WOODSTOCK—During the long winter months, it’s not uncommon for the mind to drift toward the warm beaches of a tropical destination. While most may be unable to escape the cold, it’s not stopping the senior residents of Woodstock Terrace Assisted Living, who are currently working hard to reach the sandy shores of Cabo San Lucas as part of the community’s destination walking program.
The annual activity is a three-month-long competition among residents in which they accumulate miles, or points, through various events and activities to help them reach the figurative beaches of Cabo. These activities are designed to challenge them physically, mentally and psychologically as they accrue miles to reach the beach before their neighbors do. This year, the residents are working toward a 4,000-mile goal that will conclude with a Cabo fiesta at the end of April to celebrate their achievement.
For last year’s champion Emily Eaton Hood, the program provides more than a sense of accomplishment, it also gives her the opportunity to strengthen herself and make new friends in the process.
“I’ve been active my entire life, and I think that it’s important to continue doing so,” said Eaton Hood. “I love participating in this program and find it to be incredibly motivating, especially because there is an attainable goal at the end. We all have a lot of fun together, and even though we are competing we are able to motivate each other and form one big team. As much as I’ve enjoyed participating, it’s the relationships that I’ve built that keep me coming back.”
Participating in these exercises helps the residents stay more alert and sharpens their minds. Through the destination walking program, residents participate in a walking club, balloon volleyball, workout sessions with a trainer, trivia games and other activities that help participants to think as well as act. Each hour spent during one of these sessions accumulates miles in each resident’s travel log and gets them ever closer to the fiesta.
“We want the residents to see exercise as more than strenuous physical activity,” said Briana Maxham, life enrichment director at Woodstock Terrace. “This program is designed for everyone to participate and strengthen themselves physically and mentally. We can modify each activity to fit a resident’s specific needs so that they are able to get something out of it and enjoy doing it. It’s a big help that the residents motivate each other,
because they are able to challenge one another and show it’s possible to overcome any challenge in front of you.”
All the participants are looking forward to their fiesta celebration in April. When asked about winning again this year, Eaton Hood laughed a little, as she wants someone else to take home first prize this time. Though she’ll be the first to say she doesn’t plan to go easy, her competitive spirit won’t allow her to be any less than her best.
“There are always some of my neighbors who don’t think they can do this,” said Eaton Hood. “I always make a point to remind them how good it is for them to join in. You have the ability to really challenge yourself and grow — making friends is a bonus. Being social is just as important as exercise, and this will definitely benefit you. I’m excited to see what we will be able to achieve this year as we get moving and I’m counting down the days until we get to celebrate our hard work and dedication together.”
“At Woodstock Terrace we are dedicated to ensuring our residents are able to live fulfilling and purpose-filled lives,” said Eric Fritz, executive director of Woodstock Terrace. “The destination walking program is one that all of us enjoy each year, and we are excited to see how quickly everyone will make their way to Cabo San Lucas. We are always looking for ways to inspire our residents to make healthy choices in their lives and encourage each other to get active.”
The community hopes that through this program they will be able to encourage everyone — even those living outside of the community — to be active and get moving.
Residents of Woodstock Assisted Living discuss travel.