Riverside Wellness Fitness Center Launches Fit for Me Wellness Series

October 27, 2017

While caregiving is rewarding in so many ways, caregivers often face the challenge of remembering to care for themselves. That’s why Riverside Wellness & Fitness Center – Peninsula in Newport News is delighted to present its newest wellness program – “Fit for Me.”

Taught by an exercise specialist and approved by Riverside Health System physicians and therapists, “Fit for Me” is a six-week program designed to help improve functional movement and muscles needed in ongoing caregiving tasks.

“We designed this program for caregivers to better prepare them for the daily act of caring for those they love,” said Beth Gross, MS, MSEd, Riverside’s Director of Clinical Wellness Development. “'Fit for Me’ classes focus on building strength in the whole body, honing in specifically on shoulders, core and legs.”

Limited space is available for this course, which kicks off in November.

Starting November 6, classes meet once a week for six weeks from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Riverside Wellness & Fitness Center on Jefferson Avenue in Newport News. Cost to enroll in the six classes is $80 for non-Wellness Center members and $60 for members. To register, visit the front desk at the Riverside Wellness & Fitness Center in Newport News.

Caring for caregivers has long been a key focus for Riverside.

Riverside, through its Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH), leads the “Caring for You, Caring for Me” program – a seminar series offering support and guidance for caregivers of older adults. The acclaimed program has earned Best Practices Awards from both the Southern Gerontological Society and the Commonwealth Council on Aging. It is sanctioned by the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI), a national organization promoting recognition and assistance to both family and professional caregivers.

“We are proud to continue standing with RCI in our quest to give both the growing population of older adults and their caregivers the help they all need to thrive,” said Christine Jensen, Ph.D., CEALH's Director of Health Services Research. “Our ‘Caring for You, Caring for Me’ program is a great way for caregivers, both family members and professional staff, to learn new approaches and share experiences in a safe and supportive environment.”

Designed with support from CEALH and its deep understanding of caregiving, “Fit for Me” helps teach caregivers the proper ways to lift and bend, the foundational movements needed in the act of caring for others.

“We physically challenge people in this program because when you are a caregiver, you are challenged,” Gross said. “Your core is challenged, your shoulders are challenged, your legs are challenged. We want people to consider that they have to be squatting and then pulling to get a loved one out of the bathtub, as an example, or helping a loved one get out of bed, or catching someone from falling.”

The program works participants through what’s called functional movements, or exercises that work the body in ways that mimic how you move in real life. Think squat hops or use of battling ropes for shoulder presses.

“We really focus on keeping the core strong,” Gross said. “You have to have a strong core to help others.”

WHAT: “Fit for Me,” a wellness course designed for caregivers.

WHERE: Riverside Wellness & Fitness Center – Peninsula, located at 12650 Jefferson Avenue in Newport News.

WHEN: Weekly, starting Monday, November 6 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

PROGRAM FEE: Six classes are $80 for non-Riverside Wellness & Fitness Center members and $60 for members.

REGISTER: Visit the front desk of Riverside Wellness & Fitness Center – Peninsula. For more information, call 757-378-6883.