Miami-Dade County Parks introduces new "Enhance Fitness®" exercise classes as part of its free active adults 55+ program
(MIAMI, January 27, 2014) — Starting February 3, 2014, the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department will add the nationally-recognized evidence-based “Enhance Fitness®” exercise classes to its line-up of free Active Adults 55+ recreational programming for residents age 55 and older. Participants will join a certified instructor in a full hour of fun, physical fitness activities that include stretching, low-impact aerobics, strength-training, flexibility, and balance techniques. Enhance Fitness® classes will be offered free of charge through the support of Miami-Dade County Parks Active Adults 55+ partner the Health Foundation of South Florida (HFSF).
Enhance Fitness® is comprised of exercises specifically designed to improve functional fitness and well-being in older adults. The exercise regime is a component of Project Enhance, a healthy-aging program developed by researchers at the University of Washington in collaboration with Senior Services and Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Washington in the mid-1990s.
Miami-Dade County Parks will offer Enhance Fitness® exercise classes three times a week at select Active Adults 55+ program hubs (see listing at the bottom of this press release). Class days and times vary per park.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that older adults exercise at least 2-hours weekly. Regular exercise has been found to decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.
Miami-Dade County Parks’ Active Adults 55+ program kicked-off in September 2013, as a local effort to encourage older adults to improve their health and well-being by consistently staying physically and mentally active. The program engages the participation of the HFSF, local health care providers and government/social service in presenting health and wellness fairs at its various Active Adults 55+ program hubs on a monthly basis. The fairs provide a variety of healthy-aging resource materials, free health screenings, exercise demonstrations and the opportunity to register for Miami-Dade County Parks’ Active Adults 55+ recreational programming opportunities.
Miami-Dade County Parks’ Active Adults 55+ program also offers these evidence-based self-management activities and classes:
- Walk With Ease
A six-week self-guided walking program (developed by the Arthritis Foundation) with the objective of getting participants to start walking 30 minutes per day, three days per week. (Participants receive a Guide Book to chart their progress. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a free “Go Take A Hike” t-shirt and can progress into Walk For Life – a walking maintenance program.
- Living Healthy: Chronic Disease and Diabetes
A six-week self-management workshop (developed at Stanford University) designed for individuals living with chronic disease. The group meets for two hours each week. Discussions include how to manage blood glucose (sugar) better, ways to deal with symptoms of diabetes, proper medication use and healthy eating. Classes are taught by trained instructors provided by the Alliance for Aging and are available in both English and Spanish.
- Living Healthy: Matter of Balance
An eight-week self-management workshop (developed at Stanford University) designed to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. The group meets for two hours each week. Classes are taught by trained instructors provided by the Alliance for Aging.
Miami-Dade County Parks’ Active Adults 55+ activities and classes will vary at each program hub. Some locations may also offer yoga, tennis, Snag Golf, Tai Chi, and visits to local attractions like Zoo Miami, Fruit & Spice Park and the Deering Estate at Cutler. For more information call Miami-Dade County Parks Active Adults 55+ Coordinator and Advocate Allan Tavss at 786-372-9701.
Enhance Fitness® classes will be offered at these Miami-Dade County Parks Active Adults 55+ program hubs:
Arcola Lakes Park
1301 NW 83 St.
10000 SW 82 Ave.
Country Village Park
6550 NW 188 Ter.
11350 SW 216 St.
Gwen Cherry Park
7090 NW 22 Ave.
Martin Luther King Jr.
6000 NW 32 Ct.
North Trail Park
780 NW 127 Ave.
South Dade Park
28151 SW 164 Ave.
West Perrine Park
10301 SW 170 Ter.
Westwind Lakes Park
6805 SW 152 Ave.
About the Health Foundation of South Florida:
Health Foundation of South Florida, a nonprofit grant-making organization, is dedicated to improving health in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. By funding providers and supporting programs to promote health and prevent disease, the Foundation makes a measurable and sustainable impact in the health of individuals and families. For its nationally recognized Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative, the Foundation has allocated $8.75 million over five years to community partners for programs designed to improve the health of older adults. Since 1993, Health Foundation has awarded more than $104 million in grants and program support.
About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/.
Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors. Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities. For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit www.miamidade.gov/parks_foundation.