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Aging Ain't for Sissies

May 11, 2017 11:04 a.m.

  • Heritage Woods residents look forward to Races for All Paces 2017

Location: Mattoon, IL

It’s called Races for All Paces (RFAP) for a reason. From babies in diapers to seniors who walk with the assistance of a medical device, Sarah Bush Lincoln strives to promote and support healthy living for every person. At Races for All Paces, there is an event for every age group and fitness level, but this wouldn’t be possible without the support of organizations that share the vision of healthy living for all.

This year, RFAP attendees may see a lot of yellow in the 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk. The team at Heritage Woods of Charleston is not only walking in the event, but it is also the official sponsor.

“We had a vision to get our residents out there and moving for a purpose,” Administrator Jaime Richey said. “They all love kids, so we knew that if we gave them the opportunity to help kids, they would rally for the cause.”

RFAP registration fees benefit Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Healthy Communities programs such as Dental Services, Healthy Kids education, Fast Reads, Fit Girls, and JumpStart.

“We promote healthy living for many reasons,” Richey said, “We want people to know that, no matter what age you are, a healthy diet and exercise helps you get more out of life.”

Richey says that the goal of Heritage Woods, which calls itself “an affordable assisted lifestyle community for the older adult,” is to keep the residents healthy and happy for a long time. Residents are offered the opportunity to join a walking club and to participate in exercise classes like chair yoga and resistance training several days a week. Heritage Woods residents who participate in healthy lifestyles activities can also earn Smart Bucks, which they can then use to purchase items at quarterly auctions. The vision to expand the Healthy Living program to include RFAP training started more than a year ago.

“Our front-line staff really took the lead and started recruiting residents to join them in a structured walking plan to gradually increase their endurance so that they would be prepared for the Race,” Richey said, “The response has been overwhelming. The staff has encouraged [the residents] and kept them motivated.”

The Heritage Woods team will be recognizable in their bright yellow shirts that read, “Aging ain’t for sissies!” on the back. If you are interested in participating in or sponsoring Races for All Paces, contact Laura Bollan at (217) 345-6828 or visit

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