Health and Fitness Programs

What if I told you that there is a way that you can feel better and not be so tired all the time? If you could take control of your health, bring back your vitality, and do the things you really want to do, would you? If you want to take charge of your health, feel better, and take back the control of your life then you'll want to learn more about the health and wellness opportunities VPAS has designed just for you.

A Matter of Balance

A Matter of Balance (MOB) addresses the fear of falling that many older adults experience. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. This program is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. The $25 dollar fee is waived for participants 60 years and older who complete required paperwork.

Check out our Fall Prevention Tips sheet.

Check out this video for participant perspectives.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Education

These six week workshops are designed to empower adults to better manage their chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, chronic pain and heart disease with the goal of giving individuals confidence and skills to allow them to actively manage their health care and reduce unnecessary visits to the Emergency Department or the physician(s).

  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) focuses on solutions to problems, caused by living with ongoing health conditions such as pain, fatigue, sleep, managing medications and difficult emotions.
  • Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP) includes activities such as pacing and planning, better breathing, evaluating treatments, understanding pain, and physical activity.
  • Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) includes diabetes specific information such as meal planning, foot care, delaying complications, dealing with stress and planning for sick days.

Read this powerful letter from a recent DSMP Participant:

"I would like to share an incident that happened to me during the time I was taking the Diabetes Self Management course. I would not have been prepared for the incident had I not taken the course. Always having food in my car was stressed time and time again.

Recently I was driving south in Interstate 81 from Harrisonburg to Augusta Medical Center to see my endocrinologist who oversees my diabetes. I suddenly began experiencing the symptoms I get when my blood sugar drops too low. Traveling on 81 is scary enough without feeling shaky, hot, sweaty, dizzy, and like you're going to pass out. 18-wheelers and cars were speeding past me at over 70 mph and there was no place to pull over.

My symptoms progressed to the point that things started looking dark and I began getting confused. I was absolutely terrified and literally began praying out loud to God for my safety and that of others. Then I remembered that I had glucose tablets in my purse and a protein bar in my car. I quickly ingested them and came to Rte. 64 where I could pull off and felt like I could safely make it to the Augusta hospital. If I hadn't had glucose and carbs to eat and raise my blood sugar, I don't think I would've lived to tell this story. It was that serious. If you have diabetes, please make sure you always have a fast acting carbohydrate source handy in case of an emergency. It could be a matter of life and death." - JM

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention has been recognized by many national organizations including the Arthritis Foundation and the Administration for Community Living as safe and effective. Slow, controlled movements build muscle strength, improve balance, gently free up stiff joints, and relieve stress. All movements are done in an upright standing position, or may be done seated by those unable to stand. The physical exertion level of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention is similar to that of walking.

VPAS certified instructors for Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention are Christopher Bowring, Sherry Ross, Jeri Schaff, David Taylor, Lori Pullin, Ann Gross and Joyce Nussbaum.

Participation is open to those 50 and older and adults of any age who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, scleroderma, or spondylitis. Participants must be medically fit to perform the exercises, and must be able to participate without assistance.

Falls Prevention Programs Just For You

Despite the fact that every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, falling is not a normal part of aging. There are changes we can make to actively work toward the goal of preventing or limiting the occurrence of falls.

We recently teamed up with the Virginia Arthritis and Falls Prevention Coalition (VAFPC) and the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to bring you falls prevention workshops. Topics included using assistive technology, aging in place, tai chi, and many more. All workshops were recorded and are available here.

Upcoming Programs

For more information, call 540.820.8567 or email

Matter of Balance (Virtual)

April 21-June 16, 10:00 a.m - Noon

Call 540-615-5341 or register here.

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention (Virtual)

This CDC recognized, evidence-based program is being researched for its ability to relieve joint pain with results showing reductions in the rate of falls. Learn more about the program and a simple move/form that is a major player in all of the Tai Chi for Health forms. All movements are done in an upright standing position, or may be done seated by those unable to stand. The physical exertion level of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention is similar to that of walking. For people new to tai chi.

Tuesdays, May 4-June 22 from 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.Register here or call 540-615-5341.

What our participants are saying about our Health and Wellness programs...

"This program (Matter of Balance) has helped me to not be afraid of getting older anymore." - MOB participant

"Provided me with tools to develop ideas in moving forward more happily and successfully." - CDSME participant