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11.30.23 | Sage Advice

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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09.14.23 | Uncategorized

The Secrets of Longevity Diets

Much like how joyspotting brings small bursts of happiness into our lives, longevity diets offer a passport to a healthier future. They’re not the latest diet fad but a treasure trove from cultures celebrated for their centenarians. These diets aren’t about restriction, but celebrating foods that have nourished generations.

The Mediterranean region, with its lush olive groves and sparkling blue waters, gives us a diet rich in healthy fats, fresh produce, and fish. Then there are the Blue Zones, regions scattered across the globe, each boasting their unique recipe for longevity. Okinawa offers sweet potatoes, while Loma Linda champions plant-based delights. As varied as they are, each region offers a culinary experience that keeps its inhabitants thriving.

Peel back the layers of these diets, and you’ll find common heroes: vibrant vegetables, whole grains, and natural ingredients, bursting with antioxidants. These foods don’t just fill our stomachs; they fortify our cells, combat oxidative stress, and can even put chronic ailments at bay. It’s like finding those hidden joys in our surroundings; these foods are tiny marvels waiting to be celebrated.

Of course, food is just one slice of the pie. The longest-living people don’t just eat well; they move, cherish community, and embrace positivity. It’s a holistic dance of diet, activity, and mental well-being. Just like the vibrant energy a pet brings into a home, longevity diets infuse life with a zest that extends well beyond our plates.

As you savor your next meal, think of it as an invitation to a life rich in both years and experiences. Whether you’re trying out Mediterranean recipes or simply adding more whole foods, remember: every bite is a step towards a future bursting with health and vitality.

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05.11.23 | Sage Advice

Mindful Movement: Exploring Tai Chi, Yoga and Qigong as Spiritual Practices

As we age, the importance of mindfulness becomes increasingly evident in fostering a vibrant and fulfilling life. By engaging in mindful movement practices like Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qigong, older adults can unlock numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits. These spiritual practices not only empower individuals to lead healthier and more connected lives but also serve as valuable resources for personal growth and self-discovery. Join us as we delve into the world of Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qigong to explore how these practices promote a life of wellness, empowerment, and personal growth for anyone practicing them: 

Tai Chi

Often referred to as “meditation in motion,” Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that combines slow, deliberate movements with deep, focused breathing. This practice is an excellent option for older adults seeking a vibrant lifestyle, as it promotes flexibility, balance, and strength while reducing stress and anxiety. By engaging in Tai Chi, individuals can improve their overall well-being and connect with others in a supportive, communal environment. Furthermore, the emphasis on mindful movement and inner tranquility makes Tai Chi a powerful spiritual practice, fostering a deeper understanding of oneself and the world.

Yoga

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that harmonizes the mind, body, and spirit through a combination of physical postures, breath control, and meditation. For older adults looking to enhance their vibrant living experience, yoga offers numerous benefits, including increased flexibility, strength, balance, and relaxation. Yoga also fosters mental and emotional well-being by promoting mindfulness and stress reduction. By offering various styles and modifications, individuals can tailor their yoga practice to their needs and abilities, empowering them to explore their personal growth journey. Through this exploration, Yoga becomes not just a physical exercise, but a spiritual practice that allows older adults to connect with their inner selves and the world around them.

Qigong

Qigong is a Chinese healing art that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intention to cultivate and balance the body’s vital energy, or “qi.” This gentle practice can greatly benefit older adults by enhancing overall health, reducing stress, and improving balance and coordination, all of which contribute to a more vibrant lifestyle. Additionally, Qigong promotes mental clarity and emotional stability, providing a sense of harmony and interconnectedness with the self and the world. As a spiritual practice, Qigong offers a holistic approach to wellness, empowering older adults to lead more fulfilling and purposeful lives.

Local community centers, gyms, and studios often provide tailored classes for older adults to learn and practice mindful movement disciplines. For those who prefer learning at home, numerous online resources, such as instructional videos and virtual classes, are available on platforms like YouTube and Google. Public libraries and bookstores also offer books and DVDs for various skill levels and abilities. By exploring these resources, older adults can seamlessly incorporate mindful movement into their vibrant daily lives.

Embracing mindful movement practices like Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qigong offers older adults a wealth of physical, mental, and emotional benefits, contributing to a vibrant and fulfilling life. With numerous resources available, there’s no better time to explore these spiritual practices and enhance wellness, empowerment, and personal growth. 

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11.17.22 | Sage Advice

Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

Filled with family, festivities, and endless food, the holiday season is arguably the best time of the year. But, it can be troublesome for those of us who have built a routine through the rest of the year. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you stay your healthiest. Here’s our recipe for how you can continue vibrant living throughout the holiday season: 

Keep Active

Even with busy schedules that span the last few months of the year, it’s critical to remember staying active is key to a vibrant life. And even though the weather is much less desirable than in summer, there are plenty of fun activities to keep you active! Make plans with family or friends to go ice skating or snowshoeing if you have access, challenge yourself to an aerobic class or a new workout program, or simply participate in exercise snacks

Challenge Yourself to Eat in

We all know that one of the most challenging aspects of winter dining is resisting the urge to order from your favorite restaurant. Even though the temptation is there, challenge yourself to prepare more meals at home this season; not only is it healthier for you, but you have control of what you’re able to put in and take out of your meal, and the experience is always rewarding. Fill your grocery list with fresh ingredients like seasonal fruits and vegetables, proteins like fish, seafood, eggs and low-fat dairy healthy whole-wheat choices like pasta, grains, beans or rice. 

Strive for Balance

One of the best ways to stay healthy during the holiday season while still enjoying the best of it is by finding a balance in everything. Snacking is a great way to balance your hunger throughout the day, so you’re not stuck overeating your later meals. If you’re invited to a party but concerned about what food they will have, offer to bring a healthy dish of your own! And, if you slip up your eating plan, don’t worry about it, get right back to it with your next meal. 

With a mixture of informed diet decisions, regular physical activity and consistent sleep, energy will only rise, and stress will decrease, fitting your body and mind with all the tools it needs to handle the rush of the holiday season!

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11.10.22 | Sage Advice

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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05.12.22 | Uncategorized

Moderation is Key to a Healthier Life

Moderation is key. We’re sure you’ve heard that phrase at least a couple of times throughout your life. And although it may be bothersome at the moment, some truth exists behind the famous saying. Finding the middle ground between excess and frugality is difficult, but once found, living in moderation welcomes a healthy balance into life.  

The exercise of moderation looks different for everyone. One person may practice moderation within their life completely differently than someone else. It’s the way that you perceive moderation that is most important. 

Moderation is often immediately associated with following strict diets, losing weight, etc., but it involves much more than what many believe. The key to moderation is learning from your experience and applying that knowledge to your lifestyle. Sure, changing your diet to plant-based foods and being active daily is outstanding for your health and wellbeing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re learning how to live in moderation on your own. 

In order to live a vibrant life, including those aspects of healthy living, is essential, but doing so with moderation in mind, so deprivation doesn’t occur, is critical. Just because you’re living a healthier lifestyle does not mean that you have to cut aspects of your life that might not traditionally be seen as ‘healthy’. Have a cookie and drink wine, but do so in moderation. 

Staying true to yourself and keeping mental health in mind is imperative when practicing moderation. Moderation is key, but not necessarily in the traditional way it’s viewed. Address your bad habits, uphold your good ones, and find the perfect balance between the two to be a better and healthier you!

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05.05.22 | Sage Advice

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

Every year, millions of people deal with the daily struggle of living with a mental illness. One in five adults in the United States live with a mental illness, and because they are so prevalent today, the spotlight is beginning to shift to explore just how society collectively can work together to setback the concerning numbers. 

Throughout May, we will be celebrating National Mental Health Awareness Month. First celebrated in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month remains as significant as ever for a myriad of reasons. Mental illness often goes ignored unless tragedy strikes. This month-long observation helps shed a spotlight on the importance of caring for mental health and the weight of taking it just as seriously as any other disease. 

Not only is it critical to care for your own mental well-being, but also those around you. Regularly checking in on family, friends, and even neighbors can leave a profound impact on each of their lives. However, maintaining good mental health includes everything from your food choices and physical activity to your sleep schedule and stress management

By taking the initiative to care for yourself and your loved ones and being open to discussing mental health with others, the more normalized it will become, creating a healthier, more vibrant world. Although the stigma around mental health treatment still exists, thanks to celebrations like National Mental Health Awareness Month, more and more people are beginning to learn to be more open about their mental well-being. 

Because mental health is even less commonly discussed in adult communities, we encourage you to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month and help pilot the movement for a healthier, more vibrant world where mental well-being is at our forefront.

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08.19.21 | Sage Advice

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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10.29.20 | Sage Advice

Vibrant Living Breakdown: Moderate, Regular Physical Activity

We don’t believe in living a passive life; we believe we should be active participants in our own health, wellness and happiness. That’s why Sage Collective created 9 Ways of Vibrant Living, a model that champions high-quality living, and the backbone of our philosophy. Today, we’re unpacking the first of our nine components: moderate, regular physical activity. 

In a recent blog post, we broke down the surprising health benefits of going for a brisk-paced thirty-minute walk each day — and even discovered that going for a walk can have parallel health benefits to going for a run. This goes to show that physical activity doesn’t all have to be intensive, but rather, incorporating moderate, regular activity can prove highly beneficial on its own.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends older adults partake in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. This activity can include leisurely behaviors such as walking, dancing, gardening, hiking or swimming, or even occupational behaviors such as performing household chores or participating in family and community activities. 

According to Mayo Clinic, the benefits of fulfilling this weekly recommendation include controlling your weight; combatting health conditions and diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and anxiety; as well as improving mood and boosting energy levels, promoting better sleep, and even increasing your chances of living longer. 

And the bottom line underscoring it all: incorporating moderate, regular physical activity into your daily life can be fun and enjoyable, especially in social settings. That’s why Sage Collective incorporates physical activity as part of our vision for our residential campus. We know that taking the first step isn’t always easy, and that’s why we’re pursuing more vibrant ways of living together. Together, we can hold one another accountable, encourage healthy behaviors and embark on a collaborative, joyful journey to more vibrant ways of living. 

Senior woman holding gym weights
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