Health Matters Wellness Program

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — August 2, 2021 — 3 min read
The Health Matters Program helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) live a healthy lifestyle. This free program consists of:
  • Exercise Activities
  • Nutrition and Cooking Classes
  • Health Education Classes
Class topics include meal planning, gym etiquette, medications, and more. The program also includes some group outings, like basketball. This allows participants to live out what they are learning.

Benefits of the program

The Health Matters Program can help participants:
  • Become stronger and healthier
  • Learn about health, nutrition, and exercise
  • Improve self-advocacy skills and confidence
  • Connect with peers

Building Relationships

Making friends is important for everyone. One goal of this program is to help participants develop a peer group. It creates a support system that holds them accountable. This allows them to continue exercising beyond the class. Some great friendships have already formed through the program. Member engagement specialist Yalanda Williams explains, “Since we have been in COVID all this time, it’s a great opportunity for us to build relationships, connections, and work on our overall mental health.” This program may be beneficial for anyone struggling with their mental health.

Physical Meets Mental

Improving physical health can also help improve mental health. Exercise has been proven to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. It releases good endorphins that can enhance one’s sense of well-being. It also reduces the risk of other health problems. Those could include high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. So, it can help people not only look better, but feel better. This program helps participants establish a routine that works for them.

Who is it for?

The course is taught so that those with disabilities can understand it. However, the knowledge and skills gained are applicable for everyone. Member engagement specialist Stephanie Therrell said, “I think we're all trying to make healthy choices and this program really promotes that but breaks it down in a way that we can all understand.” She admits to having takeaways for herself as she led the program.

Getting involved

The program runs for 12 weeks. Participants typically meet 2-3 times per week for 1-2 hours. There are usually 10-15 participants involved in each session. The classes are currently delivered virtually, with some in-person events. It is intended to spread across all Cardinal Innovations counties.

Open to Everyone

Anyone who wants to learn more about healthy living should consider joining. This program covers a wide range of topics. It will teach valuable life lessons. Therrell said it best, “There really is a little something in there for everyone in a way that everyone can receive it."
Interested in joining or becoming a partner organization? Call us at 1-800-939-5911. You can also speak to a member engagement specialist about it.

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