Moffat County adds Wellness Wednesdays

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— Wellness Wednesdays are coming to Moffat County for everyone "50 and Better." Each Wednesday at the American Legion's Shadow Mountain Clubhouse in Craig, activities are planned throughout the day that will focus on learning, exercise, swimming and fun for older adults.

Wellness Wednesday is a new offering of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association's Aging Well Program in partnership with Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC), Colorado State University's Moffat County Cooperative Extension office, the American Legion and the City of Craig.

Beginning Jan. 17, and every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. thereafter, a wide range of classes, activities, and open swim times will be available to anyone older than 50 at the American Legion Clubhouse. Current class offerings include Writing Memoirs, Introduction to Watercolors and Pioneer Crafts. These classes were specifically designed to be offered on Wellness Wednesdays through CNCC. Moffat County residents 62 years and older can take the classes free of charge. "Younger" seniors can enroll in some of the courses at discounted rates.

Cathy Vanatta, Aging Well's Moffat County Senior Outreach Coordinator, is spearheading the community partnership that is making Wellness Wednesdays possible. "As we go through life, the Aging Well program's goal is to help people stay healthy and active and help them continue to grow and stay connected to their community," Vanatta said. "It's Aging Well's mission to enhance quality of life for older adults by promoting healthy lifestyles."

"CNCC is proud to be involved with Aging Well's effort," says Gene Bilodeau, CNCC's Craig campus dean. "Statistics demonstrate that people are living longer today than ever before, and research shows that individuals who maintain an active lifestyle, which includes continuing education, not only live longer, but have a life that is more fulfilling," Bilodeau said.

In addition to the CNCC classes, there will be frequent lectures, workshops and seminars on issues that are of particular interest to older adults. Elisa Shackelton, the CSU Cooperative Extension Agent for Moffat County, is planning monthly lunchtime seminars on nutrition, fitness, home safety and other senior issues. To kick off the first Wellness Wednesday, Shackelton will present "Healthful New Year's Eating Tips" at noon. A healthy lunch will be served.

Fitness is a main focus of the activities scheduled for Wellness Wednesdays. An Arthritis Foundation Exercise class, provided by certified Aging Well fitness instructors, will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The class focuses on exercises that can help reduce symptoms of arthritis and increase strength and flexibility in arthritis sufferers. This class is free to participants. CNCC will offer a T'ai Chi class from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. T'ai Chi teaches balance, exercise and self control. T'ai Chi movements are a good complement to other fitness efforts.

A highlight of Wellness Wednesdays will be the Aging Well senior "open swim" session. From 3:30 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday afternoon, the American Legion's heated indoor swimming pool will be open to seniors, and there will be a life guard on duty.

Studies have shown that maintaining social connections is especially important for adults as they age. Vanatta pointed out that Wellness Wednesday gives people a chance to get out of the house and socialize. "We will have tables set up so people can sit and visit, have a cup of coffee or play cards. It's a great way to visit with friends or even meet new ones."

For more

For registration information on the Aging Well Arthritis class, contact Cathy Vanatta at 871-7676.

For more information on the senior "open swim," contact Mel at the American Legion at 824-3625.

For CNCC class offerings, contact Mindy at 824-1101. The deadline to register for the T'ai Chi class is Jan. 16.

Some transportation to the American Legion building is available.

For more information on transportation and all questions about Wellness Wednesdays, please call the Aging Well Information Line, 871-7676.

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