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February 26th, 2020

Are You Becoming a Couch Potato? This can save you...

The long winter months have taken their toll on our bodies. With cold and rainy weather keeping us indoors, our bodies have become sedentary and our physiques a bit flabby. What are some of the safest ways to incorporate more movement and get moving again? The American College of Cardiology tells us that “physical activity is one of the key lifestyle risk factors that warrants attention. Lack of regular exercise and excess sedentary behavior are clearly associated with cardiovascular risk and mortality in both men and women.” Even modest incremental increases in physical activity can benefit our lives in multiple ways. But how do you get started? Here are some simple tips to save you from the couch potato lifestyle.

  • Walk every day. Walking is the best cardiovascular exercise for beginners and for those who have been sedentary. If you don’t have a gym membership or treadmill at home, start outside, and start small. Get your body used to moving by walking in place or by walking around the block. Start to move and schedule it into each day.
  • Park far away from the stores where you shop, walk your cart all the way back to the door after. This adds up to several hundred extra steps each time.
  • Visit a park with trails nearby to combine your exercise with a nature walk.
  • Go to the local indoor mall. Be sure to walk the length of the mall once or twice before going into any of the stores.
  • Choose to take the stairs. We have become so used to pushing the elevator button and waiting for a ride that we are missing out on one of the greatest ways to increase our heart rate and work our muscles. Don’t start with 10 flights at once, but start with one or two before catching a ride up. If you live in a building with stairs, utilize them as your personal ‘Stair Stepper’.
  • Carry shopping bags into the house one at a time. Whether its groceries or bags from the mall, carry them into your home one at a time to increase your steps.
  • Add Strength Training. You may have exercise equipment already available where you live or in a community center nearby where you can add focused strength exercises to your schedule a couple times a week. If not, light weights or stretch bands can be purchased to incorporate strength exercises at home.
  • Multitask while watching T.V. Research shows that the more you sit, the greater your waist circumference and the higher risk of disease. So march in place or allow yourself to watch only when you incorporate periods of movement.
  • Walk 500 steps before bedtime. When time flies by and you realize you haven’t incorporated as much movement into your day as you wanted, it’s not too late. Walk before you go to bed. 500 steps doesn’t take more than a few minutes and you can end the day on a positive note, both physically and emotionally knowing that you made your health a priority.

The Couch Potato Syndrome is common for all of us as winter ends. Equally important as adding exercise to our daily routine, is making sure our physician has given us the green light to exercise. Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have not exercised in a long time, or if you have any chronic health issues. It is better to be safe with a doctor’s approval before moving our bodies in new ways.

There are many ways to incorporate movement every day at CRISTA Senior Living. Offering a vibrant activities program along with multiple opportunities to remain active, we also connect & celebrate generations through grace, compassion & inspiration. You can find out more at www.cristaseniorliving.org or call today to schedule a visit.

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What People Are Saying …

I would like to commend Cristwood Park staff on their efforts to protect themselves and their residents from COVID. It’s been a concern of ours since last March and we have been relieved to see so few cases in the Cristwood Park community. I would like to thank the staff and leadership for their diligence in maintaining good protocols throughout this pandemic.

CWP Family Member

CRISTA has been a warm, friendly atmosphere to be a part of these past two years. It encourages friendships that encourage a pleasant living environment.

Marty Victor, CWP

Exceptional personalized holistic care. Helps keep Mom’s mind active and she flourishes with the nurturing care. Especially of value currently given the COVID restrictions. We are genuinely pleased with our mom's care.

Resident's Daughter, Memory Care

Thinking back on all the great care you and your team have given her at CRISTA, we thank you for all that. I am sure it made a difference in the quality of her life.

I appreciate the personal relationship I have with the staff and the good communication they give me.

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