The 6th Annual WALK! with Aegis Therapies Boosts Active Aging and Achieves Record Registration

The 6th Annual WALK! with Aegis Therapies gave Active Aging Week a boost with its open invitation to participate this year. The nationwide, five-day celebration of health and wellness achieved the largest registered participation results in its six-year history with more than 61,000 participants at over 760 locations. WALK! with Aegis Therapies event participants, including for the first time registration open to the public and community groups who registered on their own, walked a combined total 94,000 miles.

The WALK! miles are calculated based on the physical activity that participants can do including walking, dancing, tapping toes, waving arms in the air, and lifting their legs.New to the WALK! program this year, anyone could participate in Active Aging Week through an online, at-home guide by registering at Registered locations in Lincoln, Neb. joined together with the public by inviting local college and high school bands to lead the WALK!, while a radio station broadcasted the event in the community. Signing up individually, they logged a total of 3,348 miles.

“Expanding our reach to the public for the first time, we had over 1,000 individuals in the community join our 2014 WALK! with Aegis Therapies week-long celebration,” said Martha Schram, President of Aegis Therapies. “The importance of nourishing our emotional and intellectual health, in addition to maintaining our physical well-being is an important message that was able to reach even more participants this year.”

To motivate participants to be active, Chris Freytag, a well-known fitness expert, kicked off events in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and two cities in Alabama. Leading and motivating participants with music, movement, and pom-poms, Chris went to five events and motivated more than 500 participants.

Golden Living’s Executive Chef and Director of Dining Services, Chef Darin Leonardson, joined the WALK! with Aegis Therapies team to provide a healthy snack and antioxidant smoothie after event activities and to talk about making healthy choices. He traveled across the nation to five locations from Nebraska to Virginia motivating more than 500 participants.

The WALK! with Aegis Therapies 2014 is presented by the EnerG® by Aegis wellness program in support of the International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) and Active Aging Week, which is celebrated each year during the last week of September in recognition of active aging and healthy living. The WALK! with Aegis Therapies was highlighted on the second day of Active Aging Week through the ICAA website and marketing campaign.

Providing a safe and fun activity each day, WALK! with Aegis Therapies events were held at skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, independent living facilities, and other locations, including at-home participants being served by AseraCare agencies.

Each day, events highlighted one of the “dimensions of wellness” — physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, occupational and social. Another dimension added to the program this year was environmental, which encouraged participants to think about others and the environment around them by weaving this theme into daily activities.

WALK! with Aegis Therapies Highlights Include:

• Local dignitaries also came out in full support. Huntsville, Ala. Mayor Tommy Battle, Portsmouth, Va. Mayor Kenneth Wright, District IV Bloomington City Council member, Jon Oleson, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office sent a letter in recognition of Active Aging Week and U.S. Senator Al Franken’s office attended events in their districts. Many mayors and council members also took time to join in the variety of WALK! events.

• Also joining the WALK!, a group of cloggers from Dianne’s Dance Studio in Moville, Iowa, participated in the How do you WALK!? social media campaign to win a $100 VISA gift card on the Aegis Therapies Facebook page. Many people joined to show Aegis Therapies how they walked with more than 6,000 impressions.

• In Portsmouth, Va., the WALK! with Aegis Therapies featured event with Chef Darin built upon the Portsmouth Mayor’s Healthy Portsmouth initiative where Mayor Kenny Wright regularly walks with the local community. In attending the event on Friday, Sept. 26 with Chef Darin, Mayor Wright assisted Chef Darin in a food demonstration, walked with participants and talked to them about getting healthy in Portsmouth.

• This year, Aegis Therapies administrative and corporate offices had hundreds of participants who walked a combined 1,400 miles in support of the campaign in Fort Smith, Ark., and Plano, Texas.

• In its third year in participation with the WALK!, AseraCare had full company participation with its 59 agencies whose staff and patients walked and tracked their miles during the week with more than 4,900 miles walked and 2,459 participants.

WALK! with Aegis Therapies was launched in 2009 as a one-day event. In 2010, the program expanded into a five-day event and has earned Aegis Therapies an ICAA Innovators Award for leading the way, setting new standards, and making a difference in the lives of older adults.

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