Self-care and the art of living well

Having it all has never been easier

As we get older, the responsibilities of life can make it difficult to prioritize wellness, specifically exercise. Studies show that just 11 minutes of exercise per day can significantly lower disease risk, but imagine how much better you’ll feel if you can do more than that? Feeling your best doesn’t only come from breaking a sweat, self-expression and pursuing intellectual curiosities are also part of being a well-rounded adult. For seniors, it can be tricky to find all the wellness activities you love in one place, but thankfully Life Plan Communities make it easy to “have it all.”  
Use It or Lose It 
It goes without saying that if you stop being active, it’s that much harder to get started again. It can be easy to let go of fitness goals without a solid plan in place. Getting that new plan in place is exactly why meeting with a Wellness Team Member is part of the move-in process for every new Westminster Canterbury resident.

 “At Westminster Canterbury, we strive to ensure all residents Live Life Well. We do fitness assessments and orientations with new residents to help them build a program. Most residents start by coming to group exercise classes and find they make friends right away. They become stronger, healthier and happier,” said Melissa Markey, wellness director at Westminster Canterbury.  
In addition to the weights and machines in our fitness center, Westminster Canterbury offers a variety of workout classes including yoga, cardio, balance and strength training. There are also special programs that change each month for those who like to try something new. Those classes have included Ballroom Dancing, Laughter Yoga and Gentle BeMoved. If you prefer a solitary workout, cycling, jogging and walking are great low-impact activities you can enjoy on campus. As part of our Vibrancy! Expansion a new Vital Living Center is being built. Among its highlights are a lap pool, a warmer pool for exercise and a hot tub for relaxation. 

Seniors who make exercise part of their daily lives are able to enjoy more activities and time with family and friends. Exercise releases endorphins—the “feel good” hormones responsible for regulating our moods. If you frequently participate in classes or other physical activities, chances are you’re more cheerful as a result.  
Nutrition is also a component of physical health that becomes even more important as we age. Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients is a proven way to prevent certain cardiovascular diseases. Westminster Canterbury has a dietician on staff who works with the dining team to create delicious, healthy menu options.  
Challenge Your Mind and Body 
Wellness includes taking care of your mind as well as your body. We offer a myriad of classes and activities that give you a chance to bond through creativity. You don’t need to be a great artist to enjoy painting, sketching or glass fusion, and we have all that and more right here on campus. The point is to try something new or further explore something you’ve always loved.  
Performing arts such as music, dance and theatre provide opportunities to be part of a communal response to a work of art. In our Sara Belle November Theater here on campus, we host a little bit of everything. Residents look forward to special performances from esteemed institutions like the Richmond Ballet, Richmond Symphony, Virginia Opera and Virginia Repertory Theatre. These performances are completely paid for by donors to our Westminster Canterbury Foundation so all our residents can enjoy these events free of charge.

Programs like Dakim ® Brain Fitnesss help seniors keep their minds sharp. Our residents can enjoy the program on computer stations across the campus or on their personal devices like tablets or smartphones.
Melissa explained that “Dakim offers games and puzzles personalized for each user. All the sessions are self-paced and narrated by the creator of the program. Each session takes about 20-25 minutes. “I always tell my residents it’s like being a contestant on their favorite game show.” There are several different games, and each stimulates your brain.

Wellness Creates Community 

Socialization is also a huge part of wellness because opportunities to meet new people become more limited as we age. At Westminster Canterbury, you’ll find plenty of ways to connect with people through group outings, exercise classes, the arts, spiritual offerings, and more.  
Our fitness specialists possess a wide range of skills and certifications that set us apart from other communities. “What we do here is truly important and when a resident tells you how much they appreciate you it’s amazing. Every day is so rewarding,” Melissa said.

What does wellness look like to you? Let’s talk about how Westminster Canterbury can help you Live Life Well. Call 877-277-9908 to find out what we can accomplish together.

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