Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Dive Into This Total Body Workout

Ever notice that swimming pools seem to always be on the menu of community amenities? You’ll find resort style pools with cabanas, Olympic-style pools, and heated indoor versions all designed to relax, refresh, and give you a great workout! Active adults will be glad to know there’s no need to hit the ground running to build muscle, burn calories, and squeeze in the recommended 150 minutes of weekly cardio activity. Swimming not only gets the heart pumping but also provides older adults a joint friendly, low-impact way to lose weight.

According to Active.com, 30 minutes of consistent swimming equates to 45 minutes of regular exercise with water resistance providing an additional challenge. Orthopedic physicians routinely prescribe aquatic therapy for everything from back pain to joint injuries touting the protective benefits that water has on joint mobility. At Texas Orthopedic Hospital, pool therapy is noted to reduce swelling, help with balance, and improve strength, and flexibility. 55+ communities have caught onto the healing benefits of water exercise with many offering on-site classes designed to help active adults of all fitness levels feel energized, and move with more freedom. Kings Point Suncoast Communities in Florida provide residents with invigorating water workout classes geared towards improving range of motion both gently, and effectively.

Unforgettable Bike Tour Destinations

Forget about crowded tour buses, and car rental counters because discovering exciting destinations on two wheels is how active adults are seeing the world. Bike tours are gaining in popularity with boomers who crave the exhilaration of the open road, and the experience of exploring new cities in a way that car travel or walking tours can’t touch. Whether it’s a solo trip or joining a tour group, cycling is a low-impact way to sneak in some cardio and pursue your next adventure. The hardest part? Deciding which bike friendly city to explore first!

Amsterdam
Home to over 800,000 bicycles and a massive network of bike paths, the experience of cycling through Amsterdam is like the Dutch version of the Autobahn. Whether it’s riding through the tulip studded countryside, or touring the city’s iconic landmarks, most locals would agree getting around on a bike is the only way to go. With over a dozen bike tour companies, active adults can pedal their way through Amsterdam’s rich culture with a variety of options from private, and multi-day tours, to party, and even brewery tours.

The Health Trend You Won’t Find In a Bottle

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but could the key to good health be where you live? Feeling your best in everything you do extends beyond the hours you’re putting in at the gym. Longevity and vitality is a lifestyle rather than a health fad, and while juice cleanses, and superfoods are fabulous, experiencing mind-body health is one that 55+ communities have made their core focus. Anyone who’s researched this neighborhood turned “wellness retreats” has probably noticed a common thread of buzzwords like active, socially engaged, and connected. From the simplistic to the most opulent communities, most would agree that retirement isn’t being done sitting down.

Time, and time again, studies have proven the healing benefits of healthy social relationships, and how they improve everything from cardiovascular health to depression. Active adult communities are specifically designed to bring neighbors together through social clubs, events, and competitive games. The peer community atmosphere is ideal for singles to meet new people, and reduce feelings of loneliness. One resident said that since her move, life had become more socially enhanced, and she even became a cookie delivering member of the welcoming committee. These communities foster a no pressure approach to getting out there by offering activities to suit any lifestyle.

Step Back Into Your Comfort Zone

Leave it to the Danes, to sum up how we feel about a cup of tea, lunch with a friend, or a plush blanket. Social media and wellness advocates are all about hygge, the trending buzzword that’s inspiring homebodies everywhere. I have to admit the first time I saw the phrase associated with a room full of candles, and cocoa with marshmallows, I was intrigued. It sounds like a “hug” right? Well sort of. Pronounced (hoo-ga), this form of self-care defines all things cozy, and meaningful, whether that means your time, or gathering with loved ones. Last year The World Happiness report named Denmark the happiest country in the world based on the quality of living, overall health, and promoting a healthy economy. Hygge is at it’s comforting best during the winter, but our Danish neighbors have made the art of living in the moment a year-round tradition.

What does hygge mean to you? If I had to define how this concept applies to my life I’d say coming home each day to a dog who’s overjoyed to see me, or a sunny northwest day is all I need to feel content. 55+ retirement communities seem to have to savor the finer things figured out from the many social activities to the amenities that encourage self-care. Think of hygge as your new prescription, trying to incorporate a moment of bliss each day whether it’s a bike ride, reading a book, or holding hands with the one you love. There’s something to be said about a culture who’s been practicing this idea for eons sharing their spirit of happiness with the rest of the world.

Alternative Medicine Popular With Baby Boomers

“Health Isn’t a Goal, It’s a Way of Life.” Health markets are a mecca for colorful produce, probiotic beverages, and a steady stream of baby boomer clientele. This generation has grown up on grandma’s chicken soup, and bathtubs filled with ice to remedy everything from the common cold to measles, so it’s no surprise many of these health-savvy folks are choosing a holistic approach to what ails them. According to a CNN article, close to a third of Americans seek alternatives to traditional medicine with many 55+ communities getting on board with on-site yoga studios, farm to table offerings, and massage services.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health showed an increase in the use of alternative supplements like Omega 3 fish oil, and more older adults are looking to herbal remedies to treat a variety of conditions from arthritis, to insomnia. Even more promising, many insurance plans not only cover complimentary medicine such as a naturopath, or chiropractic services, but most require patients to try and fail conservative measures before authorizing more invasive treatments.

Winter Wellness Rituals

Depending on where you are in the world, chances are you’re cranking up the heat, and seeking refuge under a warm blanket, living on hot soup, and perhaps a Netflix marathon. This time of year is dead of winter at its peak, and New Year resolutions that promised a brisk walk, and lots of salads might be fizzling out as our bodies brave the cold. The good news is that going strong with your wellness resolutions can easily be done in the great indoors with some simple modifications.

During the summer when we crave lighter foods, the opposite is true during winter when the body actually needs warm cooked foods to regulate body temperature, and feel satiated. It’s easy to incorporate vegetables into your diet by way of hot soups, and warm salads made with grains, proteins, and roasted vegetables. Market produce looking sad? Choose veggies like parsnips, winter squash, rutabaga, or leafy cabbages. Use warming spices to enhance digestion such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon.

Finding Your Competitive Edge

In a recent Toronto marathon, one runner defied the odds completing the 26.2 mile race in under four hours. An accomplishment many of us can’t fathom, it should also be mentioned that this competitor was 85 years old! Canadian Ed Whitlock born March 6th 1931, broke the world record, leaving spectators awestruck, and inspired. While participating in a marathon may not be for everyone, the desire to go the distance, pushing yourself beyond what you thought was possible knows no age limit. Having a spirit of competition doesn’t necessarily mean keeping up with the twenty something at the gym, or spending a fortune on sports gear, but it’s the motivation to find your inner warrior, and exceed your own expectations.

The National Senior Games Association held it’s first 19 sport event in St. Louis in 1987, and has gone on to showcase thousands of competitors 50 and better who are surpassing athletes half their age. Seniors all over the country have teamed up to play in sports leagues, and participate in fitness classes not just for the physical benefits, but to enjoy socializing with fellow age peers, and have fun being on the move. Healthy living, is active living and no-one understands the love of the sport better than active adult lifestyle builders who incorporate fitness into their community designs. Many are equipped with amenities for active seniors to get their game on like basketball, and tennis courts, and some with sprawling golf courses. There’s a reason why these guys, and gals wake up at 5 a.m to meet up with other residents, and that’s to practice and perfect their tennis serve, their golf swing, or whatever it is that fuels their competitive fire.

Recharge By Going Unplugged

Thought a juice cleanse was the only way to detox? Last summer on a weekend family getaway, we all settled into our hotel room, and spent a good while immersed in our cell phones. It could have been an iPhone commercial, or an ad for how the modern family does down time, but it was also an eye opener how technology has become such a pivotal part of our lives that we almost feel lost without it. How many times have you witnessed someone’s frustration because they lost reception, or couldn’t get wifi? What began as a convenient way to stay in touch, has become an all consuming pastime of checking for updates from the moment we wake up. The benefits of a digital fast can be as beneficial as putting healthy fuel into your body, reminding us that technology is there to work for us not the other way around.

Don’t underestimate the power of uninterrupted “you time.” The next time you take a walk, or read a book, leave your phone behind, or put it into airplane mode and enjoy a quiet moment without the information overload. Let calls go to voicemail, and set aside time to check the news or emails later on. People that allow themselves time to go unplugged experience less anxiety, and even improved sleep. Dedicate a couple of hours or challenge yourself to a full day of a technology hiatus.