Move Today is a 30-45 minute non-aerobic exercise class designed to improve flexibility, balance and stamina. Participants assess their health, physical well-being and intent to make behavior changes before and upon completion of the program. The exercises and guidelines are based on current nationally recognized standards and science.
Exercises can be done while sitting or standing. Classes are led by trained peer leaders and meet weekly or bi-weekly for twelve sessions. Program features include:
- A brief education component focusing on an exercise-related topic.
- Inexpensive exercise bands to gain maximum effect from resistance exercises.
- A major focus on good posture and falls prevention.
- An exercise intensity scale and a weekly exercise log to track participant activity.
- A self-assessment process for participants to assess their health, physical well-being and intent for behavior change given both before and upon completion of the program.
Professionals with experience leading physical activity programs or health-related programs for older adults are certified as program trainers. Program trainers are provided with comprehensive leader and participant manuals, as well as a DVD for training reinforcement. Lead coordinators, located in 19 of New Jersey’s 21 counties, have the capacity to train new peer leaders to implement the program on an as-needed basis. As noted by one local public health department, Move Today provides a unique opportunity for agencies to engage with one of their key target populations - seniors.
Funding at the local level is minimal - exercise bands cost around $1.00 each and the program requires two bands. Since the program is peer led, the only other actual cost is printing of participant manuals.
Impact: More than half of the participants reported improved overall health after just one 12-class session. Participants cited greater ease in completing posture exercises and significant increases in the number of repetitions of particular exercises. The program had long lasting impact, with most participants indicating they would continue to exercise after completion of Move Today.
- When one woman told her doctor she was going to teach an exercise class, he saw an out-of-shape, overweight senior who was a self-proclaimed couch potato. Today, two years later, she continues to lead the exercises. "I've lost 12 pounds and lowered my blood glucose levels. I used to fall frequently, but in the 2 years I’ve been leading the exercise class, I haven't fallen."
Find a class by contacting a Move today agency in your area.