Seniors Walking and Touring
Frankfort, KY: First Lady Glenna Fletcher is scheduled to kick off SWAT, a new exercise program designed for seniors in central Kentucky.
The event will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the Lexington Senior Citizen Center, 1530 Nicholasville Road, at the intersection of Nicholasville Road and Alumni Drive.
SWAT, which stands for Seniors Walking and Touring, will provide opportunities to improve the overall quality of life of Kentucky’s seniors by encouraging physical activity, along with social, recreational and intellectual well-being.
Seniors will be encouraged to participate in physical activity of any type to earn “mileage” and when they reach their goal, have the chance to explore Kentucky’s state park system. SWAT will be carried out in 18 senior centers and numerous community centers served by the 17 counties of the Bluegrass Area Development District.
Mrs. Fletcher said SWAT is a perfect complement to Governor Ernie Fletcher’s “Get Healthy Kentucky!” initiative.
“Regular exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle,” Mrs. Fletcher said. “It is a habit that should be developed in childhood and carried on throughout life. I am delighted to see that this program will encourage regular exercise among our seniors.”
Through SWAT, clients of a senior center will vote on two to four state resort parks to symbolically “walk” to. The distance from the center to the chosen parks will be calculated. Then, each week, each senior will record any regular, sustained physical activity. Fifteen minutes of continuous physical activity is equal to one actual road mile.
Once the seniors have collectively “walked” the distance to the resort parks, they’ll choose which park to visit, and transportation will be provided for an outing to that park. Park staff will plan special activities for the senior center guests.
In addition to the “Get Healthy Kentucky!” initiative and the Department of Parks, other participating programs are the Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging, the Bluegrass Community Action Partnership, the University of Kentucky Extension Service “Get Moving Kentucky!” program, the “You Can!” program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Division of Aging.
Others scheduled to take part in the program’s kickoff are Lexington Mayor Teresa Ann Isaac, Dr. Lee Todd, president of the University of Kentucky, Parks Commissioner George Ward, and Amanda Robinson, regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Following remarks, seniors will participate in physical activity sessions to “earn their first mile”. These activities will include: a walk with the First Lady (weather permitting), chair exercises and line dancing.
This program is the first of its kind in the United States. The SWAT program will be a model for the nation for integration, cooperation and coordination of private, business and service organizations into one single unit focused on the well-being of the Bluegrass Area’s seniors.
First Lady Glenna Fletcher is committed to working with the issues she feels will make a difference in the lives of Kentucky families. The health of Kentuckians and the education of our children are two of her primary focuses. Get Healthy Kentucky!, Read to Achieve, Go Red for Women, and the Kentucky Cancer Program are just a few of many initiatives the First Lady supports. Join her to work together to make Kentucky a better place to live and raise a family—to improve literacy rates, our health statistics and continue our rich heritage for future generations of Kentuckians.