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In collaboration with the City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) served as the exclusive sponsor of its first National Senior Health and Fitness Day celebration at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden. The event brought more than 250 seniors together to participate in interactive group exercise demonstrations, a mini-health fair, fall prevention education, health screenings, low-impact walking events, and Tai Chi in the BioPark’s Japanese Garden.
ANNA SANCHEZ: Today is a wonderful celebration of National Senior Health and Fitness Day. This is the first time the city of Albuquerque has celebrated this in our community, and it wouldn't have been possible without Blue Cross and Blue Shield. We wanted to come out of the pandemic with an opportunity to give them this community space, but wonderful to be able to do it around sports and fitness and well-being for older adults. We just thought that this would be the perfect venue at the biopark to be able to bring folks out.
We kicked off this morning with certainly a welcome address to the public. We have over 250 participants today, but we wanted to kick it off with something that was exciting, so we started a little bit with some stretching and some Zumba. We're going to go ahead and then morph into Tai chi, but we're also going to have some other demonstrations of some of the many activities that we do today.
People could be able to either participate in those demonstrations or they can also walk around this beautiful city venue that actually does have almost two miles of walkway that is senior friendly for them to enjoy.
JANICE TORREZ: Our Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico is absolutely honored to be here today to sponsor the National Senior Health and Fitness Day alongside with the City of Albuquerque. Great event that encourages seniors to get active and look for healthy opportunities and healthy activities to stay healthy and enhance their quality of life. We have our community partners here with us today, Lovelace, and they're providing balanced testing.
Oasis is providing some fall prevention activities. A number of folks here, along with the city of Albuquerque, providing wellness information for our seniors.
TIM KELLER: We really appreciate all our partners because they're critical to make this happen. And especially when they're folks like Blue Cross Blue Shield who work in health and are very familiar with senior needs. That's so important because a lot of the challenges we see at our senior centers and with our senior population is they're not connected to the services that can actually keep them healthy, whether it's questions around health care or even sometimes around how insurance works in different options.
All of these are things that end up in a healthier senior lifestyle, but it also means knowing where to go and who to call for your different health and insurance needs. What seniors really need in addition to activity is each other is camaraderie. That's one of the things we do real well here in Albuquerque and so it's a strength for us and we want to build on our strengths.
JANET MANGUM: I'm 81 years old and I look around and I think to stay active and how nice it is and what a nice park we have and come and enjoy what our city has to offer.
ANNA SANCHEZ: I hope that our seniors recognize that we value them in our community, and it has been so important for us to do special things for them and really highlight the importance of active and being engaged and wellness moving forward is really something that we value as a community and the Department of Senior Affairs is very committed to that through our mission and certainly with community partners. We make it happen for them.
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