More than senior fitness classes or activities, wellness is a way of life at Pine Run.
“We are committed to helping all of our residents to not just live longer but to live better,” said Maria Santangelo, Pine Run Executive Director. “Guided by the seven dimensions of wellness — Physical Wellness, Emotional Wellness, Intellectual Wellness, Spiritual Wellness, Environmental Wellness, Social Wellness, and Occupational Wellness — Pine Run seeks to offer residents a balanced lifestyle with a focused approach to physical health and exercise. We know that there is a significant connection between mind and body and Healthy Living at Pine Run encourages, challenges, and engages our residents so that they can live their best lives.”
The Pine Run Healthy Living team offers an impressive array of events, activities and senior fitness classes. There are over 20 classes each week, many of which are also available on the in-house TV channel for those who prefer to participate from home. Classes are focused on exercise as well as mindfulness and stress-reduction. Personalized fitness plans are developed and tracked for those who are interested, and wellness literature on a variety of topics is available including topics like breath work, enhancing immune response, and many others. With over 61% of residents participating in at least one option, Healthy Living has become a part of daily life for many at Pine Run.
Pine Run residents have boundless opportunities to exercise in the 6,777-square-foot fitness center, which opened in 2019 within the new 37,000 square-foot Community Center. The fitness center is equipped with state of the art Matrix and Nu-Step strength training and fitness equipment, plus a therapy table, free weights, power-bands, ballerina-balance barre and much more. Furthering its commitment to wellness, Pine Run offers aquatic programming with a stunning 40-foot by 20-foot pool. Featuring tiles in soothing colors, the 4-foot-deep pool includes a wheelchair lift, specially designed stairs, and surrounding railings for full accessibility. The fitness center’s spa-like environment features five spacious private changing rooms that can accommodate a couple who may wish to help one another, or a resident and a caretaker.
“Welcoming residents to Healthy Living and introducing them to all that we have to offer is an important part of our wellness culture,” said Kevin Mallon, Senior Director of Healthy Living. “This includes residents who are new to Pine Run, as well as those who have lived here for some time who have a new or renewed interest in wellness and senior fitness classes. We take great pride in meeting residents where they are in their fitness journey,” continued Mallon. “The Healthy Living team calls and meets with all residents to introduce them to the many offerings in our fitness and aquatics center. These personal meetings allow staff and residents to get to know one another and to determine how each person defines wellness and what each person’s goals are.”
“We have residents who enjoy participating in high intensity personal training sessions who attend classes and supplement their fitness activities with a healthy lifestyle that may involve hiking, kayaking, or biking outside of the community. Others may define wellness quite differently. Some use the pool as stress relief – or just fun — some continue their physical therapy program to strengthen muscles or addresses a problem area, and some come just for the camaraderie that our games and events offer,” said Mallon
The Pine Run Healthy Living team welcomes and encourages all residents and all ability levels to get involved. Exercise bikes, treadmills, weights, Yoga classes, personal training, and other “traditional” forms of exercise are certainly available. But the Pine Run team takes great pride in their creativity, sense of adventure, and a partnership with residents to keep healthy living options fresh, always changing, and up to date.
Recent highlights include the Villager Games, a campus-wide celebration in concert with the recent Olympics in which Villagers could take part in events as diverse as corn hole, shuffleboard, cup stacking, and life-size jenga. A series of March Madness events took place including a water volleyball tournament and a raffle awarding prizes — and bragging rights — to residents who participated in various fitness events.
One of the newest opportunities is a Mind Body Fitness BURST, a five class miniseries designed specifically to address areas of the body and broaden understanding of the mind/body connection important to senior fitness. With an intentional approach, the Healthy Living Team aims to improve mobility and body awareness through purposeful movement.
February’s focus was “Hydro Barre.” The elements of ballet came alive in the water for this low-impact, total body integrated workout. Supported by the warm water of the pool and with the use of the barre, movements inspired by prima ballerinas had muscles feeling invigorated. And no dance experience was required.
The focus in March was “Hands and Feet.” Since our hands and feet do so many activities without us even thinking, it’s important to keep them strong and pliable so they can keep up with activities of daily living and confidently withstand the jobs placed on them. Whether someone is experiencing osteoarthritis or an autoimmune inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis, dealing with stiffness in hands and feet can be one of the most frustrating parts of managing arthritis day to day.
“We have found that many of our residents enjoy the wide variety of senior fitness classes,” said Mallon. “Before coming to Pine Run, residents typically report using one form of exercise like walking on a treadmill or using an exercise bike. Now with a plethora of options available residents can tap into the synergistic effects of combining exercise modalities such a Yoga with weight training, and aquatic work. This leads to more well-rounded movement patterns and better ability and results for the resident.”
The Pine Run Healthy Living Team members all hold degrees and credentials in the Exercise Science Field and have combined over 45 years of experience in senior wellness. In addition to Kevin Mallon, the Healthy Living Team Members are:
Ellen Goldstein, Director of Fitness & Aquatics. Ellen is a graduate of Ursinus College, magna cum laude, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise and Sports Science. Ellen is a certified trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine.
Kristin McCoach holds a BS in physical education with a concentration in sports medicine and athletic training from East Stroudsburg University. Kristin is also a certified Rock Steady Boxing Coach and PWR!Moves instructor. Joining the fight against Parkinson’s disease through movement has been one of Kristin’s greatest professional accomplishments and she has made it her mission to serve those living with Parkinson’s and their care partners.
Kristin Smith is a certified Yoga Instructor a full-time lifeguard. Kristin uses her Yoga and fitness expertise to enhance everyone’s experience in our Aquatic Center. Kristin also leads a weekly ‘Aqua Flow’ class that is a refreshing, gentle, mindful movement class in the water. Kristin is currently becoming certified in aquatic exercise instructor with a specialty from the Arthritis Foundation.
Pine Run Retirement Community is part of Doylestown Health which includes Doylestown Hospital.