March 10, 2021 —Goddess squats, video exercise programs, walking in the snow, swimming laps, stretching for yoga, lifting weights, beginning Vitalize 360 — these were among the opportunities offered through our Fitness Center and staff in 2020. The year began with plans to involve more residents in fitness programs, including nature hikes and walks to the Wednesday Farmers Market in town. The year ended with hopes everyone would be vaccinated against SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) and last year’s plans would be implemented a year late.
The Fitness Center is a hub of activity for our community. Even with the closure caused by COVID-19, Victoria and Kristen taught 649 classes for residents during the year. They held 122 face-to-face fitness appointments and offered coaching to 16 new participants in Vitalize 360. In January, the Resident and Staff Wellness Fair had 18 vendors with more than 110 residents and staff attended.
During the closure of the Fitness Center in late March, April, May, and June, Kristen and Victoria filmed eight exercise videos, delivered exercise equipment to residents’ homes, and engaged residents with games, exercise challenges, and signs for fitness walks. Always looking ahead, Victoria and Kristen developed re-opening policies for when residents could use the pool and weight room, and attend classes.
Across the twelve months of 2020, there was an average of 37 residents in the pool each month and 71 residents working in the weight room. Both averages were an increase in usage of 33 to 75 percent from 2019, perhaps because exercising was a way to protect our mental health as well as our physical well-being. Going to the Fitness Center was also a way to socialize (with masks, physical distanceing, and hand sanitizing) with a few of our workout buddies we would not otherwise see.
Kristen and Victoria made it all work by engaging and involving residents in the changes required by the pandemic and the governor. They created opportunities for our thoughtful participation, mental stimulation, and physical activity. There was a lot going on behind the scenes (or in the glass-walled office) that we didn’t see, but that always was to our benefit. Let’s hear a big shout-out to Victoria and Kristen for a “Job Well Done”!
— Written by resident Anita James ▪️ Originally published in the March 2021 CONNECTIONS Resident Newsletter. (Original title altered)