The Village of Beiseker is hosting a Seniors Cupcake Walking Club every Tuesday at 9 a.m. to promote mental and physical health among the community's seniors.
Meeting in front of Arcadia Café, the club’s members will walk for 45 minutes around the village each Tuesday until June 21. The walk is free to join and no registration is needed.
The name of the club is inspired by the start and endpoint, with the weekly walks commencing and wrapping up in front of Beiseker’s café, where participants can reward their efforts with a tasty cupcake or other treat.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to many lockdowns, when many people became inactive and were unable to visit friends and family, leading to a decline in both mental and physical health.
As part of the Village of Beiseker’s initiative, the municipality “wanted to make sure we had recreation to reach out to each demographic,” according the Village of Beiseker’s recreation coordinator, Stephanie Young.
The weekly walk not only promotes senior engagement “in recreation for physical health,” Young said, but also keeps the community’s seniors “physically, emotionally and mentally healthy.”
Young pointed out physical health is connected to mental health. Thus, the cupcake walk encourages socialization among Beiseker’s seniors.
According to Psychology Today Canada, socialization increases feelings of well-being while decreasing feelings of depression. Socialization also helps promote physical health by increasing immunity, making it easier to fight off cases of the flu and colds. People with active social lives have better memory and cognitive skills and are less likely to develop dementia than people who are socially isolated.
Due to the isolation experienced by many seniors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seniors Cupcake Walk was an important aspect of Beiseker’s COVID initiative to get its community members active and social again.
Kicking off on May 17, the first seniors walk had a small turnout, with only one walker in attendance joining Young on her stroll around the community. Despite the low turnout rate for the inaugural walk, she is not discouraged.
“It takes a while to get exposure and to get people engaged but once you do, you have a solid foundation,” Young added.
Currently, the walk is only for seniors, but Young is considering creating a similar walk for families in the future.
Although the club's walks ends in June, the goal for Beiseker recreation is for the Village to stop facilitating the walk and for the gatherings to continue amongst community members instead, according to Young.
“It’s all about setting up Beiseker for success, getting these groups rolling so that we can then help other groups that aren’t having their needs met,” she said.
One of these other groups is young children and their caregivers who are secluded at home, Young mentioned.
“We thought of doing…a MOPS walk, [mothers of preschoolers] and young children,” potentially starting this summer, according to Young.
“This is the beginning of our ongoing recreation building for our community,” Young added. “We’re just trying to meet the needs of our community.”