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02.29.24 | Fitness & Activity

Family Fitness Fun: Activities for All Generations

At Sage Collective, we emphasize the importance of wellness and community in our journey towards a full, happy and high-quality life, as seen across our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living. An engaging way to combine these elements is through family fitness activities. Participating in physical activities as a family promotes health while strengthening bonds across generations, creating cherished memories and shared experiences.

The Benefits of Family Fitness

Family fitness activities offer a multitude of benefits. They provide an opportunity for quality time, foster healthy habits, and can be tailored to accommodate the abilities and interests of all family members, from the youngest to the oldest. Physical activity is essential at every age, and doing it together can make it more enjoyable and sustainable.

Here are some of our favorite intergenerational fitness ideas:

Nature Walks and Hikes: Exploring local parks or nature trails as a family is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors and get moving. These walks can be leisurely or more challenging, depending on the family’s fitness levels.

Gardening Together: Gardening is a wonderful way to be active, enjoy the outdoors, and teach children about nature and nutrition. It can be a relaxing and rewarding activity for older adults as well.

Dance Parties: Organize a family dance party in your living room or backyard. Dancing is a fun way to get everyone moving, regardless of their age or skill level.

Yoga Sessions: Hosting a family yoga session can be a calming and bonding experience. There are various yoga practices suitable for all ages and abilities.

Biking: A family bike ride is a great way to explore your neighborhood or local bike paths while getting a good workout.

Team Sports: Engaging in team sports like soccer, basketball, or even simple games like tag can be fun for the whole family and foster a sense of teamwork and cooperation.

Tips for Successful Family Fitness

For successful family fitness, it’s essential to embrace inclusivity by selecting activities that cater to various ages and fitness levels, ensuring everyone can participate. Establishing a regular routine for these activities can help in building a lasting habit that becomes a cherished part of your family’s life. The key is to keep these fitness sessions enjoyable and light-hearted; the primary goal is to have fun and enjoy being active together. Additionally, safety should always be a priority, particularly when activities involve children or older family members. By considering these factors, family fitness becomes not only a means of staying healthy but also a source of joy and bonding for the entire family.

Incorporating fitness into family life is more than just an exercise; it’s an investment in your family’s health and relationships. Finding activities that everyone can enjoy is crucial, and it creates a foundation of healthy habits and precious moments together. Choose activities that can be modified to suit different ages and fitness levels, establish regular family fitness times to build a habit, and most importantly, keep the atmosphere light and playful. Always prioritize safety, especially when involving children or older family members.

As we embrace family fitness, we’re not just moving our bodies; we’re strengthening bonds and creating joyous memories. It’s about enjoying the journey together, one step, stretch, or pedal at a time, and fostering a lifestyle that values health and togetherness. Let’s make family fitness a delightful and essential part of our vibrant living journey.

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11.30.23 | Fitness & Activity

Why Staying Active in Winter Matters

Winter can be challenging, especially with shorter days and colder weather influencing our activity levels. But staying active is crucial, particularly for anyone. Regular physical activity during these colder months can help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), maintain physical health, support immune function, and promote mental well-being. Engaging in exercise, even indoors, enhances our mood, keeps our bodies strong, and ensures we’re living a vibrant life.

The Benefits of Winter Activity

Physical activity, regardless of the season, is a cornerstone of vibrant living. It strengthens muscles, boosts heart health, and improves balance, reducing the risk of falls. Exercise also releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators, helping to brighten our days even when the sun is scarce.

Indoor Activities for a Healthy Winter

  1. Home Workout Routines: The internet is a treasure trove of exercise videos tailored for older adults. From chair yoga to light aerobics, these routines are designed to keep you moving safely within the comfort of your home.
  2. Swimming and Water Aerobics: Many community centers offer indoor swimming and water aerobics classes. These low-impact exercises are gentle on the joints and effective for improving cardiovascular health and muscle strength.
  3. Yoga and Stretching: Yoga and stretching are excellent for maintaining flexibility and balance. Regular practice can also provide mental calm and stress relief. There are many online classes available, ranging from gentle movements to more challenging poses.
  4. Stair Climbing: If you have access to stairs, use them to your advantage. Stair climbing is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and helps build leg strength.
  5. Engaging in Chores: Never underestimate the power of household chores to keep you active. Vacuuming, dusting, and organizing can be surprisingly effective in keeping you moving and can be a great way to stay active indoors.

Winter is a season to embrace warmth and activity. By finding ways to stay active, we not only nourish our bodies but also keep our spirits high. At Sage Collective, we encourage each other to explore different forms of indoor exercises and find joy in movement, even as the snow falls outside.

Let’s remember, that each step we take towards staying active this winter is a step towards sustaining a vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle.

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11.09.23 | Fitness & Activity

Shining Light on Seasonal Wellness: Managing SAD

As winter approaches, the days grow shorter and the sunlight becomes scarce. This can lead to a lesser-known condition that tends to be more prevalent in our golden years: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s not just the winter blues; it’s a type of depression that ebbs and flows with the seasons. At Sage Collective, we believe in confronting such challenges with practical solutions and heartfelt support, fostering vibrant living year round. 

One of the first steps in managing SAD is recognizing the importance of light. Light therapy, or phototherapy, is a simple yet effective way to combat the symptoms. It involves sitting near a device called a light therapy box, which emits a bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. It’s been shown to cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases other symptoms of SAD. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting light therapy, to ensure it’s the right step for you.

Supplementing with Vitamin D can also be beneficial, as our bodies naturally produce less when we’re exposed to less sunlight. Before starting any supplement, it’s wise to discuss it with a healthcare professional, who can advise on the appropriate dosage.

Exercise remains a cornerstone of vibrant living. Physical activity helps mitigate the symptoms of SAD by releasing endorphins and serotonin, mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. Whether it’s a walk in the mall, a gentle indoor exercise class, or stretching exercises at home, keeping active is key to lifting spirits during the colder months.

Staying connected with our community is equally crucial. Social engagement can provide emotional support, which is particularly important for those feeling isolated. Regular check-ins with friends, family, or participating in group activities can be a source of comfort and joy.

Lastly, let’s not underestimate the power of our surroundings. Creating a living space that maximizes light can make a substantial difference. Keep curtains open during the day, trim any outside bushes that block sunlight, and consider setting up your sitting areas near windows.

If you or someone you know is dealing with SAD, remember that it’s more than okay to seek help. Professional guidance can offer personalized strategies for managing symptoms. And here at Sage Collective, we’re always ready to listen and share insights for maintaining wellness in every season.

We’re committed to navigating the challenges of each season together, advocating for well-being with every tool at our disposal. Share your experiences or strategies for managing SAD on our platform. Let’s continue to support each other in leading a full, vibrant life, no matter the time of year.

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10.05.23 | Arts & Culture

Understanding the Tradition of Walking Moai

We’ve all felt it: the comforting presence of a friend beside us, turning a regular walk into something special. That burst of laughter, that shared secret, or that debate over the best coffee shop in town. Now, imagine multiplying that by a few more friends, all walking together, with a shared sense of purpose. That’s the magic of a Walking Moai.

Originating from Okinawa, Japan, the term “moai” translates to a heartwarming “meeting for a common purpose”. It’s more than just hanging out – it’s about belonging to a tribe, each step echoing with shared dreams and aspirations. And when it comes to walking, this sense of unity turns every journey into a festival of memories.

And it’s not just about the fun moments. When we walk with our pals, we’re not just burning calories, we’re sparking joy. A study from 2020 whispered a sweet secret: walking with friends makes you healthier, happier, and more motivated. It’s as if our bodies and minds instinctively know: life’s better when we’re together.

In today’s world, where loneliness sometimes sneaks up on us, Walking Moais are like a warm hug. They’re more than just a group – they’re a family. A circle where shared stories replace solitude and laughter keeps away the blues.

What’s even more magical is the transformation that happens when we walk, talk, and dream together. Those in the known “blue zones” have shown us the way. Walking isn’t just about movement; it’s about connecting, feeling, and living. A quick stroll can chase away stress, and brainstorming on the go? That’s where the best ideas are born!

So next time you’re lacing up your shoes, consider inviting a friend or two. Walk, chat, dream, and discover the world through the wonderful rhythm of shared footsteps. Whether you’re chasing health goals, seeking heartfelt conversations, or simply wanting a break from the daily grind – your tribe, your Walking Moai, awaits.

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08.03.23 | Community

The Benefits of Chair Dancing for Older Adults: Fitness, Fun, and Flexibility

In our pursuit of vibrant living, physical activity plays an increasingly crucial role. At Sage Collective, we’re dedicated to promoting fun, engaging, and accessible ways to keep moving. One such practice that has been gaining popularity among older adults is chair dancing. Today, we’re explore the fascinating world of chair dancing and how this fun fitness routine can enhance physical health, mental clarity, and overall well-being.

What is Chair Dancing?

Chair dancing is a dynamic and enjoyable form of exercise that integrates the rhythms and movements of dance into a seated routine. This low-impact activity is designed to accommodate all ages and fitness levels, making it a superb choice for older adults. Using a chair for support, individuals can savor the joys of dancing without concerns about balance or mobility. It allows everyone, regardless of physical ability, to engage in an energetic activity that promotes cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility, and coordination.

Health Benefits of Chair Dancing

Chair dancing provides a comprehensive workout that engages various muscle groups, enhancing cardiovascular health, increasing muscle tone, and promoting better coordination and balance. This low-impact activity also promotes joint mobility and flexibility, critical elements in maintaining a vibrant and active lifestyle.

Beyond its physical benefits, chair dancing can significantly improve mental well-being. The invigorating music and engaging movements stimulate cognitive activity, encouraging memory recall and enhancing focus. By naturally lifting your mood and reducing stress, chair dancing helps foster a happier, more positive mindset.

Chair dancing also has social benefits. Participating in a group setting can create a sense of community and connection. Joining a chair dancing class offers a fun, social way to stay active, contributing to an overall sense of well-being and joy as part of a vibrant lifestyle.

Getting Started with Chair Dancing

Starting your chair dancing routine requires some planning and gradual progression. Ensure you have a sturdy chair and enough space to move your arms and legs freely. Wearing comfortable clothing that facilitates easy movement is also essential. You can customize chair dancing to match your fitness level. If you’re new to the practice, start with slower, gentler routines and progressively build up to faster, more robust dances.

Community centers or gyms often offer chair dancing classes. If you prefer the comfort of your home, there are numerous online resources, including tutorials on YouTube and other platforms, catering to various skill levels. Most importantly, chair dancing should be fun and enjoyable. Use this time to express yourself, embrace the rhythm of the music, and immerse yourself in the joy of movement.

Chair dancing offers a host of physical, mental, and social benefits for older adults, contributing to a vibrant, fulfilling life. With such a fun and accessible form of exercise, it’s an excellent time to get moving and embrace an active lifestyle. At Sage Collective, we’re committed to nurturing a balanced, vibrant lifestyle that combines physical activity, mindfulness, and joy. With chair dancing, older adults can integrate all these elements, enhancing their well-being, and fostering a positive, active lifestyle.

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05.25.23 | Community

Staying Agile: Flexibility and Balance Exercises to Help You Maintain Independence

As we navigate through life’s different stages, physical changes often accompany us. At times, these can impact our strength, agility, and sense of independence. However, at Sage Collective, we are firm believers in the body’s innate capacity to adapt. Today, we’re exploring how to stay agile with flexibility and balance exercises. 

Flexibility and balance are the pillars of maintaining independence as we age. They are crucial in our daily tasks, from simple movements like bending to tie our shoes, to complex actions like reaching for an item on a high shelf or navigating stairs. Regular flexibility and balance exercises can enhance muscle tone, improve coordination, reduce risk of falls, and promote independence. Let’s delve into some exercises that can help.

Gentle Yoga 

Yoga is an exceptional choice for promoting flexibility and balance. The slow and deliberate movements of yoga poses, such as the “tree pose” and “warrior pose”, can dramatically improve balance. For increased flexibility, try poses like “downward dog” and “cobra pose”. These poses work on various muscle groups, enhancing flexibility in the legs, spine, and shoulders. Starting with guided sessions by a trained instructor can ensure proper technique and safety. 

Stretching Exercises 

Regular stretching exercises are integral to maintaining and improving flexibility, and in turn, your range of movement. Basic stretches, such as the calf stretch, hamstring stretch, and gentle neck rotation, can be highly effective. Aim to hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, ensuring you feel a gentle pull, not pain. Over time, you’ll notice improved flexibility, which can make everyday tasks easier and more comfortable. 

Balance Training 

Simple balance exercises can significantly improve stability. Start with exercises like standing on one leg, shifting weight from one foot to the other, or walking heel-to-toe in a straight line. Initially, use the support of a chair or railing until you gain confidence and can perform these exercises without aid. Consistent practice can lead to noticeable improvements in your balance, coordination, and confidence in daily movements. 

Staying agile involves more than physical flexibility and balance; it requires mental adaptability too. Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine sets you up to tackle life’s challenges with grace and resilience. Growing older doesn’t mean surrendering your independence. It’s about thriving, adapting, and embracing life’s ever-changing landscape. By dedicating time to activities like these, you’re investing in your independence, enhancing your quality of life, and paving the way to healthier aging. Let’s stay agile together, every step of the way.

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11.10.22 | Community

Health Benefits of Yoga

For those who love to get their daily exercise outside in the fresh air, the cool weather that comes with the winter can make that difficult. Thankfully though, there are plenty of ways you can complete your fitness goals from the comfort and warmth of your home, including yoga! Yoga is a low-impact activity perfect for anyone who wants to get their heart rate up while practicing mindfulness, and of course, it comes with a wide array of health benefits. Here are just a couple: 

Increases Strength

Yoga has been found to improve strength, balance and flexibility. Going through the slow, gentle movements and deep breathing exercises increases blood flow and warms up your muscles. Holding poses helps you develop better core strength and, in turn, improves your posture! And as you stretch your muscles with each pose, you also increase your range of motion and flexibility. Overall, the impact of this exercise leads to increased body awareness as well.

Aids in Pain Relief

For those going through an illness, recovering from surgery or living with a chronic condition, yoga is highly recommended. That’s because the practice has the potential to aid in pain relief — specifically, back pain. Stretching your lower back through various poses is believed to help relieve pain and improve flexibility overall during the healing process. And for those with arthritis: gentle yoga has been shown to ease some discomfort when it comes to those tender, swollen joints. 

Boosts Energy and Mood

As a practice grounded in body-mind-spirit connection, yoga naturally has an impact on your mental health as well as your physical health. Yoga has been demonstrated to aid in stress relief and even lead to a better night’s sleep. It also provides a boost to your overall energy and mood levels, producing better alertness and enthusiasm in its wake.

So, whether you’re looking for a low-impact fitness regimen or seeking a sense of groundedness, yoga is a great and healthy option for everyone. 

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06.09.22 | Community

Sage Collective’s Guide to Summer Wellness

We believe supporting healthy eating, outdoor activity, and self-care is always important, but summer is arguably the best time to practice all of the above! The warm weather and all that comes with it makes the season the perfect time to focus on individual wellbeing. Today, we’re sharing what you should be focusing on this season to guarantee nothing but the best for your body and mind:

Hydration

The key to a healthy and enjoyable summer is staying hydrated. While hydration is consequential during any season, it’s especially important to pay attention to in the summer months. Daily fluid intakes vary by the body, health condition, medications and even daily activity, but the consensus is that drinking water should become part of everyone’s daily routine throughout the summer. 

While drinking water is an amazing way to keep hydrated, there are plenty of other ways you can do so. Eating foods with high water content, like cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit and peppers, and taking probiotics are great ways to prohibit dehydration. And, if you aren’t a water drinker, try adding a few different ingredients like fresh lemons, berries or other fruits to add delicious flavor without the artificial preservatives or sweets!

Skincare

Protection from the sun and its harmful UV rays are essential for everyone during the summer months. While it does come with its benefits, like Vitamin D, when exposed to the sunlight for too long without protection, your body becomes more prone to wrinkles, dryness, age spots and even forms of skin cancer. 

That’s why it’s critical to protect your skin with anything from sunscreen to the clothes you wear. The key to skincare in the summer begins with sunscreen. SPF levels of 30 or higher are usually recommended, as well as reapplying throughout the day, but what’s most important is that you like what you’re putting on your body. Other ways to help avoid the sun’s harmful rays is by wearing lip balms, hats, sunglasses and other skin-protecting cosmetics. 

Practice Self-care

Because of the warm weather, longer days and more energy we feel during the summer in general, it’s the perfect time to start adding more self-care into your routine. Find some time in the long day to begin developing your exercise routine or encourage yourself to eat healthier by planting fresh fruits and vegetables in your garden. 

This is the best time to begin any new healthy lifestyle habits that can keep running through the end of the year and spend more time focusing on yourself. 

The bright sunlight, fresh air, and longer days are just some of the reasons why summertime is one of the most fulfilling times of the year. But don’t forget to focus on your health and wellness throughout the season!

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11.09.21 | Community

How to Age Gracefully

Aging is a unique experience that has no set rules or guidelines. Previously, we’ve explored how to embrace the process of aging and talked to Sage Collective Board Members about aging in place.

Contrary to what many presume, aging gracefully isn’t about transforming into your best physical self; instead, the transformation is focused on feeling and acting as your best self. Similar to our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living, aging gracefully pulls from numerous principles that champion a joyful and enduring life. Here is Sage Collective’s advice for how to age gracefully and establish essential support as you become older:

Be Mindful

Mindfulness is a critical skill required to carry through life, as it helps you become more focused on the present and less on the future or the past. With time and practice, mindful thinking reduces stress, improves memory and heightens emotional responses. Meditation is one favored technique many use to train themselves in mindfulness. 

Get Involved in Things You Love

As we age, discovering a meaningful hobby helps maintain a sense of purpose and encourages engagement in life. Whether you find passion in participating in politics, mentoring others or engaging in faith-based services, evidence shows that people who engage in something they love experience greater happiness and a longer life. 

Connect With Others

Fostering a sense of connection with those by whom you are surrounded  helps enrich the process of aging. Families, friends and communities can serve as powerful resources with varying types of assistance. Genuine support systems have dramatic effects on your connection to your physical environment, which considerably affects the quality of your personal experience with aging.

Take Care of Your Body

One of the most crucial ways to age gracefully is by supporting your body’s health through actions such as nutritious eating, plentiful sleep and routine exercise. Actively caring for your body lowers the risk of numerous diseases and greatly improves balance and mobility.  

Don’t Forget About Your Mind

In addition to taking care of your body, tending to your mind and mental health can dramatically shift the aging process. Surrounding yourself with things and people you love boosts positive moods and fuels feelings of  prosperity. And while aging is a complex process, it can be a beautiful thing when embraced and celebrated.

Though inevitable, aging doesn’t have to be strenuous. Taking the time to learn how to age gracefully and successfully incorporating these tips into your life can have wonderful effects on your future.

Cropped shot of a senior woman holding a cane in a retirement home
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08.19.21 | Community

Find the future of efficient workouts in “exercise snacks”

As part of our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living, Sage Collective advocates for moderate and regular physical activity. Developed in pandemic times when it was challenging to find ways to stay active, “exercise snacks” — a new and effective set of movements was born, and has become increasingly popular among older adults. Interestingly, research is demonstrating these snippets of exercise are equally or more effective than traditional workouts!

How to perform exercise snacks

“Exercise snacks” are short bursts of movement anyone can perform throughout the day, allowing people to arrange exercise as their time permits. Because the movements don’t require a fixed or dedicated location to “work out” as we normally define the act of exercising, you can find a host of spaces in your home or office to do squats, sit-ups, walking in place, lunges and more.  

Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Martin Gibala, argues that these brief bursts of exercise throughout the day can trigger the same reaction from our bodies that traditional workouts produce. In his study published by the International Journal of Exercise Science, Gibala and his partners introduced an 11-minute workout consisting of walking and running in place, lunges and other light calisthenics that improve cardiovascular health. One of the many thrilling findings was that the conditioning improved cardiovascular fitness by 7% for those who participated. 

Gibala explains that being rigorous with each movement is fundamental for exercise snacks. It is essential, however, to remember to cater to what works best for your body. 

Sage Collective believes that incorporating exercise snacks into the lives of older adults and anyone looking to fulfill fitness needs can be a fundamental – and easy – way to live vibrantly. That’s why we produced our exercise snack menu based on Dr. Gibala’s workout plan below!

 

A graphic titled "Sage Collective: Exercise Menu" lists eight different "exercise snacks" and times allotted for people to take part in throughout their days.

A graphic titled "Sage Collective: Exercise Menu" lists eight different "exercise snacks" and times allotted for people to take part in throughout their days.
Sage Collective: Exercise Menu
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