Bone into Stone'
and communities must encourage older Americans to adopt healthier
lifestyles, particularly in the area of nutrition, according to
a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NMU health and fitness management major Teresia Leckson-Lipinski
was a step ahead of the CDC's recommendation. By the time the study
garnered national media coverage, Leckson-Lipinski was already immersed
in a 12-week exercise and nutrition program she developed for the
Forsyth Senior Center in Gwinn.
"Ageless Agates" program – with it's motto of "We're
turning bone into stone" – was part of a fall-semester community
health internship through the HPER department. She modeled it after
a similar "Eating Better and Moving More" program.
nutrition component consisted of 15-minute lessons on topics such
as consuming five fruits and vegetables per day, reading labels,
keeping adequately hydrated, ensuring proper calcium intake, and
exploring the benefits of meditation. For exercises, Leckson-Lipinski
led participants through five minutes of walking, followed by stretching
and flexibility workouts.
was my first time setting up something like this," she reflected.
"The goal was to offer the seniors of Forsyth Township
an opportunity to empower themselves with information and ideas
on how to eat better and keep moving, no matter what their age.
Their response was positive overall. By the end, many said they
felt better and were able to move easier. They also reported decreased
blood pressure and other benefits."
Jane Tremethick (HPER)
is responsible for supervising the department's community health
internship. She said the type of placement is driven by the student's
interns spend a semester applying classroom learning in a real-world
setting," Tremethick said. "Teresia enjoys working with
older adults, so this was a good fit for her. Pursuing a healthier
lifestyle allows individuals to remain independent longer by reducing
the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Activity increases
muscle strength and endurance. It also keeps older adults mobile
and flexible, which are important factors with aging."
and Forsyth Senior Center Director Julie Shaw wrote a successful
grant application to Blue Cross and Blue Shield to cover the costs
of the program.
was a valuable learning experience," said the NMU senior. "I
hope to make a career out of working with the senior population
after I graduate in May."
also provides programming to meet the needs of older adults, who
may participate at no cost in senior swimming and aerobics classes.