Editor’s note: Home Sweet Home is a feature appearing Mondays in McKnight’s Home Care Daily. The story focuses on a heartwarming, entertaining or quirky happening affecting the world of home care. If you have a topic that might be worthy of the spotlight in Home Sweet Home, please email Diane Eastabrook at diane.eastabrook@mcknights.com.

With quarantine restrictions lifting and homebound seniors feeling safe enough to leave their homes, older adults are now looking for more ways to get active.

To help motivate them in this pursuit, Mountainland Association of Governments in Orem, UT, hosted a senior fitness challenge in June. This event followed the association’s first-annual fitness challenge last November, which was a success, according to Jimmy Golding, health promotion manager who spearheaded the program. Last year, the challenge was COVID-19-friendly, and seniors could follow exercise plans and get active at home. 

This year, for seniors living in Summit and Wasatch Counties in Utah, the goal was to “motivate them to find new ways to get active,” as well as to reconnect them to “activities they did pre-COVID,” Golding told McKnight’s Home Care Daily.

Seniors logged their exercise activity for free on Mountainland’s website to track their progress and to see where they stood on a leaderboard. Participants earned points for engaging in any kind of exercise such as golf, yoga, or walking.

Seniors were grouped into age brackets to create fair competition between participants. 

“We encourage them to set their own goals,” Golding said. “The people who signed up said they felt more motivated to get outside and exercise again.”

For next year’s program, Golding hopes to use a hybrid model to allow seniors who struggle with technology to sign up and log their activity in person. 

Golding stressed the importance of getting seniors outside and “to be active in any way they are able” to improve their overall health.