Strong Women and Strong Men in Yellowstone County
Big Horn County is Creating Strong Women and Strong Men
The Strong Women & Strong Men Program (SWSM) helps participants keep joints flexible; muscles strong; maintain and increase balance; and improve well-being. In 2018, 82 people participated in Spring and Fall classes. Hand and ankle weights and exercise mats are provided in the free classes which are held at the MSU Extension office.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that millions of people aged 65 and older are treated in emergency departments due to falls. Over 800,000 patients are hospitalized because of falls, most often with a hip or head injury. Falls are among the 20 most expensive medical conditions, averaging $30,000, and costs increase with age.
Results from Spring 2018 classes show a 100% increase in flexibility to touch toes and increase bicep curl repetitions, 95% increase of marching in place and ability to stand from a seated position, an 85% improvement in reaching their back and standing from a chair to move around a cone and back.
Twice-weekly classes are led by Holly Jay, a trained SWSM leader. A grant for $1,000 was awarded for eHEART: Healthy Eating and Activity in Rural Towns, to be used toward improvement of community physical health and nutrition activities by Cornell University.
SWSM participants benefit from improved balance, increased muscular strength and flexibility. Couples also participate, and participants value social interactions. They report:
- “The program is more effective than my physical therapy.”
- “My husband recovered from surgery much sooner.”
- “I have not had shots in my knee since June 2017.”