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EnhanceFitness now offered in Kekaha

KEKAHA — Westside seniors 60 and older now have the opportunity to participate in EnhanceFitness, a low impact and strength training program aimed at improving the health of Kaua‘i’s kupuna.

The program was launched at the Koloa and Waimea neighborhood centers last year and recently opened at the Kekaha neighborhood center.

Certified instructors in Kekaha teach classes from 8 to 9 a.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity handles registration.

“The EnhanceFitness program has been very successful in Koloa and Waimea,” said Naomi Sugihara, AEA program specialist.

“Participants have told us that they’ve experienced a tremendous improvement in their health and energy level since they signed up for the program.”

Expanding to Kekaha is part of the agency’s plan, she said, adding that another site in Hanapepe is scheduled to come online next month.

Earlier this week, the Kaua‘i County Council presented the Agency on Elderly Affairs with a certificate in recognition of Kaua‘i’s EnhanceFitness program being named one of the 2008 Older American Month Program Champions by the U.S. Administration on Aging.

Kaua‘i’s EnhanceFitness program is featured on AoA’s Web site, www.aoa.gov, along with other outstanding senior programs in celebration of May being Older Americans Month.

“We are honored to be recognized for our EnhanceFitness program, which aims to empower our older residents to make lifestyle changes that can reduce their risk of disease, disability and injury,” said Kealoha Takahashi, head of the Agency on Elderly Affairs.

Hawai‘i is one of 16 states that received a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging to develop programs that empower older adults to take control of their health.

The statewide initiative is called Healthy Aging Partnership — Empowering Elders.

On Kaua‘i, the EnhanceFitness program is being offered by the Agency on Elderly Affairs in collaboration with several organizations including: the state Executive Office on Aging; state Department of Health; Kaua‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation; Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity; University of Hawai‘i; and 50+ Lifelong Fitness.

KEO is under contract with the county to run the EnhanceFitness program.

For more information, call the Agency on Elderly Affairs at 241-4470 or KEO at 245-4077 ext. 242.

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