Got Spring Fever?…Get some fresh air!


It’s wonderful to again be able to take our residents for an “outdoor walk!” During the winter, we confine ourselves to walking the first floor halls of St. Anne’s. While they are spacious, it’s not the same as getting some good, fresh air. I am looking forward to seeing the blossoms on our flowering ornamental crab tree someday soon when I walk with them. I’ll probably even pick some to set on the reception desk here.

Trees, in fact, are very healthy. According to a study cited in a Huffington Post article, 850 lives were saved and almost 700,000 acute repertory symptoms were prevented in a single year by their mere presence. Did you know that trees actually remove pollution and make the air healthier to breathe, especially for people living in the city? This same article would have us believe so. It also shared the fact that polluted air can cause difficulty breathing for asthma victims as well as cancer, birth defects, lung injury and brain/nerve damage. Oxygen gained from a breath of fresh air can help energize you as well.

Stepping outside can be beneficial, even to one’s immune system. Being in close quarters with other people “exposes you to all sorts of germs,” according to . Exercise stimulates numbers of “natural killer cells.” Also, the scents of flowers can help your mood, and even pine can help with relaxation and lowering stress. Actually, with greater oxygen intake, more serotonin is produced, which also helps your mood and sense of well-being, according to

Fresh air actually cleans your lungs and gets more oxygen to your cells, improving your lungs’ cleansing action. Breathing fresh air can help your mental clarity. Your brain, in fact, uses 20% of the body’s oxygen. Fresh air also helps with effective food digestion, according to this source. Consequently, according to, fresh air can even help you lose weight. Furthermore, it is noted, that blood pressure and heart rate are improved by fresh air.

So, be advised, don’t just stay indoors all the time, breathing the same air over and over. According to, “breathing this stale air will not supply your body with enough oxygen to keep your cells fueled and functioning properly.” When you get a chance, get outside and enjoy some fresh air and exercise. If you live in the area, you could even take a walk over to St. Anne’s and visit our residents!

Why Activities? Activity Professionals Week – January 18-24

This week, I’d like to thank our activities staff for their hard work, not only in designing enjoyable activities but also for their efforts in getting people to actually attend.  We find that people sometimes get in a slump and need more than a little encouragement to get out of their rooms, even for things that are really fun and beneficial.  Here, our activity director shares some thoughts:

Why Activities?

By Shelly Mack, Activity Director at St. Anne’s

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Activities are not meant to keep Shelly and Dawn (my assistant) busy.  Activities are for the residents.  There is nothing worse than someone just sitting and staring at the wall day after day, when we have activities every day.  We try to have a variety: spiritual, educational, games of skill, exercises (this is chair exercise meant for everyone but a real struggle to get people to attend.  Exercise is proven to help mobility and prevent falls.  Come Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m., and give it a try!)

Dice games are pretty popular. Also, we are very lucky to have in-house musicians like Sr. Elaine, Chuck Gust and Sr. Christina, plus a guest group of music volunteers.  And of course, there is the ever-popular bingo – this is fun and you get a small prize to boot!  So, here’s a word of advice: let the paint on the wall dry and come give activities a try!

Anyone interested in helping with activities or sharing their talent may call Shelly at (701) 746-9401.