October 13, 2011
The "Positive Aging/Lasting Strength" program is an exercise-based initiative specifically geared to the 50-and-above HIV population. Every Friday morning, PALS members gather at the Boston Young Men's Christian Union Gym and Athletic Club on Boylston Street to work out with a certified personal trainer and trained volunteers.
Greg Cloutier, who has 28 years of personal training experience and 10 years of experience at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, has run PALS since AIDS Action Committee launched it. He provides clients with instruction when they begin, but they quickly move to self-directed training.
The average number of attendees varies from 10 to 20, often with fewer in the summer months, Cloutier said. The weekly class allows members to share experiences and helps counter isolation, he said. "It's a place where they can talk about things they might not be able to talk about somewhere else."
In addition to the weekly class, PALS offers nutritional consultations and follow-ups, weekly support groups, and a monthly education forum, said program manager Emerson Miller. "I don't know of any other programming that's specifically dealing with the 50 and above population" in this way, he said.
For more information, visit www.aac.org/site/PageServer?pagename=help_groups.