A new program run out of the Pleasanton Senior Center aims to give adults 60 and older encouragement to get involved with their health and get active, also while playing a game they love.
Known as Bingocize, the program incorporates equal parts physical movement with rounds of the popular table game Bingo. The program combines games, nutritional education and physical movement with the intention of improving overall health and fitness for participants.
Bingocize typically focuses on fall prevention exercises for the local seniors. The program began at the Senior Center this year, led by Kyle Hemming, a health education program manager with CityServe of the Tri-Valley.
"It's been amazing to see the folks get excited about moving around and learning how to keep their bodies in shape. They do really love the Bingo aspect," Hemming said. "The reaction has been great so far. Plenty of the participants have shared that they come out of the classes with better mobility and energy."
When the class started, it formatted to last 10 weeks with seniors meeting twice a week for one hour. Following the program's success, staff have said they are interested in adding more sessions and classes.
"I hope we can continue to serve our demographic here, help them live better lives with each class," Hemming said. "I would like to expand and see what other fun classes we can come up with. There are a lot of ways to get folks excited about health and movement."
Staff have noted that incorporating Bingo has improved attendance, attention and overall commitment to the class.
"By having something low-stress, engaging and fun like a game of Bingo for them makes it easier to get active," Hemming said. "(For this class) I've noticed more participation and interest in the activities we do. We also share health educational topics on things that can really impact their lives, like living with diabetes or nutrition."
CityServe CEO Christine Beitsch-Bahmani shared with the Weekly that the nonprofit plans to bring additional health programs for its service base in the coming months.
This summer, Hemming plans to introduce a new program known as LIFE that will offer one-on-one sessions focusing on balance training.
"My passion is health and helping people, it is rewarding to be doing this and see the direct impact that it has," Hemming said, when reflecting on his role at the Senior Center. "It's always fun to interact with the people in my classes. It's a joy to see how happy getting out and moving can make someone, this has been my experience."
Hemming has led various educational sessions on food and fitness at the center, including Cooking with Kyle where he has discussed healthy alternatives to alcohol and processed foods.
To find out more about CityServe of the Tri-Valley and its senior programs, visit cityservecares.org.