Indoor Activities to Improve Cognitive Health this Winter in Richmond, VA

When it comes to your total health, staying active and eating a balanced diet is just part of your ideal plan. Pursuing great cognitive health is also extremely important to your overall well-being. Adults who stay active socially and physically generally have better memory, less stress and more energy compared to individuals who are not active.

Winter is typically a season in which individuals find it difficult to find an adequate amount of physical and social activities to do. While the summer, spring and fall offer opportunities for outdoor sports, walking trails, cookouts and pleasant days by the water, winter tends to keep us indoors. The isolation that results can have a profound effect on a person who needs regular activities to stay sharp physically and mentally.

A Virginia winter can feel long, especially around the new year when temperatures are at their lowest. While our community has scenic walking paths and a garden to give residents plenty of time in the sun and options for outdoor activities, gardening or walking, these amenities are not as enjoyable when it’s cold outside. Since we know that staying inside without anything to do can negatively affect one’s mental health, we have prepared plenty of ways to keep you active.

Activities to Keep Winter Fun at Aspire

At Aspire, we know that it’s important to stay active physically and socially to maintain your best cognitive health. While it can be challenging, making friends and staying physically active in colder weather offer many health benefits. Residents at Aspire have plenty of things to see and do so that there is never a lapse in their social calendar.

In the winter, we know it’s more important than ever to keep everyone active. That’s why we do our utmost to offer our vibrant retirement community a wide variety of indoor activities to improve residents’ physical and cognitive health. So, even if we must move our programs and activities indoors for a season, nobody is stuck doing the same thing day after day. Some of the amenities and services you can take advantage of at Aspire include:

Exercise in our State-of-the-Art Fitness Center

Keep your body in top shape at our state-of-the-art fitness center. The fitness center offers residents access to standard fitness equipment for individual exercise and group classes in aerobics, yoga and more. You can also enjoy a dip in our indoor pool for free swimming and water aerobics. When it warms up, check out our outdoor areas for games like bocce and pickleball.

Relaxation with our Spa and Massage Services

A trip to the on-siteWisteria Salon and Spa is a perfect example of balancing physical and mental health. Unwind and get a much-needed massage to loosen your body and mind for ultimate, full-body rejuvenation.

Schedule or Join our Social Events

Our active community has meeting rooms for special interest clubs and spiritual enrichment and game rooms to host a wide variety of interests like shuffleboard and card games.

Staying socially active is key to an active lifestyle. Having events to look forward to is essential to a positive mindset and a meaningful life. This chapter of your life is an open book with many possibilities for making new friends, discovering new hobbies and understanding more about who you are as an active adult. The action never stops as we are always adding and improving our schedule to offer a diverse selection of classes, social events and programs to nurture you socially, mentally, physically and spiritually.

Physical Activity

At Aspire, you don’t need to join an extreme sport or invest in expensive gear to get the benefits of exercise. In fact, studies show that just 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough to boost both your physical fitness and cognitive ability.

Whether it’s a gentle yoga class, group water aerobics or a competitive game of bocce, physical activity is crucial to keep yourself in peak condition. You can start out small with an introductory fitness class or jump on the treadmill for an early morning jog if you’re more accustomed to regular exercise.

In our active community, winter doesn’t force anyone to spend their days on a couch or in front of the television. Our goal is to make sure residents have every opportunity to spice up their winter schedule with year-round exercise.

Physical Activities and Your Mind

More and more scientific studies show that physical activity isn’t just good for your body, but it is good for your mind as well. There is a strong correlation between exercise and a healthy mind. Here are some of the cognitive benefits that are emerging in clinical studies:

  • Boosted concentration
  • Delays Alzheimer’s disease for people at risk
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Higher creativity
  • Sharper thinking
  • Improved memory, reasoning, judgment and thinking skills

In addition to these benefits, one gets a sense of achievement and feels more confident after exercise. The typical American lifestyle involves a lot of sitting and screen time, but a sedentary lifestyle is harmful to one’s physical and cognitive health. Remaining stagnant can make a person accustomed to feeling sluggish, but finding a fun physical activity, even if it’s just taking a walk around the community, can have a profound effect on your creativity, energy level and alertness.

Exercise and Physical Health

Exercise also has benefits that directly affect your body and mind. It’s one of the best ways to prevent injuries, boost your energy level and keep you feeling vibrant and alert. Here are many of the other benefits associated with regular exercise:

  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Boosts creativity
  • Better sleep
  • Can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s
  • Increases chemicals that protect the brain
  • Tones muscles and burns fat
  • Better appetite
  • Detoxes the body

As you can see, the physical benefits even extend to your brain’s health. Slowing down the effects of cognitive degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, exercising your body and mind helps you feel active, confident and alert for as long as possible. To get these benefits, exercise a few times a week for at least half an hour to an hour each time.

Aspire at Carriage Hill offers many opportunities to stay active in the winter. Our fitness center hosts classes and has exercise equipment that are available to all residents. There is a wide selection of classes that can appeal to our diverse community that can make the winter months fun and active!

Social Activities & Games

At Aspire, we are determined to create as many social opportunities as possible, appealing to different interests that range from physical and social to spiritual needs. Over time, you’ll naturally find great friends by attending events you are interested in.

Maintaining friendships and staying socially active is a large part of good cognitive health as well. In fact, studies show that having friends and a support network is linked to better physical and mental health. One study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine reported that patients had decreased heart rate and lower blood pressure when they were in the presence of a supportive friend. People who have friends also report fewer instances of anxiety and depression, which are more common in people who live in isolation.

Finding a common hobby through interest groups or joining a fun activity on campus to do with others is a great way to connect with new people. A simple game of shuffleboard or cards can bring people together from different walks of life. Getting together also adds structure and fond memories to your day, making each day exciting. At Aspire, we want to give residents as many opportunities as possible to meet people with similar interests. Therefore, we’re constantly creating programs and activities that range from parties to card games so residents can connect with each other and grow socially.

Meeting with friends helps you stay connected and leads to making future plans with your friends, which creates goals and a deeper sense of purpose. According to the AARP, making friends is also good for your memory, sharpens cognitive functions and slows the decline of one’s cognitive functions over time. Just as it’s important to invest in physical activity and a good diet, having a close network of friends is another part of good total health.

Spiritual Enrichment

Humans are naturally spiritual individuals, and so it’s our goal to provide residents the opportunity to find fulfillment in this area of their life. Through our many faith groups, residents can meet like-minded residents with whom they can share their spiritual journey. Joining a group to discuss spiritual enrichment is also another great place to make friends and form supportive relationships.

Live Your Life to the Fullest at Aspire at Carriage Hill in Richmond, VA

We are excited to offer a one-of-a-kind, resort-style active adult community that hosts a wide variety of social, spiritual and physical activities to retirement-age adults who want to live life to the fullest. With our many wellness programs available to residents year-round, our goal is to provide a supportive environment that inspires you to continue to add new chapters to your life every day.

Make new friends, get in the action and enjoy every moment of your elevated new life as we offer a steady supply of classes, events and programs to make every season enjoyable. Live life on your terms as you choose the activities that you like the best and make plans with your neighbors and friends. Live purposefully, actively and vibrantly at Aspire! Contact us for more information about our programs, services and amenities today.

Contact Us

With all of the decisions you need to make in choosing a Richmond independent living community, we want to make sure you and your family have the information you need. Submit a request for more information and our team will be in touch shortly.

5020 Sulky Drive

Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 286-1133

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