Health Plan volunteer Candice Fagan, left, and Patricia Dibble, right, using their makeshift water-bottle weights to do arm exercises at the California Botanic Garden’s outdoor gallery during Wednesday’s AgingNext’s event that highlighted National Senior Health and Fitness Day. COURIER photo/Andrew Alonzo.
Whether they were panting, heading to the next class, or simply enjoying the garden’s natural beauty, it seemed all of the seniors in attendance enjoyed the heart-pumping day of activities.
“It was really nice! All the hard work to put on the event … all the facets involved, outlining the paths to get to the class and the variety of classes, and the volunteers that put it together, it takes a lot of work and I appreciate all that,” Monica Wickman said.
“The organizations that participated should be applauded [you know] for donating their time and efforts because we benefitted from it,” she added.
The four-hour event concluded at 2 p.m., and while it’s still early to project whether 2022 will allow the community to come together for the next National Senior Health and Fitness Day, fingers are crossed for Biggs and her AgingNext crew.
“We’re hoping to be able to do this continually every year,” Biggs said. “[This year] I think it’s the beginning of us getting back to a little bit of normalcy. And I think the Botanic Garden is the perfect opportunity to spend time with nature and makes us all feel better.”
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