Written by Jenny Smiechowski, staff writer for The Birches
Research shows that staying active as you age is the secret to living a longer, healthier, happier life. But it’s easy to lose inspiration, motivation or just plain forget how important an active lifestyle is to your well-being. Luckily, there are plenty of inspirational older adults who can keep you motivated and on track— and many of them live right here at The Birches!
Over the past year, Birches residents have gotten in shape, picked up new hobbies, pursued lifelong dreams and lived the type of life we should all aspire to no matter what our age—one that’s filled with growth, change and lots of activity! Here are three inspiring ways you can live a more active lifestyle just like Birches residents:
1. Get in shape like Beth Junco
We all want to feel fit and healthy. Unfortunately, we often prevent ourselves from feeling our best by eating the wrong things and not exercising enough. But it’s never too late to start making different decisions. That’s what Birches resident Beth Junco did. When she realized she’d gained 30 pounds, she decided enough was enough and set out to get in shape. Beth started visiting the exercise stations located throughout The Birches twice per day. After exercising regularly for about a month she dropped 13 pounds. Beth’s story proves that a little daily activity goes a long way toward better fitness. Here’s more information about Beth’s fitness journey and descriptions of the exercises she did to get shape. If Beth can do it, you can too!
2. Learn a new instrument like Charlotte Lillquist
Active aging isn’t just about physical activity. It’s about staying active in all areas of your life. That includes keeping your brain active and trying new things—and maybe even fulfilling a lifelong dream. Birches resident Charlotte Lillquist’s lifelong dream was to learn how to play harp, so last year she started taking harp lessons. Charlotte’s harp lessons have kept her active, engaged and have even improved her health. So, why not learn a new instrument yourself? Or fulfill another lifelong dream? As C.S. Lewis once said: “You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” In fact, the more dreams and goals you have, the better (and younger) you’ll feel. Just ask Charlotte.
3. Express yourself through art like Encore residents
Whether you consider yourself “artsy” or not, doing something artistic is a great way to take care of your mind, spirit and emotions. Residents in our memory care neighborhood participate in many artistic activities, including monthly art therapy sessions, that improve their mood, make them smile and give them an outlet for expression. And because being creative and artistic takes some serious brain power, research shows that this type of activity keeps your mind strong and healthy as you age. What better reason to get active through art like the residents in our Encore neighborhood? Whether you draw, paint, craft, sew or pick up another creative hobby, you’ll be living an active and creative lifestyle that keeps you thriving for years to come.
Always remember, active aging is about living a full, well-rounded life. That means stimulating your mind, body and spirit. It means getting out of your comfort zone so you can change and grow. And most importantly, it means never using age as an excuse to not follow your dreams and live your best life. Happy Active Aging Week!
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