Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Wise and Wonderful: February

Anytime Fitness

There is no need to limit your time for health and wellness to just attending a fitness class that may happen once or twice a day. Our bodies are meant to move, and movement can be done anyday, at any time, from anywhere.

On a given day, we may find ourselves ‘waiting’ for a number of different reasons. We may be waiting for the doctor, waiting in line at the grocery store, or waiting for the commercials to be over during our favorite television show! These are all opportunities to address our health and wellness needs.

Think of the world as your fitness studio and you will see that there are countless times throughout the day to practice some of the skills you have obtained from an exercise class. Next time you find yourself ‘waiting’ for something, take this as the perfect opportunity to increase range of motion in your body!

Don’t be shy when it comes to your fitness! Start moving today and watch as you inspire those around you to do the same!

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

Wise and Wonderful: January

Walker Use vs. Walker Abuse

There are many benefits to using a walker; walkers may assist one in recovering from an injury or illness, allow for additional balance and stability, or provide a sense of security. Issues arise when walkers are used incorrectly and they become a crutch as opposed to a support system.

Walker Use

  • Walker is properly adjusted
  • Individual maintains proper body alignment
  • Individual is able to move with light hands on the walker and still engages the stomach and leg muscles when walking

Walker Abuse

  • Walker is too high or too low
  • Individual begins to ‘hunch over’ or exhibit kyphotic posture (one of the primary causes of back pain, neck pain, migraines and weak hips)
  • Individual places a significant amount of their body weight on their walker as opposed to engaging the stomach and leg muscles when walking

Remember: A well adjusted walker is crucial to proper body alignment when walking!

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

Wise and Wonderful: December

Resident Highlight: Fran Burrows, Tarrytowne Estates, Houston, TX

One of the best things about being a part of a ‘Community’ is the opportunity to support and be supported during times of triumph as well as tragedy. No one understands this better than Fran Burrows of Tarrytowne Estates in Houston, TX. Eight years ago and only six months after moving into her community, Fran Burrows identified the need for a women’s support group. What is remarkable about Fran is that she chose to do something about it!

Fran Burrows is the founder of ‘Coffee and Conversation’, a women’s group that not only offers support to women, it actually serves the entire community. Group members write sympathy and get well cards, reach out to new residents and support youth in the greater Houston area.

Each meeting features a guest speaker whose name may be found on the agenda. The agenda also includes a prayer list and a list of new residents. What is happening at Tarrytowne Estates is truly newsworthy! If you see the need for a similar group in your community, be that ‘Wise and Wonderful’ person that says, “I am going to do something about this!”

Thank you Fran Burrows for your service to your community!

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

Wise and Wonderful: November

Bands Exercise

Whether your goal is to increase range of motion, improve muscle strength, rehabilitate an injury or limit the use of a walker, the use of fitness bands may assist you in doing any and all of these. As mentioned in a previous article a healthy body with proper range of motion requires the muscles to be balanced. If we over-use a particular set of muscles (in this case the chest, stomach and peck muscles) we under-use the opposite and opposing muscles (the back muscles). The use of a pull center may help re-balance these muscle systems leading to improved range of motion, decreased pain and an overall healthier you! Contact your activity director for more information on the use of fitness bands for wellness.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

Wise and Wonderful: October

It’s NOT the Back’s Fault Part 2

In part one of it’s not the back’s fault (See September’s blog) we discussed the fact that often times when pain is muscular it stems from muscles in our legs and hips that are overly tight. To review, step one to relieve back pain is to stretch the hamstrings. Step two, covered in this months article, is to stretch the glutes and Piriformis. As seen in the photo below to stretch your glutes and Piriformis you gently lift the leg and bring the leg across the body using a strap. Hold each stretch for approximately 2 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Move slowly and gently through these movements. Do not do this stretch if you have a lower back injury.

Lift Leg up and Gently Pull Across Body until you feel a stretch in your glutes and down the side of your leg.

Alternate View: Remember, use the strap for support as you gently lift your leg up and across the body.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

Wise and Wonderful: September

It’s NOT the Back’s Fault

The truth is that often times lower back pain, when it is a muscular issue, stems from muscles in our legs and hips that are overly tight. These muscles get increasingly tight if we sit for long periods of time. Proper stretching of our hamstrings, glutes, piriformis and Iliopsoas may help reduce or relieve pain in the lower back.

As Dr. Ben Kim states, “In my chiropractic practice, I estimate that at least 80 percent of people who present with lower back pain have tight hamstrings as the root of their problem. Even if these people have their lower backs treated on a regular basis, they will continue to suffer from intermittent lower back pain if they do not address their hamstring tightness.” To stretch the hamstrings you will need a strap of some form. Lay flat on your bed, with the strap placed around the bottom of the foot on the leg you are stretching. Lift the leg you are stretching up towards you while holding the strap with one hand. When your leg is as close to you as possible pull just a little on the strap to get a stretch in the back of your leg.

Hold for two seconds and then slowly bring your leg back down to the bed. Repeat ten times.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

Wise and Wonderful: August

Our next few Wise and Wonderful articles will be focused on stretching. The better we move, the better we feel.


Stretching is known to:

  • Increase Range of Motion
  • Decrease Pain
  • Improve Circulation
  • Relieve Muscle Soreness
  • Treat Muscle Spasms
  • Release Stress
  • Bring Blood and Nutrients back to the Body
  • Improve Balance
  • Improve Posture
  • Stimulate Lymph Circulation
  • Improve Metabolism including Cellular Waste Elimination

We will be focusing on Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) Techniques. AIS works with the mechanism of reciprocal inhibition which is the principle that any time you engage one set of muscles you naturally relax the opposite and opposing group of muscles. Through this technique you learn how to rebalance the muscles in your body.  Learning AIS will be a gradual process so in the meantime join your community yoga, stretchercise or fitness class and continue to give your body the gift of movement.  In addition, you may check out the following website for an introduction to active isolated stretching including photos and videos: http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/training/active-isolated-stretching.html

Take care and be well!

Denise Park, Wellness Director

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

Wise and Wonderful: July

It is simple to say, ‘physical activity is key to overall health’ but when it hurts to move, these words of advice make one question whether they have the tools to make that happen.  However, experts and doctors nationwide have been coming together to encourage those with arthritis to ease into movement programs designed to increase range of motion, improve joint strength and support, and increase muscle endurance.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis.  It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue.”

The problem with continued inactivity is that the role of the muscles is not only to assist in movement, but to protect our joints from damage.  If we are not using a certain area of our body, we are sending a signal to our brain that we no longer need to waste our energy supporting that joint.  Not only do we lose muscle but lack of movement reduces the amount of blood and nutrients the joint receives.  This all contributes to increased pain and stiffness adding to the cycle of inactivity.

Speak with your doctor about what types of exercises would be most appropriate to begin.  Begin with slow, controlled movements and take time to ease into a program.  Finally, if you see a significant increase in inflammation or experience sharp, unusual pain these are signals to back off.

Take Care and Be Well!

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

Wise and Wonderful: June

Focus on Physical Well-Being and a Mind-Body Connection

Here at Sunshine Retirement Living, we have developed a robust Wellness Program with the goal of balancing our resident’s physical and mental health, providing them with the tools needed to increase their energy and feel their best.  Working with Sunshine’s corporate Wellness Director, our communities Activity Directors are focused on developing classes, seminars and information to educate residents on ways to improve their range of motion, increase circulation, decrease pain and maintain a healthy weight.

We invite our residents to take advantage of the variety of programs offered at each of our locations, including:

  • Blood Pressure Checks
  • Exercise Classes
  • Flu Shots
  • Flexibility and Stretching
  • General Health Screenings
  • Medication Education
  • Podiatry Evaluations
  • Weight Management
  • Strength Training
  • Yoga

Physical fitness is a priority at our communities with residents gaining vitality through strength training and cardiovascular exercise programs. A wide range of beneficial physical fitness programs are offered to promote strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and overall well-being. The programs accommodate a variety of fitness levels.

To learn more about Sunshine Retirement Living’s Wellness Program, click here.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

Wise And Wonderful: May

Your generation has demonstrated honor, making the decision with action to value others and oneself with devotion.   You have courage and have shown mental and moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.  Commitment, loyalty, duty, respect and integrity are words that mean something to you and have structured the decisions you have made throughout your life.  After surviving the depression and WWII, you lived through several other wars as well as responded to countless United States changes.  You have reached the point of wisdom.

To even be a small part of your lives, is a gift.  To be of assistance to you in any way, is an honor.  What you deserve more than anything is a high quality of life, regardless of how you choose to spend your time and energy.  Tools that promote this idea include quality food, adequate activity, ample sleep, a supportive community and time spent in a natural environment.  The role of a Wellness Director is ensuring that you have access to these basic needs and so much more.  Throughout the year I will be visiting each of your communities to help your team get started on a Wellness Program that will help you thrive.  We want to do this for you, because you deserve it!  As Tom Brokaw argued when he referred to you as The Greatest Generation, “You fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the right thing to do.”  All we are trying to do is the very same thing!

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living