By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN Since a healthy diet and exercise regimen are key components to quality of life at any age, Cokato Charitable Trust (CCT) has added a fitness coordinator to benefit not only its residents, but seniors throughout the community, as well.
Adam Jourdan is a certified advanced personal trainer and health consultant who joined the CCT team in December.
Cokato Charitable Trust owns and operates Cokato Manor, Heritage Place, Edgewood Gables, Brookridge, and Cokato Manor Home Health.
It is also a part of CareVentures Cooperative, a group of 18 senior care facilities in central Minnesota working together to share ideas that benefit seniors in their respective communities.
Through this cooperative, the Fit4Life program was created in an effort to provide a structured fitness program for community members in the Dassel-Cokato area that coincides with CCT’s vision “Meeting the health and wellness needs through life’s transitions.”
With the Fit4Life program, CCT has partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health, Central Minnesota Council on Aging, the Arthritis Foundation, and the Minnesota Board on Aging to offer health and wellness classes for seniors. Jourdan, along with other certified staff, will be instructing these courses.
Since health care dollars nationwide can’t keep up with the aging population, this provides an opportunity to make seniors responsible for their wellness by managing it through physical activity and diet, said CCT Administrator Nancy Stratman.
Classes offered through Fit4Life will focus on strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and healthy eating, for seniors ages 55 and older.
“Any age is the right age to start exercising,” Jourdan said. “It’s important for all of us to keep moving.”
Many people think that, as they get older, they are unable to exercise, which is not the case. “It becomes a different type of exercise,” Jourdan said, explaining exercise changes from impact and intensity to more of a maintaining mentality.
Staying mobile is the key, and exercise keeps bones strong and muscles flexible, Jourdan explained, which ultimately will increase strength and balance, helping to prevent falls.
Exercise and activity also helps with the mind, Jourdan noted.
Working in Heritage Place, CCT’s memory loss unit, Jourdan has the residents doing very simplistic activities such as exercising their fingers or playing catch in a circle. Such activities and exercise have proven to reduce behavioral issues, Jourdan explained.
The fitness program also includes assessments every three months and includes using the BioSway, a machine that measures balance. It also helps to identify weakened muscles that need to be strengthened to prevent falls, Jourdan explained.
Residents of all the CCT facilities can benefit from the fitness programs recently implemented. Classes for residents and community members are performed at the community fitness center located at Cokato Manor.
The facility offers equipment that is specifically designed to be safe and effective for seniors over 55 years of age.
The fitness center is open and available for use by the public for $30 a month ($15 after completing a Fit4Life program). Contact Jourdan for more information on available times.
There will be three Fit4Life classes offered to the community that will focus on three areas: healthy eating, balance, and living with chronic conditions.
The first class, Healthy Eating for Successful Living, will help provide seniors with the knowledge, skills, and support to make better nutrition and exercise choices.
Classes will take place at Edgewood Gables Mondays, March 21 through April 25, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Cost for this class is $8, which will be refunded with perfect attendance.
There are also two additional classes coming up in April Matter of Balance and Living Well with Chronic Conditions.
For more information about any of these upcoming workshops, contact Eric Johnson, housing manager, at (320) 286-2159.