The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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May 31, 2010

Seniors group participates in National Health and Fitness Day

CHARLESTON — Around 500 Senior Friends members attended the 2010 National Health and Fitness Day Wednesday at the Raleigh County Civic Center. Although activities like yoga, bingo and a seminar on cardiac health dominated the day, members also got the chance to play tennis, bowling, baseball and even go snowboarding.

Not only did they get the chance to participate in all of these activities, but they never had to leave the convention center.

They also got the opportunity to travel either within the U.S. or abroad.

So how could all these different activities fit under one roof? Members were instructed on using the Wii gaming system, which provided them with an interesting day of activities, Senior Friends Director Debbie Peyton said.

“It was great and everyone loved it,” she said. “They loved the fact that they could play all of these sports at home and even get to do something with their kids and their grandchildren.”

Sponsored by Raleigh General Hospital, this event had one of the biggest turnouts in the 10 years it’s been in existence, Peyton said.

“As a seniors group, it is important for us to provide a location for our members to attend and be a part of this national event,” she said. “This is a good day of fun and fitness to promote health and wellness for a very vibrant, active senior population in our community.” 

The event also aimed at educating people about health and nutrition. Doctors were present to talk with people about conditions and they had a seminar on “The Importance of Screening for Cardiac Health” by Dr. Shawn Reesman.

About 42 booths were set up around the center as well to provide people with information on diseases. The booth offered ways to test glucose, sugar, blood pressure and hearing.

“Our vendors were very creative,” Peyton said. “Hospice had a massage table and Allay had cute little things going on like a Hawaiian theme. It was just a great way for people to be educated on their own health.” 

Senior Friends has been around for 14 years and is for anyone over 50. They now have approximately 3,000 members who participate in activities such as dance aerobics, zumba, water aerobics, yoga and a monthly event for everyone to get involved with for $15 a year.

Senior Friends members also receive other benefits such as two free meals a day to pass to their caregiver while they are inpatients at Raleigh General Hospital.

Anyone interested in becoming a member can call Raleigh General Hospital or the Senior Friends Office at 304-256-4276.

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