Wellness and the New Year
Happy New Year everyone!
Don’t you just love this time of year? A time for new beginnings, a time to dream, to make goals, and turn words into action. A time to let go of the past and to look toward the future! The beginning of the year always feels so fresh and exciting to me, and this year is no exception. Fun things are on the horizon here at Foundry Steamboat, and I can’t wait to share with you what we have planned! To kick off the year, here is what the Wellness Program has been up to in January!
This month our Healthy Habits group focused on Sleep Hygiene. Sleep is so important for not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. Getting quality sleep every night can set the foundation for your day. A good night’s sleep can boost your mood, improve memory, strengthen your heart, bolster your immune system, increase your exercise performance, and improve your productivity and your overall quality of life.
We can all agree sleep is vital to our health, so then what the heck is Sleep Hygiene?! Sleep Hygiene is defined as various practices and habits necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness. You might not have good sleep habits if you have frequent sleep disturbances, daytime sleepiness, or it takes you too long to fall asleep.
If you are struggling with Sleep Hygiene, here are a few things you can implement to help you get quality sleep:
∙ Limit daytime naps to 30 min (or avoid them altogether, if you can)
∙ Avoid stimulants such as nicotine or caffeine close to bedtime
➣ You may even need to limit caffeine to before noon in some cases
➣ As little as 10 min of aerobic exercise can improve nighttime sleep quality
∙ Avoid food that can cause indigestion right before sleep
∙ Get adequate exposure to natural light
➣ Exposure to sun during the day and darkness at night helps with a healthy sleep/wake cycle
∙ Establish a relaxing bedtime routine
➣ This helps the body recognize it is time for sleep
➣ Your routine can include warm shower or bath, reading a book, or light stretches
∙ Avoid blue light from phone or TV right before bed (zero screen time 30 min before)
➣ Blue light can make it difficult to fall asleep because it suppresses melatonin production in the body, tricking your brain into thinking it is daytime
∙ Make your sleep space pleasant and relaxing!
➣ Comfy pillows and mattress
➣ Temp between 60-67 degrees for optimal sleep
➣ Can include a noise machine, fan, ear plugs, eye mask, or blackout curtains to create a pleasant sleeping space
∙ Only use bed for sleep and intimacy!
➣ Reading, watching tv, or working from your bed, can make your brain associate your bed with a place of wakefulness, instead of a place to sleep!
Try a few of these tips to see if they improve your quality of sleep. To track their effectiveness, make note of how many nights a week you utilize these tools to see which ones work best for you. Keep in mind, the more you practice them, the better they work! For more information about sleep hygiene visit www.sleepfoundation.org.Happy sleeping!
January Wellness Activity Highlight
This month we took advantage of the sunshine and got outside on our snowshoes around the ranch! At the time of the activity, we had recently had a snowstorm which made the perfect canvas for us to think outside the box and make some art with our snowshoes. The residents and staff got creative out in the hayfield and did a collaborative Snowshoe drawing. This activity was perfect for mindful movement and cardio! The end result was so cool, and we even got aerial photos and a video, thanks to one of our staff members with a drone! You can check out our aerial video by going to our YouTube channel or our social media platforms. We have big plans for our next snowstorm, we can’t wait!
In the fitness aspect of theWellness Program, we focus on functional movement; movements that mimic everyday life. Functional Fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. It trains your muscles to work together and prepares them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work, or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability. Movements such as squatting, reaching, pulling, and lifting will be made easier with functional fitness integrated into your exercise routine.
Some of the benefits of functional fitness include increasing ease of everyday movements; increases flexibility, coordination, balance and posture; helps reduce joint pain; reduces the risk of injury; can be tailored to any ability; and builds muscle. Here at Foundry Steamboat, we incorporate three functional fitness workouts a week.
Below is one of the full body workouts we did this month:
For 12 min, do as many rounds as possible of:
- 5 pull ups (modifications: assisted pull ups, ring rows, or bent over rows)
- 10 push-ups (modification: elevated push-ups)
- 15 air squats
- 20 sit ups (modification: crunches)
- 3 – 5 burpees
That’s a wrap on January for the Wellness Program! Stay tuned for what we have going on in February!
Cait Mowris, Wellness Director, Foundry Steamboat