For 70-year-old Miami resident Cecil Daniels, the SilverSneakers Fitness Program ® isn’t just a life-changing exercise program designed for older adults – it represents camaraderie, a renewed passion for life and determination. Daniels was spending five hours a day at his local barber shop to fill his need to connect with friends. Today, Daniels has reinvigorated his life and health by joining a group of friends three days a week to participate in SilverSneakers classes. A renewed emphasis on health has replaced greasy foods with exercise and motivation that continues to help him overcome diabetes and high blood pressure. Now in control of these conditions, Daniels receives fantastic reports from his physicians and is excited to share his success with friends and family.
That is why Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program is proud to recognize Cecil Daniels as the national winner of the 2012 Richard L. Swanson Inspiration Award, which honors a SilverSneakers member whose healthy behavior has made a difference in his or her own life while motivating others. Daniels is joined by four Swanson Award finalists whose inspirational stories are also being recognized.
The Swanson Award is in memory of SilverSneakers founder Mary Swanson’s father, who served as the inspiration for the nationally acclaimed fitness program. The award honors five finalists across the U.S., and one of the five is selected as the national award recipient.
“Each year we receive hundreds of inspiring nominations for the Richard L. Swanson Award that reveal how impactful this program is for our members – whether for weight loss, for increased mobility or for meeting new people,” said Debbie James, market president of Healthways. “This year, Cecil exemplifies the heart of the Richard L. Swanson award with a focus on not only the physical health, but also the social health benefits that result from the friendships created through participation in the program.”