Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters worked out with the Senior Wellness Club as part of the Move with the Mayor Program. (Photos by Kelly White)

Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters worked out with the Senior Wellness Club as part of the Move with the Mayor Program. (Photos by Kelly White)

On the move with the mayor in Palos Park

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Instructor of the Palos Park Senior Wellness Club, Charles Wells, stands alongside Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters at a Senior Wellness Winter Program at the Palos Park Recreation Center.

By Kelly White

Move with the Mayor is a collaboration with the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention. It is a national initiative that works with mayors across the country to challenge their communities to promote healthy living and is also a way to encourage residents to be more physically active.

Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters is excited to be a part of this initiative that helps to lower the chances of heart disease and its risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

“I think it’s really important for everyone at every age to stay healthy and active,” Milovich-Walters said. “We are blessed with so much beautiful outdoor space in Palos Park and there are so many ways to enjoy it while being active at the same time.”

Milovich-Walters is using Move with the Mayor program, policy, and infrastructure recommendations; and other tools to empower and protect community members from health threats and improve cardiovascular health, mental health, and health equity.

She joined the Palos Park Senior Wellness Winter Class on January 11 for her first Move with the Mayor program at the Palos Park Recreation Center, 8901 W. 123rd St.

“This is the kind of stuff I love,” Milovich-Walters said. “My hope is that people will recognize the initiative, show up and make working out and staying active a habit again.”

This Senior Wellness class was led by Charles Wells, of Palos Park, who recently celebrated his 95th birthday.

“The Senior Wellness class provides exercise and movement, but most importantly, promotes mobility,” Wells said.

There was a total of 88 different exercise movements, involving both chair and standing exercises, combined with weights and stretch exercise bands, in the one-hour class.

Wells, who served in the British Army, said his passion for health and wellness developed in the army. He’s been a part of the Senior Wellness Class for more than 30 years and has been teaching the program in Palos Park since 1998.

“It’s not only exercise; it’s fun,” Wells said. “It’s really a big social event, and we are delighted to have the mayor here with us today.”

Residents agreed and had just as much fun, including Darlene Nickelson.

“I heard about the Move with the Mayor program at the last Palos Park Board Meeting and I knew right away that it was something I wanted to be a part of,” Nickelson, of Palos Park, said. “It’s something everyone should try.”

Residents of all ages will have plenty of opportunities to join Milovich-Walters as she continues on this healthy journey because once or twice each month, Palos Park will be hosting its own Move with the Mayor event right in the community.

“Some of my ideas include promoting heart health through informational programming and possibly snowshoeing through the forest preserves,” Milovich-Walters said. “I’ve never snowshoed before and it seems like so much fun and great exercise.”

Residents can stay informed on the movement and upcoming programs through the Palos Park E-Newsletter and online through the city’s Instagram page.

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Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters is excited to be a part of the Move with the Mayor initiative.

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