In observance of the 21st annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day, Sentara RMH invites the community to participate in its “In the Loop” weekly walking program.
Senior Health and Fitness Day, observed the last Wednesday in May (this year on May 28th), is an event that promotes the importance of regular physical activity and reminds older Americans to stay healthy and fit.
“In the Loop” is a free community walking group for all adults of any age. It is coordinated by staff from the Sentara RMH Senior Advantage program
. Walkers meet at 9 a.m. every Thursday in parking lot B on the Sentara RMH campus. They register, then walk their own distance at their own pace—wheelchairs are welcome, too--on the one-mile paved loop around the hospital. Each quarter-mile there’s a bench for those who might need a rest.
On the last Thursday of each month, participants gather in the Hahn Medical Offices Building conference room after their walk for refreshments, prizes and fellowship.
“The one-mile paved loop around the hospital provides a safe place for folks to walk, and there’s beautiful scenery to enjoy while they’re doing it,” says Susan Ribelin, coordinator of the Senior Advantage program, which is a part of Sentara RMH Community Health
Sheila Douglas of Harrisonburg joined In the Loop when it launched in August 2012.
Just a month earlier, she’d had right hip replacement surgery performed by Dr. Bill Lennen of RMH Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
“Someone mentioned it would be good if I got into a routine of walking every day,” she recalls. “Then I saw this program advertised. I joined the group and started walking. It helped me to recover from my hip surgery faster.”
Douglas is still walking every Thursday, often accompanied by her late husband’s dog, Bodie. In 2013 she had left hip replacement surgery, again performed by Dr. Lennen, and within weeks had rejoined In the Loop.
The walking program has been a strong catalyst for her recovery, although she also swims and works out at the Sentara RMH Wellness Center
“I think having a group to join makes you get out there and do it,” says Douglas, who will be 74 this July. “The exercise is great. If you can join something like a walking group after your surgery, it can help, believe me!”
Adds Ribelin, “In the Loop inspires folks to come walk together and encourage each other. We have been averaging about 15 walkers each Thursday and have room for many more! The group provides added motivation, whether someone is trying to be more active, to lose weight, to recover from or prepare for surgery, or just to make new friends.”
You don’t have to belong to the Senior Advantage program to join In the Loop, but membership has unique benefits. Senior Advantage is designed to provide those “55 or better” with the tools needed to achieve or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Membership benefits include health screenings, informative programs and seminars, social events, special discounts and much more. Lifetime membership is just $10 per individual or $15 per couple.
It’s easy to join In the Loop and/or Senior Advantage. For more information, call 540.433.4231. And join us this Thursday!