Morgan: Keep moving Cincinnatians

You may know Victoria Morgan as the recently retired artistic director of the Cincinnati Ballet.

But now she has a new goal: helping Cincinnatians stay healthy and active as they age.

“While I am used to professional dancers, this is a new realm for me,” said Morgan. “I think because I am personally in what I call the “re-fired” stage of life, I am loving being able to embrace it and share what I know about a physical body moving.”

The event included a presentation and discussion on healthy aging and longevity with Mladen Golubic, Victoria Morgan, John Tew and Sian Cotton.

Morgan created the VM Workout only three weeks after retiring from her 25-year run with the Cincinnati Ballet.

The VM Workout is a 50-minute dance-based fitness class incorporating a blend of yoga, ballet, contemporary movement, and strengthening exercises designed to support one’s core, build flexibility, find balance, and attain proper alignment.

Propelled by Morgan’s favorite tunes from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, she welcomes people of all ages and abilities to get down as she guides them through structured movement and improvisation.

“The first rule when it comes to moving with a purpose is to have fun,” said Mladen Golbuc, medical director for the Osher Center for Integrative Health. “That is where Victoria comes in. Joy radiates from her.”

The Osher Center for Integrative Health at the University of Cincinnati hosted a Movement as Medicine event on Nov. 3 at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute featuring Victoria’s VM workout. The event also included a presentation and discussion on healthy aging and longevity with John Tew, vice president and executive director of community affairs of UC Health and College of Medicine, Golubic and Sian Cotton, founding director of the Osher Center for Integrative Health and Turner Farm Foundation Chair.

“Dame Victoria in her majestic style of energy and artistry created the perfect balance of movement, meditation, and music with enthusiastic friends of the Osher Center for Integrative Health,” said Tew. “We were all moved to a new level of appreciation for her inspired dedication to improve our health and longevity.”

Integrative health practices, such as movement, meditation and healthy nutrition, have been shown to positively impact both chronic and acute conditions to improve health outcomes.

Integrative healthcare emphasizes multimodal interventions and a focus on whole-person health. The VM Workout promotes integrative health principles by encouraging older adults to be physically active and build social connections, all while having fun.

“Our mission is to flip the healthcare model from one of sick and disease care only to one that includes prevention, self-care and wellness with concepts like movement and food-as-medicine,” said Cotton. “By providing Cincinnatians with options like the VM Workout and our other movement-based and integrative therapies, we are continuing to improve health outcomes in Cincinnati.”

The Osher Center for Integrative Health also offers weekly movement-based therapies to patients at no cost thanks to generous philanthropy. Classes include general Tai Chi, Tai Chi for Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders, Yoga therapy for cancer, and yoga for MS and other neurological disorders.

These evidence-based movement therapies offer a host of benefits. Yoga therapy for cancer can address side effects such as fatigue, neuropathy, lymphedema, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. Tai Chi can improve balance, reduce pain, lower stress, increase range of motion and muscle strength, as well as improve cardiovascular health. Tai Chi helps promote circulation, improve breathing, focus your mind, and increase your range of motion.

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