By Barbara Bruce, MS
Aging Well Facilitator
Most everyone I know makes “New Year’s Resolutions.” That’s generally it – they make them. The trouble is, without acting on your resolutions, THEY DO NOT WORK.
Nassau County Council on Aging (NCCOA) is here to help!
We encourage you to be fit and functioning longer in mind, body and spirit. You can achieve this goal by taking advantage of the opportunities that abound for Adults of All Ages. So many options are available right here on Amelia Island at NCCOA’s Fernandina Beach Life Center. The Life Center offers a “wellness pallet” – a selection of fascinating and productive activities to maintain and/or create a productive life.
Two classes that provide a jump start deal with happiness and the power of positive thinking – perhaps two sides of the same coin – but offer different perspectives are Seeing the Glass Half Full – The Power of Positive Thinking (Jan 27) and The Art and Science of Happiness (Feb 6). What better way to start the new year than on a happy and positive note. Move along on your wellness journey by participating in some of the many and varied activities in the key areas described below:
Exercise provides many bonuses. Since exercise pumps oxygen-rich blood through your brain and body, benefits include improved brain function and mood, weight control, pain reduction, stronger muscles and bones, and more! Life Center classes are available for all abilities and there is something for everyone: SilverSneakers™ Stability, Enerchi, Strength & Balance and Just Dance, as well as Tai Chi, Pilates for Beginners, Chair Yoga, Happy Tappy Tap Dancing and Line Dancing.
We are “herd creatures,” i.e., we need to interact with others to help keep our brains stimulated. Folks who are socially involved often live longer than those who are more isolated. Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system. This means that you are better able to fight off illness and depression, and may lower the risk factors that contribute to dementia.
If you are interested in engaging in the benefits of socializing, NCCOA offers a wide variety of activities that promote social engagement including games, cards and tiles, music and just plain fun (“Laughter is the best medicine”). Choose from Bingo, Brain Games, Multi-Generational Chess, Wheel of Fortune, Canasta, Mahjong, Bridge and Rummikub, or try them all! We also offer many musical performances.
No tests here (almost never) – just learning about fascinating topics you may not have had the time for in your busy life. The importance of learning throughout one’s life cannot be overstated: it keeps your brain working (there’s that brain thing again), boosts self-confidence, enables you to learn new skills for enrichment or leisure, expands your levels of knowledge and keeps you prepared in case you appear on Jeopardy (you never know)! It’s never too late to broaden our horizons.
Become a more informed citizen by taking some of our many classes
exploring city government, world affairs, national security, current events, U.S. foreign policy and history, and more. Be a SAFE citizen by completing an AARP Smart Driver class, and maybe even get a discount on your auto insurance to boot! Keep pace with ever-changing technology by signing up for a course on Artificial Intelligence or Internet Security. Learn how to use all those functions on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, or keep up with the grandkids by taking a class on social media. Make your neighbors jealous by sprucing up your yard with tips from a gardening class. Your options are unlimited…expand your horizons in philosophy or learn to play the ukulele!
Traveling to Italy or planning a Staycation? Be an informed tourist and take a class on Italian art and culture, or on the history of Amelia Island’s 8 Flags. Much has been written about maintaining brain function and memory by learning new languages. We offer Spanish taught by the popular Immersion method, as well as Sign Language.
There is an increasing amount of evidence suggesting creative activities including art forms (painting/sculpting/beading), writing and musical enrichment enhance brain function (there it is again). Often engaging in these and other creative interests enhance neural systems which enrich fine motor skills, expand creativity and improve emotional energy. Your brain thrives on new adventures – at any age! Come and dip your toes into an area you love or have never tried before.
Add life to your years in many ways by practicing positive thinking, exercising at various levels, interacting with friends, exploring new and fascinating topics, and stimulating your creativity. And the best news is it’s all right here for you at 1901 Island Walk Way. Find a complete listing of classes and register at www.myactivecenter com. Or view our course listings on pages 16-22. Check out page 16 to register. We’ll see you there!