Activities for the 7 Elements of Active Aging

There’s a new, cool term in town and it’s called Active Aging. But what does it mean exactly and how does one age actively? According to the ICAA (International Council on Active Aging), active aging advocates the same mission for all people – regardless of age, status, or health — to fully engage life by promoting each element of wellness.

There are seven elements: physical, vocational, emotional, social, environmental, intellectual, and spiritual. The good news is that everyday activities you already take part in contribute to the success of your active aging!

At United Methodist Communities (UMC) at Pitman and all our communities across New Jersey, active aging is a cornerstone. UMC incorporates active aging as part of our core philosophy to bring the “Abundant Life” to all of New Jersey’s older adults.

Here are just some of the ways you can incorporate active aging embraced by UMC into your own senior lifestyle.

1. Physical – Indoor workouts

Everyone struggles to find the motivation to work out, especially from home. During this time of Covid-19 restrictions, it can be easy to fall into the television and junk food trap. However, if there’s anything that this pandemic has proved, it’s that working out from home is very possible and that there are many ways to do it.

On your iPhone or tablet, you can download free apps that provide exercise programs to follow based on weight, age and fitness level. Some favorites are Keep Trainer, Keep Yoga and Beginner’s Workout.

If you would rather not download yet another app, don’t worry! There are plenty of other fitness programs available online. Click here for more indoor workouts.

2. Vocational – Learn a new skill

Whether it’s mastering a new recipe or the art of sewing, “the wisest mind has something yet to learn” (George Santayana). Acquiring new skills helps to keep the mind sharp, plus you never know where your new talent can take you in this digital age! More and more people are starting to sell handmade goods on popular sites like Etsy and Zazzle.

 3. Emotional and Social – Call family and friends

Seniors who never thought they’d ever use a computer are now utilizing Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Snapchat, and other video chat platforms to communicate with family and friends in the face of Covid-19! When you can’t be face-to-face, video communication is the next best thing to keep in contact with loved ones. Scheduling a weekly (or even daily) call with friends or family will strengthen emotional connection and provide much-needed social interaction.

4. EnvironmentalNature walks

You know what they say about fresh air? Something as simple as a quick 15 to 20-minute walk outside can provide clarity and enhance your relationship with the environment. Especially, if you walk with someone who can educate you on native species of trees, flowers, and animals in the area. Residents can enjoy the benefit of fresh air and sunshine when conditions permit outdoor walks!

5. IntellectualVirtual book club or game nights

Seniors’ ability to use technologies such as Skype, Zoom or Facetime, can also be helpful in starting a monthly book club or game night. Reading and solving puzzles are valuable tools for enhancing cognitive ability. Not to mention, this is yet another way to keep social during the quarantine.

Living in a UMC community makes organizing these special interest activities a snap, as there is a ready pool of other seniors who share these interests. And with UMC associates at the ready to facilitate, you can be sure these gatherings are both social and safe.

6. SpiritualVirtual mass, worship services, etc.

For many, faith is a central part of who we are and what we believe. To be cut off from that during Covid-19 would be difficult. While houses of worship remain under restrictions at this time, live streamed services are accessible for seniors of most denominations.

The UMC staff is familiar with most of these and has been active in providing virtual or other access. Our full-service communities have full time chaplains whose ministries adapt to current guidelines and safety recommendations to comfort residents of all faiths.

If your house of worship does not offer live-streamed services, YouTube has a list of available services to stream: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sunday+mass

UMC at Pitman – Healthy mind, body and spirit!

As a faith based, senior care organization, UMC’s mission for over a hundred years has been to ensure abundant life for seniors. We strongly believe in the principles of active aging and proactively incorporate active aging activities into our core services.

To find out more about our assisted living services at UMC at Pitman in Gloucester County, or any of our other senior communities across New Jersey, please contact United Methodist Communities and book your visit today.