Exercise Science is How This CNM Grad is Helping Albuquerque's Older Generation Stay Healthy

As the Activities Director at Amaran Senior Living, Coren Anderson uses exercise to help residents stay physically and mentally sharp
April 11, 2023

Coren Anderson knows that fitness isn’t something you stop paying attention to once you get older. In fact, fitness only becomes more important as you age. That’s why she’s dedicated herself to the field and currently works as the Activities Director at Amaran Senior Living here in Albuquerque.

“My job is incredibly fulfilling,” Coren says. “There is nothing like seeing the smile on a resident’s face after finishing an exercise class or coming back after a planned outing.” 

Coren got her start in fitness at CNM. She earned an associate degree in Communication along with a certificate in Exercise Science in 2015 and then went on to get a bachelor’s degree in Communication from UNM and a master’s degree in Gerontology from Texas Tech University.

Coren originally used her Exercise Science certification as a running coach for middle-aged adults but eventually transitioned to working with senior adults. 

“We talked a lot about generational care in grad school,” Coren says. “And by 2030 the entire Baby Boomer generation, which is about 73 million people, will be 65 or older. There is a huge need for caregivers of all kinds, including personal trainers and exercise instructors that are willing to work with this population. That need will only grow.”

Coren started her current job as Activities Director at Amaran Senior Living in October of last year and quickly built relationships with the 70 full-time residents. 

As the activities director, Coren plans and facilitates daily activities based on the needs of the residents. Regular activities include flower arranging, afternoon tea, painting classes, and of course fitness activities. Recently, Coren started teaching weekly cardio drumming classes that her residents took to very quickly. 

“The cardio drumming class is only about 25 minutes long, but they always leave feeling accomplished and with smiles on their faces,” Coren says. 

Along with her work as the Activities Director, Coren wants to provide more opportunities for current exercise science students to work with older adults. 

“I want to show students how fun it is to work with older adults,” she says. “I want to give students the chance to watch me teach a fitness class, teach a class on their own, or even work one-on-one with my residents to help bring more people into this line of work.”

Ultimately, Coren is thankful for the start she got at CNM and looks forward to creating a pathway for new graduates. 

“I cannot stress enough how rewarding this job is and I want to encourage others, especially CNM graduates, to join me along the way,” she says.