May. 31, 2023 By Bill Parry
Southeast Queens elected officials recently joined with community members and leaders on the boardwalk in Far Rockaway to relaunch the popular Walking Wise Warriors program, which provides free fitness programming and nutritional education to hundreds of older adults.
The program runs through the end of June on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Springfield Park in Springfield Gardens and on Tuesdays and Saturdays at Beach 59th Street along the boardwalk in Far Rockaway.
“Wise Walking Warriors is a valuable community asset that has served hundreds of community members over the past few years,” Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers said. “This no-cost program allows seniors to get exercise alongside one another and learn about the benefits of nutritious eating and wellness. I am proud to support Wise Walking Warriors and thank the Wellness & Lifestyle Transformation Center and the City Parks Foundation for their work managing this program.”
Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson said the program is vital for seniors in southeast Queens.
“As we tackle chronic health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, especially in communities of color, our renowned Wise Walking Warriors program serves as a citywide model for fitness and nutrition among older adults,” Anderson said. “I strongly encourage all residents to join our growing community of faithful Walking Warriors this spring.”
The program is jointly managed by Elizabeth Madison of Wellness & Lifestyle Transformation Center and the City Parks Foundation.
“The Wise Walking Warrior Program has become a vital addition to community services within Council District 31,” Madison said. “The program provides a free service that supports seniors’ quality of life by promoting socialization, increasing fitness activity, and expanding their knowledge base of credible nutrition information and resources.”
She added that this year, the program curriculum has been enhanced to include supermarket tours.
“These events are designed to improve nutrition label literacy, and help seniors develop budget-friendly, personalized meal plans that support the management of health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension,” Madison said. “The program membership continues to grow as the seniors spread the word about this comprehensive program.”
Fay Hill of Volunteers for Springfield Park gave a “big shout out” to Brooks-Powers and Anderson for initiating the program in 2021.
“Our seniors have enjoyed the exercises and nutritional programs to our residents, especially our seniors who are instructed to eat properly under the direction of the primary care physicians,” Hill said.
Gloria Bailey is a big fan of the initiative.
“I have been in The Wise Walking Warriors Program since it started and I enjoy this Program because I get to meet new people. I enjoy the activities we do together,” Bailey said. “My favorite activities are the Nutrition classes, dancing, aerobics, speed walking, and round table. I like the round table because everyone goes around and describes themselves with an adjective. We learn to read labels. Welcome to all.”
Community members can register online for the program at the City Parks Foundation website, or call 718-760-6999 for more information.
“We are immensely grateful to Council member Brooks-Powers and Assemblymember Anderson for their unwavering support in helping us provide our seniors with a fitness program that not only enhances their physical and mental well-being but also creates meaningful social connections,” said Katie Swabb, City Parks Foundation. “We look forward to continuing to work together this year to improve the lives of our older adults in Queens.”