Despite data showing that being physically active can improve overall health and fitness – and reduce the risk for many chronic diseases, including obesity – only about one in five adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines. Inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. According to the U.S. CDC, 31 million adults age 50 or older are inactive.
Across the MaineHealth system, hospitals are changing their environments to create easy and safe spaces for people of all ages to be active.
Making Communities More Walk- and Bike-Friendly
The Oxford County Wellness Collaborative’s “Oxford County Moves” initiative is making it easier for people in Oxford County to stay healthy by walking and riding their bikes. The collaborative has produced useful resources, including bike route maps, and educational materials to reinforce the message that “roads are for everyone.”
Pen Bay Medical Center supports a 1.75 mile wellness trail that winds around the hospital grounds, and is also accessible from an additional parking lot in the community. Information kiosks at each of nine fitness stations promote one or two exercises for stretching and muscle strengthening, none of which requires more equipment than the bench or post provided.
Memorial Hospital has the DeMark Memorial Fitness Trail, a free .75 mile on-campus loop that also includes exercise stations that were developed by the staff at the Memorial Hospital Heart Health & Wellness Center.
The MaineHealth Corporate office in Portland offers a brochure to help employees and visitors find four walking routes between .5 and 1.5 miles around the city.
Offering Physical Activity Classes for All Ages
Waldo County General Hospital and Pen Bay Medical Center offer a variety of physical movement classes through their wellness initiative, Journey to Health. Classes include dance, yoga, hiking and more for all ages.
The MaineHealth Healthy Aging Program provides Master Trainer Training Sessions that prepare organizations to offer A Matter of Balance in their communities. A Matter of Balanceis a program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults.
A Matter of Balance: Sandy's Story
Sandy shares how the Matter of Balance program helped her regain her ability to participate in the activities she enjoys.