At the InnovAge Greater Colorado PACE center in Aurora, Colorado, there’s a group of nearly 50 older adults called the Chambers Pacers, named for the street where the center is located.
The Chambers Pacers walk around the inside of the center, specially designed with an interior loop, or outside the center if the weather is good. The program began in 2009 with two participants. Today, the Pacers log an average of 200 miles a month. Not too bad for a group whose average age is in the mid 70s, with youngest in the 60s and oldest 95!
“Walking benefits include many physiological improvements, such as improved cardio-vascular function, quality and quantity of sleep, blood glucose regulation and weight loss,” explains Sharon Bennett, certified physical therapist assistant, InnovAge. “Psychological benefits include relaxation, and reduced stress, anxiety and depression. There are social benefits as well. The Chambers Pacers receive recognition, praise and many of them, ‘buddy up!’ Many walkers report they are able to go out into the community with their families with better tolerance due to increased endurance levels.”
The Pacers are identified by their unique name tags indoors and reflective safety vests outside, to help with visibility for the traffic when walking around the building.
The Pacers, says Bennett, “creates an air of energy and motivates others to join.”
This InnovAge blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical needs.