I have more choices, so I am choosing to move.

I have more choices, so I am choosing to move.

Since my retirement, I have been involved in my community at the West End Seniors' Network and volunteered at various events including the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. Despite my involvement, my activity level has decreased over the years and I’ve been looking for ways to fill my days. I’ve also been wanting to get more physically active but it’s been difficult to motivate myself especially when the days are dark, cold and rainy. I live in the West End and I am lucky to live in a very walkable environment where everything is quite accessible. I can easily go to grocery stores, and go for walks by the seawall. But my knee started bothering me and I wasn’t sure how I can continue to be physically active. 

I joined Choose to Move about 3 months ago, after I read about the program in the newspaper. Now I go to the YMCA on the bus to attend Gentle Aquafit twice a week. The meetings with my activity coach have been extremely informative. My activity coach has been providing resources on how to be active without making my knee pain worse. She’s also given me information about many different classes that are offered at the Y. Last week, I got to try yoga for the first time and I am hoping to try other classes that are for seniors in the future. Ever since Choose to Move, I’ve been motivated to walk more. Now I walk to my destinations about 80% of the time.    

Generally, in physical activity classes I continuously watch the clock to see how long it takes but with Gentle Aquafit, I forget the time because I enjoy it. I also like interacting with the people that come to the pool. It is a multicultural and friendly group. They are always smiling and talking to each other even though they are strangers. The pool is full of life and people are genuinely excited to be there. I am beginning to recognize familiar faces and beginning to make connections with other people.

Choose to Move has been beneficial for me, particularly because of its flexibility. I can attend classes within the YMCA, and I am also able to do physical activities on my own time.  Through my activity coach, I am more aware of available resources in the community. My activity levels have increased and my days are busier. I love that. I have more choices so I am choosing to move. 

This program is helpful in motivating seniors like myself to do something in order to become healthier. I enjoy learning and there’s still a lot to learn about how to be healthier and how to become more physically active. It also helps me to structure my time better.  Choose to Move provides access to resources, expertise and most importantly, it provides encouragement and motivation to be physically active to seniors like me.

  - Choose to Move Participant, Mauro Joao

 For more information on Choose to Move, please visit our website here.