“I found that I could do all of the poses, even with my weight. My goal is to be able to move every single part of my body.”
Residents are getting active this spring around OSH’s tables! Our new health program is now enjoying an enthusiastic reception, thanks to a grant from Allina Health.
The program addresses health and wellness from a variety of different angles, but we started where so many of us spend our time—at the dinner table. We’ve been assessing the food we provide, particularly in the shelter. Meal volunteers have helped us by making simple changes to their menus, such as serving smaller desserts. We’re offering healthier snacks at special events and putting better options in our pop machine.
Of course, healthy living goes beyond the food we eat. Residents have been eagerly taking part in a variety of activities: yoga, classes with medical professionals, and group walks. To help residents reap the rewards of exercise beyond structured activities, we’ve also opened a workout room in the shelter.
Transitional Housing resident, Robert, is one of the program’s enthusiastic participants. He’s on a quest to lose weight, fight off pre-diabetes, and improve his flexibility as he ages. Yoga has been his favorite activity so far. He says proudly, “I found that I could do all of the poses, even with my weight. My goal is to be able to move every single part of my body.” Robert has also discovered connections to his spirituality: “When we’re singing at church, we’re raising our hands, stretching, and breathing just like in yoga.”
Robert has also enjoyed the educational sessions about nutrition and diabetes. He explains, “Until recently, I didn’t really understand serving sizes and how to choose healthy foods.” He remembers the challenge of keeping a balanced diet when he was a shelter resident with little control over the meals served each day. “The pasta, the potatoes, the desserts…They’re delicious and filling, but moderation is important.”
Lifestyle Lift-Up has already put Robert on the road to improved health. He’s making nutritious meal choices, biking ten miles each day, and taking better care of himself with a holistic view towards overall wellness. We look forward to supporting him and our other residents on their journeys.