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FIT-4-LIFE

In December 2007, Kit Clark Senior Services, in collaboration with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, started The Fit-4-Life Program. This program consists of an evidence-based physical activity and nutrition counseling intervention at Kit Clark Senior Services' Madden Senior Center.

The overarching goal of Fit-4-Life is to reduce the significant and prevalent burden of age-associated chronic disease, and provide concrete support for healthier aging among Kit Clark seniors.

Innovation

The Fit-4-Life Program is a mission-related partnership between a large community agency and a large academic institution, and the program utilizes an evidence-based approach with established data collection instruments and outcome measures specifically implemented to quantify program effectiveness. The program provides state-of-the-art coordinated exercise and nutrition services for a low income, multicultural senior population that did not have the opportunity in the past to access mainstream fitness, exercise and nutrition programs. There are no other programs in the Boston area that offer combined physical fitness/nutrition supports to community elders for a minimal donation ($10 per month) on a regular, long-term basis. We are also able to offer the program in at least two languages at a time.

Program Design

A Fit-4-Life bi-lingual certified exercise trainer leads and supervises participants in aerobic and strengthening exercises, and provides both individualized and group exercise prescription to address the specific needs of the seniors. A nutritionist offers dietary screening and assessments, counseling, and weekly support groups to help seniors learn more about nutrition, improve their eating habits, and also optimize body weight.

Demographics and Outcomes

Over 400 seniors are now enrolled in the Fit-4-Life program. The average age of the participants is 71 yrs, and ranges from 60 – 90 yrs. Around three-quarters (77%) of all those who partake in the program are female. We have been able to enroll participants from 12 different cities throughout Massachusetts. About one-third list a foreign language as their primary language spoken, and we have representation from at least 15 different countries.

For more information about Fit-4-Life, call Garry Sanon at (617) 533-9127 or e-mail gsanon@baycove.org 

Kit Clark Senior Services 
1500 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02122

Fit4Life

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