August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day, honoring the fastest-growing demographic in the world. There are over 44 million people over the age of 65 and improvements in healthcare have allowed older citizens to enjoy more productive lives! Many are retiring later in life, exploring second careers, volunteering to help others, and discovering new interests. Staying active as you age can help with mental and physical well-being, providing structure and routine, connection with the community, and preventing isolation and loneliness. For all they contribute, we owe our seniors thanks and gratitude. National Senior Citizen Day is a great time to celebrate how this demographic has impacted our lives. At Sonoma Hills, we appreciate our seniors daily and our focus is on improving the overall health and activity level of the older adults in our community.

One of the most important activities we offer to the residents at Sonoma Hills is exercise! Physical movement has countless benefits for all ages, including a healthier heart, stronger bones, and improved flexibility. There are additional benefits for seniors, including a reduced risk of chronic diseases, lowering the chance of injury, and improving mood. Research shows that older adults who are active in senior programs can manage and delay the onset of diseases while experiencing improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, and mental well-being.

Four different types of exercise classes are offered for residents to choose from, and many attend all four! Our classes specialize in movement to music strengthening balance and coordination in a fun environment where body and mind flourish. The weekly sessions are taught either in a seated, standing, or combination seated/standing format. The movements practiced are designed to help residents continue to perform their daily activities. Each class starts with a warm-up, followed by a guided medley of movement. Class concludes with balance exercises, always emphasizing good breathing techniques and posture. Currently, Sonoma Hills offers a gentle stretching and balance class, a chair yoga class, a strength training class, and Zumba Gold® in the courtyard.

If you have thought about joining one of these classes, it is never too late to begin a regular exercise routine. The key is to find something you enjoy doing and start at a level that is easy to maintain.

In addition to exercise classes that help to keep bodies in good condition, residents also have a variety of mental activities each week designed to keep their minds in shape too! If you walk past the Activity Room while the residents are playing bingo or jeopardy, you’ll hear lots of laughter. Mental activities can be a lot of fun!

Creativity can also help focus the mind and has a calming effect on the brain and body. Being artistic reduces anxiety, depression, and alleviates stress. At Sonoma Hills, we get creative as we enjoy craft class, scrapbooking, and card making. Residents are currently reliving the past activities of last year as they are putting together a scrapbook full of those joyous memories. Once we complete making our cards, we will be “adopting” pen pals so we can share our creativity with others and brighten their day!

Another easy and healthy activity that boosts the consumption of fruits and vegetables is enjoying our unique juice concoctions! We combine organic fruits and vegetables to make a healthy (and delicious) afternoon drink. Juicing can reduce the risk of cancer, boost the immune system, remove toxins from the body, aid in digestion, and help maintain a healthy weight.

All in all, Sonoma Hills offers many opportunities for residents to find something, or a lot of things, to help them stay active. Here at Sonoma Hills, National Senior Citizens Day is every day. We love helping our older adults stay healthy mentally and physically, offering structure and routine, and connection to a community.