Authors: Jaclyn Chiesa, Julia Tindall, Paige Shuman, Jennifer Wiggins, Anthony Turlington, & Jorge Quintero
Faculty Supervisor: Wilma C. Matti, Ph.D., MSN, RN
It is very important for everyone to stay active, even the older population, so we worked with St. Mark's Towers and instructed a "Zumba" class for the residents who live there. Before we started the workout we educated the residents on the importance of exercise and staying active, good nutrition, and socialization. We informed them that having a healthy diet and exercising daily make it easier to perform your daily activities as well as helping with chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. We had people of our group standing and sitting to demonstrate the workouts. Most of the residents sat, but there were a few that wanted to challenge themselves and stood up for part of the exercises. The moves were just very basic, but if done everyday, it would increase their range of motion. If they wanted to make it harder, we offered them small water bottles to hold as weights. We had upbeat music playing in the background and the residents were dancing as they worked out and we also offered refreshments afterwards. We felt that a lot of the older population never get active, so by doing this class, it showed the residents that they could have fun while getting some exercise in. The residents had huge smiles on their faces during the whole workout and told us how much fun they had. They even asked us to come back every week to do the same thing. At the end, we gave them the link to the video we used because they wanted to be able to do the exercises again. We believe that this class positively impacted the community at St. Marks because it really peaked their interest in staying active. They were asking what exercises they should do as well as how long they should workout. Even if we only made a difference in this one facility, it’s a start to getting the geriatric community active. We met our Service-Learning outcomes by identifying the need of getting the geriatric community active and linking this to what we learned in class about the importance of exercise. As far as future plans, we believe that having students come once a week to exercise or just socialize with the residents that it would have a positive impact on them mentally and physically. Our whole grouped thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the residents as well as watching them have some fun.