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Group Harnesses Colorado History to Help Seniors Stay Healthy

New GPS-based audio walking tours include historic sites such as the "unsinkable" Molly Brown's house just blocks from the State Capitol building (Wikimedia Commons)
New GPS-based audio walking tours include historic sites such as the "unsinkable" Molly Brown's house just blocks from the State Capitol building (Wikimedia Commons)
January 17, 2017

DENVER – A new smartphone app might be just the incentive seniors need to keep New Year's resolutions to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Jeremiah Mora, the associate state director of community outreach with AARP Colorado, says the group partnered with Geotourist to create NeighborWalks audio tours of historic sites around Denver. He says the goal was to create a fun-with-purpose opportunity for more people to get out and take a walk.

"To really get people out into the community, exercising, and to learn more about what's going on in Denver in the history and what they can explore," he said.

The group's first tour takes users to 20 different points of interest surrounding the Colorado State Capitol building, including the "unsinkable" Molly Brown's house and the Governor's Mansion. Users can visit sites in any order they like, and as they get close, they'll hear stories told by a local historian. The app can be downloaded for free on iTunes or Google Play.

The group created a second tour focused on Denver's LGBT history and includes landmarks such as Cheesman Park, the site of Denver's first Gay Pride celebration, and Charlie's bar, which hosted the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association. Mora says he's hopeful the app also will inspire younger members of the LGBT community.

"To understand where we've been, what the community has had to go through to become where we are today," he added. "I think it provides a great overview of the history for the LGBT community."

Regular aerobic activity such as walking can lead to numerous health benefits for older Americans, according to the National Institute on Aging, such as improved heart health, relief from arthritis symptoms, and reduced anxiety and depression.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO