Taking the First Steps Toward a Healthy New Year
As we age, the role that health and wellness play in our life changes from when we were younger (we’re probably not trying to make the varsity basketball team anymore), but it doesn’t change in importance. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as we age becomes imperative to maintaining independence and living a high quality of life. To help inspire you as we begin this new year, we asked Holland Home fitness team members for tips on incorporating wellness into your weekly routine. We’ve also spoken with some Holland Home residents about their wellness journeys and how it has impacted them. 
More than Fitness
It’s also important to keep in mind that “wellness” extends beyond just physical fitness. There are a number of other elements to try and incorporate into your daily life such as breathing and meditation, social engagement, nutrition, and spending time outdoors.
When we asked Raybrook Resident, Carol D. about her wellness journey, she noted a key area of growth for her this past year: “I realized that in order to take care of others, I must continue to take care of myself. This includes physical exercise, spiritual exercise, social engagement, and valuable alone time, too."
Carol also went on to talk about how interconnected her physical and mental health is. “Why do I exercise? It lifts my spirits! And I truly believe that expending energy creates energy. Plus, in addition to keeping me fit and strong, I noticed my sleep improved. Most importantly, the fitness classes I attend are so much more than exercise, they are learning experiences, new challenges, and social opportunities.”
Be Intentional - Zach House, Fitness Coordinator
As you’re setting health and wellness goals this year, a good first step is to be intentional about your health and wellness routine. Add your wellness goals to the calendar and make an effort to plan other activities around them. You can also include reminders on your phone. Being specific will help to make these goals a priority. For example:
  • Walk for 20 minutes each day at 10:00 am. Monday - Saturday
  • Prepare a new healthy meal option for dinner every Thursday
  • Attend an exercise class. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Find What You Enjoy - Madye Martin, Fitness Coordinator
Find a form of exercise that you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to try something new! There are so many different ways to exercise—whether it be biking, yoga, swimming, group exercise, pickleball, weightlifting, or walking the halls with friends. Ensuring that it is an activity you look forward to will ensure your fitness habits last!
Use God’s Word - Alisha van Epps, Fitness Manager
Physical wellness is more than just what we do with our bodies. It’s also about our mind and spirit. I encourage you to begin your year by renewing your mind with truth to support you on your wellness journey. I invite you to use scripture to create declarations based on your wellness goals.
The following example comes from Winning the War in Your Mind by Graig Groeschel.
  • "You must honor God with your body" (1 Cor 6:20 NLT)
  • "Jesus replied, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again" (John 6:35 NLT)
  • "LORD, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress" (Jer. 16:19)
  • When I am stressed or in times of distress, I turn to God, not food. I come to Jesus because he is what I really need. He is my strength, my fortress, and my refuge.
Try writing down your declarations and putting them in places where you can see them throughout the day. I pray that your declarations will inspire and encourage you!
The Many Benefits of Working Out
For older adults, exercise can prevent disease, lower the risk of falls, improve mental health, create social opportunities, and improve cognitive function. You don’t have to be training for a marathon or spending hours in the gym to start feeling these benefits. Slow, simple movements for a short time each day can be just as effective as running around on the pickleball courts. Set small goals, find what you enjoy, keep God’s word in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to better health and wellness.