Posted on January 23rd, 2015 by Beth Finke
I am pleased to introduce today’s guest blogger, Laura O’Reilly, the Assistant Vice President of Health and Wellness at Easter Seals New Jersey.
Make safe and effective exercise a year-round resolution
by Laura O’Reilly, R.N.
As we resolve to make 2015 the year we finally stick to an exercise program, remember that the key to getting fit is staying with your exercise program all year round. Regardless of age and ability, regular exercise helps to improve health, prevent weight gain and increase strength and endurance. Once you get going, it feels so good. You just have to get started.
Participants of Easter Seals New Jersey’s Adult Day and Residential programs attend regular structured exercise classes with our staff of health and fitness professionals. They enjoy the class routine, which has become a part of their lifestyle, and they participate in physical fitness assessments to monitor their progress. Finita (pictured) is one of our participants –- she attends classes twice a week and says exercising makes her feel confident.
Watch Finita on our video below. You’ll also see how the program works, and how life-changing an inclusive wellness program can be. Inclusive in all ways: you can voice which exercises you like best. Find what you like and you’re more apt to stick with it. That’s why our exercise program was created by our team together with our program participants. They told us what they liked, how they felt, and we developed the program based on their needs.
As members of the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD) Inclusive Health Coalition, we have had the opportunity to share Be Well & Thrive exercise classes in New Jersey in Essex and Passaic Counties. We continue to expand our program outreach so that safe, inclusive exercise programs are accessible to many individuals in their communities. I encourage you, no matter your ability, to visit the NCHPAD website to learn about inclusive physical activity opportunities and to reach out to your local Easter Seals affiliate to ask about ways they can help you reach your fitness goals.
All instructors who teach the Be Well! & Thrive Exercise program have been trained and assessed by our team before being awarded a certificate to teach classes, and to ensure that our program would improve body mechanics to perform activities of daily living with greater independence (and address safety concerns related to exercise) our team of personal trainers consulted with occupational and physical therapists, a pharmacologist and a sports trainer. Subsequently, Be Well! & Thrive became the first accredited assessment based inclusive exercise instructor training program with The Institute for Credentialing Excellence in the U.S.
Our program participants proudly presented their class sequence last year at the New Jersey Commission on Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities annual conference. The demonstration was followed by a question and answer session and our proud presenters were not shy about sharing their enthusiasm for the program. They continue to take classes, and they look forward to the routine and camaraderie.
When selecting an exercise program in your community be sure that the instructors are qualified to teach people of all abilities, and check with your healthcare provider before starting any physical fitness routine. Safety first!