The University of Arizona Health Sciences is promoting healthy living habits for aging adults through a wellness practice known as “awe-walking.”
By 2030, every Baby Boomer in the United States will be age 65 or older. This comes on the heels of a decade that saw those age 65 and older grow at a faster pace – 34% – than any other demographic. In Arizona, that increase was even more dramatic at 48.4%, and now more than 1.3 million people in the state have reached retirement age.
To better prepare for and understand the unique health challenges this aging population is facing, the University of Arizona Health Sciences launched the Innovations in Healthy Aging initiative. Innovations in Healthy Aging is a collaboration of experts from across the university working together to redefine what it means to thrive while aging.
One of the collaborations is the Creative Encounters in Awe Walking series. Awe walking is a wellness practice that involves going on walks of 15 minutes or longer and shifting one’s attention toward things that inspire “awe.”
The project was developed by Jennie Gubner, PhD, assistant professor of music in the UArizona College of Fine Arts and chair of the Applied Intercultural Arts Research Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, and Sydney Streightiff, a research assistant in Innovations in Healthy Aging and doctoral student in the AIAR program. Innovations in Healthy Aging helped expand the project by integrating it into its Aging and the Arts program.
Creative Encounters in Awe Walking was inspired by recent neuroscience research that has associated positive health benefits for older adults through experiencing awe. It promotes walking as an accessible and affordable wellness practice across the lifespan by providing students and community members with tools to encounter and share moments of awe. The walks explore how creativity can be used as a tool to enhance and encourage awe-walking practices in daily life.
Each of the workshops have a theme, such as sound, light or color, and feature an artistic modality such as photography, drawing or sound recording. The workshops are presented in collaboration with community partners from the Tucson area, including the Tucson Botanical Gardens, The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, the University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography and the Audubon Society.
Aging and the Arts Creative Encounters in Awe Walking: Color
April 1, 10:30a-noon
University of Arizona Museum of Art
Join us to connect to awe at the University of Arizona Museum of Art and learn about awe walking in conjunction with their new exhibit Restored: Woman-Ochre. This workshop will combine the themes of the exhibit with our own exploration of color in a project led by Jenna Green, an Art and Visual Culture Education doctoral student with a focus on contemplative practice and empathy.
The University Museum of Art is located at 1031 N Olive Rd, Tucson, AZ 85721. Complimentary Parking can be found in Lot 3039, located at 945 N Palm Dr.
This event is free, and all materials required for the workshop will be provided free of charge. The workshops are open to all artistic skill levels, and no preparation is necessary to participate.
Creative Encounters in Awe Walking gives students and community members tools to encounter and share moments of awe in and across our communities. The goal is to promote awe walking as an accessible and affordable wellness practice across the lifespan. This is in response to recent neuroscience research that has associated positive health benefits with taking short walks while looking for things that inspire awe. The Creative Encounters in Awe Walking Workshop Series explores how creativity can be used as a tool to enhance and encourage awe-walking practices in your daily life.
These workshops are being presented in collaboration with community partners from the Tucson area, including the Tucson Botanical Gardens, The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, the University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography, and the Audubon Society.
Kathleen Insel, PhD, RN
Professor and Interim Dean, College of Nursing
Director, Innovations in Healthy Aging
Mindy J. Fain, MD
Professor, College of Medicine – Tucson
The Anne and Alden Hart Endowed Chair in Medicine
Associate Professor, College of Nursing
Executive Director of Practice, Innovation in Health Sciences
Co-Director, Arizona Center on Aging
Esther M. Sternberg, MD
Professor, College of Medicine – Tucson
Director of Research, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine
Inaugural Andrew Weil Endowed Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine
Member, BIO5 Institute, Arizona Arthritis Center
Jennie M. Gubner, PhD
Assistant Professor, Music, UArizona College of Fine Arts
Chair, Applied Intercultural Arts Research Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
Originally published on the University of Arizona Health Sciences website. Republished with permission.