When the pandemic started, you may have had the best intentions of using your time to get fit. However, with a variety of challenges filling your time, don’t feel bad if you have yet to start over a year later. The good news is it’s never too late and now is the ideal time to find a fitness routine that works for you and the benefits of exercising outside.
Getting outdoors means ample space for social distancing and fresh air, which are important for health and safety reasons, but the benefits of outdoor fitness don’t stop there. According to research published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, outdoor exercise has physical and mental benefits. In the report, when compared with exercising indoors, exercising outside in natural environments resulted in:
* Greater feelings of revitalization
* Increased energy
* Positive engagement
* Higher enjoyment and satisfaction
* Decrease in tension, confusion, anger and depression
* Higher likelihood to repeat the activity at a later date
These results aren’t surprising to CEO and Founder of Moms on the Run Karissa Johnson, a structured fitness program for women of all ages. She said there are basic evidence-based health benefits of nature contact, including reduced stress, lower blood pressure, improved mental health and higher life satisfaction, among others.
“Add in the benefits of exercise, and being physically active outdoors offers so many positives,” said Johnson. “Finding an exercise activity to do outside can really make a big difference in how you feel, whether that’s doing something you enjoy or trying something new.”
Whether you have experience or not, Johnson suggests exploring running with a local group to help you get outdoors and be fit. Moms on the Run is one option that helps you learn to run with a group of other like-minded women. These groups are led by instructors so you know exactly what to do no matter where you are on your fitness journey. Groups meet at parks in cities nationwide and you can join at any time, with new signature training sessions often starting up in spring and fall. Learn more at www.momsontherun.com.
Why choose group outdoor fitness? There are many reasons to buddy up rather than trying it alone.
Feel supported: If you have questions or concerns, an instructor-led group environment means you’ll always have answers. You’ll get the support you need to succeed and feel your best. For example, 90% of Moms on the Run participants in a recent survey said they feel supported and 83% feel they’ve connected with like-minded people, which all contribute to success.
Accountability: Knowing a group is meeting and you’re part of that group can be more motivation than if you exercise alone. You’ll feel more drive to do something if others are expecting you to be there. If the program you choose comes with a cost, you also feel accountable because you want to make the most of that investment.
Socializing: Being part of a fitness community allows you to develop relationships, and some people form lasting friendships. Even if it’s just connecting during class, in-person socializing is an important part of the human experience and something many people have missed since the start of the pandemic.
Safety: Working out in a group helps you stay safer. First, you’re never alone in an outdoor area so you can feel more confident in your safety. Second, if you sustain an injury or experience another urgent situation, people you know and trust are around to help you out.
Are you ready to get outside and reap the benefits of outdoor exercise? The fresh air and open spaces are ready to inspire your personal fitness journey.
May is an exciting month for the Aging Life Care Association. This month we recognize those who lend their minds and hearts to the ever-growing field of caring for the aging. As we welcome the immense generation of baby boomers into senior citizen status, we celebrate those who dedicate their careers to supporting the needs of the aging.
Aging Life Care®, also known as geriatric care management, is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges. Aging Life Care Professionals® (also known as geriatric care managers) have varied educational and professional backgrounds with a specialized focus on issues associated with aging and disabilities. Working with families, the expertise of Aging Life Care Professionals provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Through consultation, assessment, care coordination and advocacy, an Aging Life Care Professional works with clients and families to address these challenges.
Aging Life Care Professionals® are experts in the field of aging and disability. They help seniors and their families navigate the challenges of the healthcare system and aging in general. They are strategic planners and have a holistic approach to aging with key knowledge areas that include crisis intervention, housing, health and disability, advocacy, family legal, financial, and local resources.
The expertise of an Aging Life Care Professional® provides answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress and time off of work for family caregivers through:
Assessment and monitoring
Planning and problem solving
Education and advocacy
Family caregiver coaching
The Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) is an engaging, supportive network of individuals upholding the highest ethical, educational and professional standards. Members are from diverse backgrounds including social work, occupational therapy, nursing, human services, and case management. These professionals elect to invest in this association for its substantial educational and social support. VISIT THEM HERE:
Melissa Swiontek is the owner of Passionate Healthcare Advocacy & Wellness in Portland, Oregon- www.passionatehcw.com. She is an Occupational Therapist, Senior Home Safety Specialist™ and Aging Life Care Manager®. Melissa is passionate about helping seniors age in place, prevent falls, and live their best life. As a care manager for seniors, she focuses on helping adult children and spouses identify the optimal care needs for their loved ones. She specializes in caregiver training, medical equipment and problem solving to help seniors stay independent, safe, and follow their aging goals.
Cheers to National Aging Life Care Month! Thank you to all of my peers out there in this heartwarming field.
Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The theme for 2021 is “Communities of Strength.”
Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others. This OAM, we will celebrate the strength of older adults and the Aging Network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities.
There are many things we all can do to nurture ourselves, reinforce our strength, and continue to thrive. Connecting with others is one of the most important—it plays a vital role in our health and well-being, and in that of our communities. From finding joy in small things and sharing our stories, to looking at the big picture and giving to others, join us in promoting the ways we are connected and strong.
When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”
Two years later, in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Older Americans Act of 1965 and formally declared May as Older Americans Month. But the act did much more than raise awareness or encourage community involvement – although it did both of these things well.
Johnson took Kennedy’s proclamation and intentions a step further by taking action that resulted in positive change, financial assistance and federal support for older Americans.
The Older Americans Act:
· established the Administration on Agency, the first federal agency designed to address the struggles of older Americans
· introduced nutrition programs, transportation assistance, federally funded adult day care, legal assistance and other services for seniors
· paved the way to passing the Medicare program to offer health care to seniors
The proclamation didn’t end with Johnson, either. Every president since has offered a formal proclamation declaring May as a time to remember and honor older Americans. Communities organize events, fairs, and fundraisers focusing on seniors.
Each year, the Administration on Aging (AOA) and the Administration of Community Living (ACL) establishes a theme for Older Americans Month and encourages communities to organize events based on the theme.
Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities.
We invite everyone to celebrate Older Americans Month and build “Communities of Strength” this May! Here are some ways to share and connect with older adults in your community:
Intergenerational Pen (or Keyboard) Pals: Encouraging intergenerational pen pals can reduce isolation and increase resilience in people of all ages. Here are some writing prompts to get the conversations started.
Distanced Outdoor Event: Seeing other people in person—even with masks on and from a six-foot distance—can offer a richer sense of connection and community than virtual gatherings. The CDC says that outdoor gatherings with plenty of ventilation, masks, and social distancing pose less risk of spreading COVID-19. Check out our event tip sheet for a fun and safe event!
Reach out to neighbors: Even if you can’t get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a home cooked meal.
Volunteer an hour of your time: There are many seniors in your community who could use an hour of your time. Find your local area agency on aging to learn about volunteer opportunities today. Volunteer to be an Ombudsman who advocates for residents in a nursing home or a Veteran in a VA home.
In 2009, I flew from New York to California to spend Mother’s Day with my mom. I was busy with a senior move management business at the time. I had learned from my senior clients that aging in place was often their first choice, not the move to assisted living for which they had hired me. So, with my mom’s low vision issues, a bit of vertigo but generally in good health, I knew that I should pay closer attention to her and her house on this trip.
Her master shower was about 3’ by 3’ (or at least, it felt that way) and did not have grab bars. I made a mental note and then, as vacations go, the time slipped away. I didn’t get that far from California, actually on the flight home, when I began to feel the guilt for not taking the action and getting grab bars installed. I could have had a professional or my brother, the contractor, do the work or I could have made the call and the appointment, at least.
Now, it’s July and I am back in California with mom. This trip I arranged for the grab bars to go into her shower. She was actually grateful and I was relieved. It was a small thing but I knew at the time, years before I was doing this as a professional, that it was the right thing and Mom would never have asked!
I offer this story as a reminder that when we take the action, it saves the angst and guilt and can save a fall, too!
By Fritzi Gros-Daillion, Director of Education for Age Safe America, LLC
Age Safe® America salutes the 700,000 professional social workers in our nation, and the invaluable contributions social workers make in our society, especially as this nation addresses the Coronavirus pandemic. The theme for Social Work Month 2021 is Social Workers Are Essential. Social workers often are unsung heroes, but they play an essential role in helping people from all walks of life and backgrounds to live life to the fullest. As practitioners, social workers are trained to help people address personal and systemic barriers to optimal living. You will find social workers throughout society protecting children from abuse and neglect, providing mental health and substance use disorder treatment, assisting active duty military, veterans and their families, in schools, helping corporations better serve their communities, and in community organizations as well as in local, state and government.
During the Coronavirus pandemic social workers have been on the frontlines along with doctors, nurses, grocery store staff and other essential employees. As our nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, and racial unrest social workers are needed more than ever. They empower people, giving them the skills and encouragement, they need to overcome life’s challenges. They also link clients to resources they may need to live more fulfilled lives. They are employed to effect positive change with individuals, families, groups and entire communities. Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is expected to rise to more than 800,000 professionals by 2029.
Social work has been around for more than a century and has made significant contributions to our nation. Social work is the only helping profession which requires social justice advocacy as part of its professional code of ethics, and is therefore a large workforce mandated to advance the rights of the most vulnerable in society. For more than 120 years, the social work profession in the United States has helped bend the arc of justice, making our nation a more equitable and inclusive place. In fact, social workers are everywhere people need help navigating tough life challenges. They contribute to interdisciplinary care teams in schools, hospitals, mental health centers, nonprofits, corporations, the military—and in local, state, and federal government. Many social work professionals also own private consultation practices.
#SocialWorkIsEssential #EssentialSocialWorker #SocialWorkMonth #SWMonth and @nasw