It’s About the People


One of the best things about the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (previously the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation) is our excitement about and commitment to engaging everyone, regardless of your current level of health or fitness. This column is about the people who use our four Wellness Centers (Stockbridge, Manchester, Chelsea and Dexter). It’s not about the centers. It’s about the people. I think that’s why I like it.

These are the ‘types’ of people we see. You may find yourself among these descriptions even though it’s not an exhaustive list.

Terribly out of shape and feeling it. Congratulations to those of you who overcame your discomfort (physical and emotional) by making a decision to work out and connect to your community in a healthy way.

Parents with young families who have little time for themselves but want to set a good example for their children. They are scraping out a few hours a week for a workout or group exercise class. It may be what keeps them sane.

Middle age, in decent shape but fighting to stay healthy and strong so they can actively enjoy their senior years. Smart. Very smart.

Recent patients taking advantage of a wellness center or the Next Steps program at the request of or with an order from their health care provider. They are setting goals and have accountability, which we know increases the chance of success.

Healthy teens, many with competitive goals, but not all. Those who aren’t competing often need and enjoy an outlet for physical activity.

Seniors who embrace their aging selves and want to maximize every day. They also find good company at their local wellness center. It’s hard to be lonely when you see people every day.

People with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease or depression. They know regular exercise is the difference between an accelerated downhill slide and sustained or improved daily functioning.

Fit and healthy folks who are preventing injuries in their daily life, preventing or delaying heart, lung or metabolic disease and feeling energized and youthful because of their efforts. You can be our inspiration.

Most of us don’t look like fitness models and almost all of us are overcoming something in our effort to be fit and healthy. It’s not easy (at least not at first), but it’s worth it.