Jane McMullin, who currently serves as the director of health and fitness at the Trinity Village Retirement Community, has devoted her life to the health and well-being of others.
“There are easy and effective exercises for everybody at every age,” McMullin said. “That is one of my slogans. It is important because everybody is better with exercise.”
McMullin was recently recognized for her years of service and advocacy on the board of the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Fitness at the 2012 Leadership in Fitness Award Winners dinner Oct. 19 in Little Rock at the Peabody Hotel.
“This is the 20th anniversary of the Governor’s Council and I was part of the original Council,” McMullin said. “I received the service recognition along with Nash Abrams because we have been around for a long time. The mission of the Council on Fitness is to encourage health and wellness for all individuals in Arkansas by promoting healthy lifestyles through increased levels of physical activity.”
“In my generation, everybody participated in PE classes,” McMullin said. “I wanted to do something in fitness after coming to know Dr. Kent Cooper who started the aerobics movement. I have been very privileged to work in the field of health and fitness. It is my mission and my passion.”
McMullin marveled at how much certain attitudes towards health have changed since she began her career in the 1960s.
“When I first got into it people still smoked,” McMullin said. “People are no longer smoking in restaurants and this is wonderful. At first people didn’t think that public relations efforts on behalf of healthier living would work but look at what it’s done with smoking and with getting people to drink more water.”
McMullin acknowledged that the pace of change has been slow.
“The importance of good nutrition and exercise is just now getting a turnaround,” McMullin said. “I am very proud of being a part of that movement.”
McMullin said that her work on the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Fitness has been very fulfilling for her.
“The Governor’s Council on Fitness has created so many healthy cities in the state,” McMullin said. “We’re a clearing house for information, to advocate and as a resource. One of the things that we do is partner with organizations and collaborate on initiatives to foster healthier lifestyles in Arkansas.”
McMullin said that the recognition that council award winners receive for their health and fitness efforts is very important.
“People involved in the career of fitness don’t make a lot of money so we want to be able to pat them on the back for their efforts,” McMullin said.
McMullin said that she is also proud to be a part of the Great Arkansas Workout.
“We bring fourth and fifth graders from across the state to the State Capitol in Little Rock,” McMullin said. “The Workout consists of sports and workout stations led by coaches and fitness instructors from across Arkansas. D1, a sports training facility in Little Rock, which was also recognized for its service Oct. 19, organizes and holds the Great Arkansas Workout.”
Her work as the health and fitness director is very important to her and to the lives of the seniors she works with, McMullin said.
“We try to do the whole wellness concept,” McMullin said. “Mind, body and spirit. All of our people are certified by the American Arthritis Association. We also work with balance activities to help in fall prevention. I am on the Arkansas Falls Free Coalition. I am very passionate about helping to prevent falls by senior citizens.”
McMullin said that the American healthcare crisis can be solved if prevention is emphasized.
“Statistics show that people who go straight from the hospital to the nursing home cost hospitals a great deal,” McMullin said. “We used to work on cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility and we have now added stability.”