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You’re never too old to become a plant parent – no green thumb required, and the health and happiness benefits are many and varied. Check out these plants with purpose, each one offering a specific benefit while also being easy to grow and maintain.
If you‘ve fallen into believing your individual efforts to go green won’t make a difference, think about your grand- and great-grandchildren, and the kind of world they will inherit. Also consider that there are over seven million people over 65 in Canada today*; if every senior were to implement even one of the following eco-friendly suggestions, think of the difference it would make!
People with a sunny outlook enjoy better mental and physical health, and they are generally more resilient in coping with challenges and setbacks. Studies show that an optimistic attitude helps to protect the heart, reduces stress and anxiety, and boosts immunity. Accentuating the positive is also good for brain health, lifts mood, increases longevity and improves sleep.
Summer is the perfect time to bring nutrient-rich elements of a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet into your daily eating patterns. Consume colourful vegetables and fruits for their many phytonutrients, eat a variety of healthy protein foods, and grill fish for essential fatty acids. Season foods with herbs and spices, and dress salads with olive oil to add flavour and boost heart health, while enjoying chilled soups to keep cool and hydrate.
Health Canada advises older adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity each week, in sessions of at least 10 minutes at a time. They also recommend adding bone and muscle-strengthening exercise twice a week,* especially useful for balance and preventing falls.
Protecting your skin from the sun is essential to prevent skin cancer, the most common of all cancer types. To enjoy outdoor sun safely, wear a wide-brimmed hat and tightly woven clothing, seek shade at peak times and use SPF 30 or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen. Check your skin regularly to detect and treat skin cancer early, avoid indoor tanning, and be aware of medications that can increase sun sensitivity.
Spring offers many opportunities to walk outdoors in a variety of natural settings, which can boost your physical and mental health. Studies shows walking in nature can help to keep your heart fit, calm your mind, lift your mood, lower anxiety, and ease chronic pain. Walking outdoors also supports brain health by sharpening your thinking and judgement, preserving memory, and reducing dementia risk.
As we all know, nothing compares to a homemade dish made with fresh, seasonal vegetables. They make our dish taste 100 times better! Whether we’re talking about Quebec asparagus, zucchini, or roasted sun-drenched tomatoes, the tastes and flavours that they provide are simply mouthwatering!
The weather is warming up, and more than ever this year, it’s time to celebrate spring outdoors If you need more motivation than throwing off your winter parka, remember that being outside is good for your mental, physical and emotional health.
Eating in an environmentally sustainable way is good for the health of the planet and your health too. Eating less red meat and plenty of legumes, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and other vegetables reduces green gas emissions substantially and lowers risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Eating locally and seasonally, while limiting consumption of ultra-processed foods, also lowers your carbon footprint and promotes your overall health.
At Chartwell, we strive to source our vegetables, fruit, dairy, and meat from local farms through our suppliers. Recently, our Senior Director of Food & Beverage, John Curtis and Chartwell food purchasing specialist Patricia Page—along with Tammy and Brandon from our partner, Fresh Start—visited a farm in Ontario to hear their story and learn more about the ingredients that form the foundation of our meals.
Older adults show greater resilience in coping with pandemic isolation than young people, but are still experiencing increased levels of depression. Spring offers fresh opportunities to tap into that resilience and prevent or ease depression by getting a healthy dose of nature and doing group outdoor activities in your community. You can also brighten your mood by planting a spring garden and practicing tai chi in the fresh air.

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