Based on research, Choose to Move aims to help seniors to set and meet physical activity goals. The program is for people who are not currently active, but want to get moving again. Participants work one-on-one with an activity coach to develop a personal plan that fits with their preferences and lifestyle. For the first three months, participants will meet with their activity coach for guidance, and will connect at least once a month with their peers and coach for support.
"Choose to Move is different from other fitness programs. Participants have choice about how they want to be active, and the support to make it happen," said Jenn Hopewell with RDN Recreation and Parks. "Unlike a fitness class, or working with a personal trainer, there is no need to go to the gym," she added.
Choose to Move includes private consultation with a certified activity coach, four group meetings for encouragement and motivation, and regular phone check-ins with an activity coach. "In these calls, participants discuss how their goals are progressing and any challenges that have cropped up," explained Hopewell.
Choose to Move is offered through the BC Recreation and Parks Association and YMCA of Greater Vancouver, with the support and co-ordination of the Active Aging Research Team, a group of researchers at the University of British Columbia's Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. The researchers will monitor the Choose to Move pilot across the province and evaluate its outcomes.
"One reason why this program seems to work is that participants are choosing the activities," explained Amanda Frazer, one of the researchers, "We know that when people can choose, they tend to focus on interests, and choose activities that fit within their budgets," Frazer said.
So far, Choose to Move has run in 23 communities across British Columbia. It is available with RDN Recreation and Parks in Qualicum Beach, beginning on April 12. To register for the program visit rdn.bc.ca/recreation or call 250-248-3252 or 250-752-5014.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the participant
Regional District of Nanaimo
250-248-3252 or 1-888-828-2069