Healthy Living in The Villages

The North Area of the Villages Homeowners Advocates, Inc. (The VHA) hosted a presentation by Kari Walker, Population Health Specialist with The Villages Health, Monday evening at Mulberry Grove Recreation Center.  The VHA members who chose to brave the cool weather learned a lot about:

  • The 8 dimensions of wellbeing.
  • Stress and its impact on brain health.
  • Living a brain healthy lifestyle.

Kari, a Villages resident herself, has education and experience in both kinesthesiology (medical and therapeutic study of the movement of muscles and joints) and treating Alzheimer’s.  These are two very different fields, yet fit together perfectly for our program.

VHA members may download the slides used in the program here.

The participants also looked at their own lives and considered which of the 8 dimensions gave them energy and which drained them.  Several found that 1 or 2 dimensions did both.

Stress can affect so many of these dimensions, because our bodies are designed to respond to traditional stress (such as being under attack) by fighting back or running away (“Fight or Flight”).  The body chemistry that is helpful for the traditional response can actually be harmful when our response has to be peaceful.

Fortunately, there are healthy techniques to lower our stress level, and Kari demonstrated some to our members.

Finally, we heard about ways to “love our brains” to reduce the risk of dementia.  Among them are doing something creative, interacting with other people, sleep well, avoiding smoking, mental exercise (e.g. puzzles and games), physical exercise (e.g. walking, golf, pickleball, etc.), and others.

As people left, several attendees commented that this was a whole new way of thinking.  They thought it was going to be the usual nutrition and exercise propaganda, but seeing how we could help lower our stress and strengthen our brains was enlightening.

Karl Arps, Vice President
(920) 285 – 1382

**Keep checking The VHA Voice for additional upcoming Healthiest Hometown-related programs