New health promotion program combines bingo and exercise

Apr. 19—Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it's just hard to find the motivation to exercise. Thanks to a new program offering from Generations Area 13 Agency on Aging and Disability, staying active just got a little more fun for older adults.

"We will be starting our "BingoCize classes here in Washington next week," said Cathy Jones, Generations director of planning and quality assurance. "This is a class that combines the fun of playing bingo with exercise and participates will have a chance to win prizes each week."

A 10-week class, held at The Villages at Oakridge on Troy Road on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2 p.m., Jones said the class features inclusive exercise as well as other health-related information.

"It just makes it fun. We have a booklet we will work through and participants will do the exercises. We'll call bingo numbers just like you would in a traditional game of bingo. We also have lots of prizes and there are no limits to how many times you can win," she said adding the classes also offer participants a chance to meet others. "During COVID, there was a lot of social isolation and it's our hope that programs like this one give people reasons to get out and socialize with others. Plus it's so important to stay active as we get older."

The sessions, which last between 45 minutes and an hour, can be modified to meet the individual needs of participants. Pre-tests and post-tests are also given to measure improvement.

"This is an evidence-based program that can help with lower and upper body strength, gait, balance, range of motion and many other things," said Jones, who said there are no limits to how many people can enroll in the free program. "We provide all the materials participants will need. Data shows that those who participate in at least 16 of the 20 classes see many health benefits."

Those interested in participating in the class. which starts on Monday, should contact Cathy Jones at 812-888-5159 or