By Melanie Johnson, St. Mark Village Wellness Coordinator
We are very pleased to introduce our new Wellness Coordinator, Melanie Johnson. Melanie will be concentrating on helping our Residents feel more energetic and confident by increasing their balance, strength, range of motion, and endurance. She also will focus on the body mind connection by leading yoga classes and adding additional opportunities for our Residents to discover Pilates, Tai Chi, and Meditation. With input from our Residents, Melanie will be evaluating our current exercise program to see what can be implemented to diversify and improve the overall experience here at the Village.
Melanie has been teaching for 36 years and is proud to be a third-generation classically trained Pilates instructor with a direct lineage to Joseph H. Pilates. She is ACE and AFAA certified and has studied dance and yoga for over 30 years. We are very excited to welcome her and look forward to her creative and compassionate approach to wellness.
5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Happy and Healthy 2020!
If you’re looking to make 2020 a happy and healthy year, consider focusing on small doable goals to boost your health, energy, and quality of life. Here are five ways you can help yourself stay active, feel good, and age well.
1. Eat more NUTRIENT – DENSE foods. You need fewer calories as you age, but just as many nutrients. Eat more nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, lean meats and poultry, beans, nuts, and seeds. Also consider consuming less sugar-sweetened drinks and desserts, and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta, advise the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
2. Do a VARIETY of physical activities. We all can benefit from doing four types of activity regularly. These include aerobic exercise, such as walking or swimming for endurance; activities to strengthen your muscles, exercises to improve balance, and movements to increase mobility and flexibility, reports the NIH. Practicing Pilates and yoga for example, combines balance, flexibility and strengthening.
3. STIMULATE your mind. Challenging your brain to learn something new helps keep your brain healthy, says Dalhousie University. Participating in a book or movie club, music, singing, dance, or theater arts stimulates your mind and benefits your mood, according to McMaster University. Lifelong learning helps build cognitive reserve, the brain’s resilience and ability to cope with stress and challenges.
4. HELP other people. Research reveals that volunteering improves physical and mental health by reducing stress and lowering the risk for developing depression. Reaching out to others enables you to remain physically, mentally and socially active. Staying connected and making new friends also helps you live longer, reports the Mayo Clinic.
5. BREATHE and SMILE! Enjoying a few slow deep breaths will calm your mind, regulate your blood pressure, boost your energy and improve your posture! Sharing a laugh or a smile, can always make you feel good. Laughter also strengthens your immune system, lifts your mood, eases pain, and lowers stress, says Harvard Health.