Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bringing The Olympics Home to Sunny View

By Alicia Estrada, wellness coordinator for Sunny View Retirement Community

As the wellness coordinator for Sunny View Retirement Community, part of my job is to encourage residents to be as physically independent as possible. This means taking a creative and innovative approach to life enrichment planning that encourages residents with different levels of independence and lifestyle preferences.

The Olympics couldn’t have come at a better time! This was the perfect moment to introduce a fun program that would challenge both residents and staff, without feeling too much like “exercise.” It was perfect! Why not bring the Olympics to Sunny View?

The day of the Games started off with opening ceremonies, including an inspiring speech from resident and 1996 Olympics torch bearer Gloria Burns. And then the games began! Residents and staff participated in a variety of competitions including golf, bowling, shooting hoops, croquet, bean bag toss and ping pong.

What many people do not realize is that you don’t need to be in the gym every day to stay strong and healthy. Often activities that we love and enjoy doing are the best types of exercise because they are the easiest things to incorporate into our routine. 

The games also challenged our balance: a complicated function that forces us to involve different body systems including sensory, vestibular, and proprioceptors. One of the things that we try to address in our wellness program at Sunny View is “fall prevention,” so sports that use balance and stretching are particularly helpful.

Hosting a Senior Olympics at Sunny View was a great way to make our community aware of how important it is to stay physically active. Many residents approached me after the event and asked about starting a regular exercise program and both residents and staff have not stopped talking about how much fun they had.

A big thank you to all our Sunny View team members and volunteers from Hands On Bay Area (HOBA) and Walmart who helped to make this event a success. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Looking forward to the 2017 Games already!

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