Birches Residents Get Physical for Third Week of "Living It!"

Clarendon Hills, IL, February 18, 2016 --( Residents and staff of The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills, Ill. are embracing physical fitness this week as part of The Birches’ “Living It!” campaign. The “Living It!” campaign, which lasts four weeks, encourages participants to focus on one component of successful aging each week: intellectual engagement the first week, social interaction the second week, physical activity the third week and spiritual connection the fourth week.

It’s no secret that physical fitness is essential to good health no matter what your age, but it is especially important to the quality of life of older adults. Exercise helps older adults maintain bone density, increase flexibility and mobility, improve heart and lung function and ward of depression. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index even shows that when it comes to measuring their overall well-being, older adults are most likely to associate it with two variables: exercise and weight.

Every six months, Birches residents participate in the community’s own well-being research surveys, known as Lifestyle Reviews, in which they voluntarily answer questions related to their intellectual, physical, social and spiritual health. Data from 2015 Lifestyle Reviews shows that close to 70 percent of residents reported themselves to be in good or very good physical health, with close to 10 percent reporting themselves to be in excellent physical health. Furthermore, over 80 percent of residents feel moderately confident or very confident that they have the ability to improve their physical health, and close to 55 percent have immediate plans to improve their physical activity level.

Ideally, The Birches’ fitness-focused agenda for Physical Week will help residents kick-start a routine to improve their physical health and meet their fitness goals for this year. Physical Week activities include a family fitness night, a dance party, bingo with a physical twist, balloon volleyball, yoga, morning stretches and walking club. And since diet is also an important component of physical fitness, Birches’ Dietitian Linda Graham will be delivering a presentation on heart healthy eating.

“Physical Week is a time to experiment with fun, easy and different ways to get our bodies moving and stay healthy,” said Birches’ Activities Director Katie Klitchman. “Of course, we can only hope that some of these activities and behaviors will become habits and stick throughout the rest of the year.”

During Physical Week, residents will also be making homemade bread with Birches’ Dining Services Director Diana Subacius, an activity which relates to good nutrition and physical activity, according to Subacius.

“Making bread from scratch is very physical. It involves a lot of kneading, which really builds up your arm and hand strength. And, of course, eating homemade bread is much healthier for you than store-brought bread,” said Subacius. “I thought it was a creative and tasty way to stay active and healthy.”

The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills offers professional services to support the physical, social, intellectual and spiritual growth of the older adults who make it their home. The Birches offers purposeful programming and activities designed to promote a healthy aging lifestyle and a strong sense of community. For more information about The Birches, call 630-789-1135 or visit:
The Birches Assisted Living
Jenny Smiechowski