Douglas County program offers seniors path to healthier lifestyle

Marge Glenn, front, reaches for the sky during a morning workout session in March 2009 at the First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive. Participants in the workout session have completed a course called Personal Actions To Health.

Marge Glenn, front, reaches for the sky during a morning workout session in March 2009 at the First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive. Participants in the workout session have completed a course called Personal Actions To Health. by philip-heying

There's a six-week program that is unique to Douglas County and helps seniors live a healthier life. It's called Personal Actions to Health, or PATH, and it teaches residents, ages 60 and older, about the importance of exercise and nutrition.

The program begins April 2 with classes scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays until May 9 at the East Lawrence Recreation Center, 1245 E. 15th St. During the program, seniors will learn how to modify and practice food habits to protect or improve quality of life, learn about the effects of exercise on chronic diseases, sample a variety of dishes using nutritious foods, and participate in flexibility and strength building exercises during a group workout.

Shirley Grubbs, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department nurse, said past participants have shown improved agility, balance and coordination and increased flexibility, strength and endurance. Many participants also gain self-esteem and new friendships.

"We've even had birthday parties and anniversary celebrations in our graduate classes," she said.

The cost is $25, but if you sign up with a friend, the cost is $15 each.

After the six-week program is completed, participants are welcome to exercise with other PATH graduates free of charge, and there are two locations available.

For more information or to enroll, contact:

Douglas County Senior Services, 745 Vt., 842-0543.

K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, 2110 Harper St., 843-7058.

The deadline to register is Monday, March 25. There needs to be a minimum of 15 participants to have the program.

The program is provided by the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Douglas County Senior Services, City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation, K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, and the University of Kansas Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences.

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