Program to help certify instructors with help from Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and First Presbyterian Mission Committee
Chautauqua County RSVP hosted a StrongWomen™ exercise training session on the Lutheran campus. A Field of Interest Grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and a donation from First Presbyterian Mission Committee made it possible to offer scholarships to the potential instructors, resulting in 30 participants becoming certified as StrongWomen™ instructors. Two individuals trained by Tufts University in Boston travelled from Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lancaster, PA to lead the all-day session. The evidenced based training is the result of the research of Dr. Miriam Nelson of Tufts University in Boston. The main purpose of this program is to ward off or prevent osteoporosis and osteopenia in middle aged to older women.
The StrongWomen™ Strength Training Program is a community based strength training program aimed at mid-life and older women. The benefits of strength training for older women have been studied extensively. The benefits are: increased muscle mass and strength, improved bone density, reduced risk for osteoporosis and related fractures, reduced risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression, and obesity, improved self-confidence, sleep, and vitality. The training includes progressive resistance training, balance training, and flexibility exercises. Classes last approximately 45 – 60 minutes and the curriculum includes two sets of resistance training routines, each with eight to twelve exercises that can be used within the program. Routines begin with a five to ten minute warm up that may include walking, marching, or light calisthenics, e.g. toe touches. The resistance training exercises work all the major muscle groups, utilizing a combination of dumbbells, adjustable ankle weights, and body weight. Classes conclude with five to ten minutes cool-down that includes upper and lower flexibility exercises
The demand for the “Healthy Bones – Chautauqua County” classes has steadily increased within Chautauqua County, so it was time to prepare more volunteer instructors. This fall, the 16th and 17th “Healthy Bones” sessions began with increased attendance. Classes include a pre and post test to measure each individual’s success. Classes are accompanied by nutritional or healthy living information. Past class participants have witnessed some wonderful results – better endurance, increased flexibility, and one attendee improved her bone mass as reported on her recent Dexa-Scan.
Classes are forming throughout Chautauqua County and if you would like to learn more, please call Chautauqua County RSVP at 665-8039, NY Connects at 661-7582 – 363-4583 or 753-4582.