How Seniors’ Can Keep Themselves Mentally, Physically and Socially Engaged

Posted by Origin Active Lifestyle Communities on July 06, 2022 | 8 minute read

Becoming a senior really is one of the best parts about life. To simplify it, you get to be retired and go do all the things you want to enjoy! To help maximize these joys and make every day a great day we must be sure to keep our minds sharp and our bodies in shape so we can enjoy all our activities and partake in an active social life. Why is this so beneficial? Keep reading…


Why is it important to keep an active life?

Staying physically active has many benefits! An obvious one is preventing diseases like heart disease and diabetes, but it can help improve mental health too. Exercise helps us release of endorphins (a “feel good” hormone), reduce stress, improve sleep, and it leaves you feeling happy and satisfied. Another benefit is improving flexibility and strength, this leads to an increase in balance which can decrease the chances of falling, very important for seniors. There are even lots of studies that point to improved cognitive function which leads to lower risk of dementia. And of course, a more active social life can lead to feeling a sense of purpose and furthering us from loneliness and depression. To gain these benefits we do not want to sacrifice our day doing something we don’t enjoy, so it is important to find physical, mental, and social activities we can enjoy doing.

Below we list many different programs that help challenge the body and mind while encouraging social interactions among our community members. At Origin’s senior communities, we love to ask “what do you want to do today?” and build programs around our member feedback.


Original Expressions: Create with us!

Original Expressions™ encourages the creative side of our residents by providing classes for both beginners and advanced painters, quilters, bakers, and crafters alike. The camaraderie of creating together allows your imagination to flow. Our classes are held in the Craft Kitchen, a room with full kitchen and enough space to paint, craft, and even throw dinner parties.

Dorthy showing off her painting of a scene from the movie UP where a house is flying from so many balloons being attached to it.“It’s surprising what you can do when you don’t know you can do it. We have a really good teacher, and she comes up with very good ideas. I have 4 daughters and they all have paintings that I have done, they just love them.” – Dorothy “Dottie” Dool from Origin at Longwood in Nanaimo, BC.


Origin Works: Lets get building!

Purposeful activity and working with your hands can really foster a sense of accomplishment. Being handy and helping friends is a great way to stay active. Origin Works™ programs provide workshops, tools, and like-minded folks to work on projects big and small... together.


Origin’s Living Green: Lets get growing!

Origin’s Living Green™ gardening groups connect people who enjoy growing and nurturing wonderful aromatic and colourful living things. Residents grow and tend the Chef’s Gardens providing herbs and vegetables. The group also visits local horticultural sites of interest, including garden shows. Interacting with nature really is a spiritual experience and sharing it with others makes it even more special.


Origin’s Way-To-Go: Lets go exploring!

Hop on the Origin Way-to-Go™ bus and get ready to experience a new and exciting adventure. Day trips as well as visiting local sites of interest are all part of the Origin Way-to-Go program. Explore a new winery, go shopping, take a hike in the mountains... the possibilities are limitless.

Yvan sitting on a log enjoying the great outdoors beside a lake and mountains in the background

“As an avid outdoors person, I love everything about The Origin Way-To-Go trips! I love the places we go, and the new adventures we have. The Origin Way-To-Go trips also bring back many memories for me of the ‘old Calgary’ and the adventures my wife and family would take. I love when we go to the mountains and see the beautiful scenery and breathe the fresh air.” – Yvan Lariviere from Whitehorn Village by Origin in Calgary, Alberta.


Origin’s Spirit of Giving: Lets make a difference!

Giving to others can make you feel great. A generous heart can fill you up. Origin’s Spirit of Giving™ program organizes activities for residents to work together to create handmade gifts, homemade baked goods or raise money to give to others. Feel the satisfaction of a job well done and know that you made a difference!

Angie H, right, giving money raised to St. Philip by the Sea Anglican Church“I like to support anything positive happening in people's lives and this kind of setting is the ideal place to do that. Origin will always help residents who want to fundraise for some kind of worthy cause.” – Angie Harvie from Origin at Longwood in Nanaimo, BC.


Origin ThinkFit™: Challenge yourself.

Challenge yourself and learn something new. Do you like trivia? Would you like to learn a new language? Origin ThinkFit™ is brain fitness The Origin Way™. Participants give their brains a mental workout led by Life Enrichment team members. Life-long learning is important, so ThinkFit™!


Origin PowerStride™: Making strides together!

Walking with poles is an excellent way to stay fit while enjoying the great outdoors. Origin’s PowerStride™ program incorporates Nordic walking poles, encouraging residents to participate in local neighborhood walks, as well as venturing further afield. Walking and talking together is a great way to get in some fitness, fresh air, and forge new friendships.

Marge with her Origin PowerStride polls walking across a wooden bridget with a mountain side and trees in the background

“I love going out using trekking poles, it provides stability and reduce strain on joints on rough terrain. It also helps to improve and maintain posture.” – Marg Bleakney from Origin at Spring Creek in Canmore, Alberta.


Origin Swing Fitness™: Exercise with friends!

Origin Swing Fitness™ classes offer a range of fun exercise programs each day. From Gentle Yoga to seated exercise classes, our classes are progressive and safe...go at your own pace. Our Life Enrichment Team Members are certified and knowledgeable and lead exciting classes that keep you coming back again and again. Reach your health goals, improve your well-being and feel an overall sense of renewal.

Margie wearing her Origin Senior Games Shirt sporting a winning ribbon

“I absolutely love 10am Swing Fitness class. It’s so enthusiastic, and upbeat. We dance and do everything in that class! We work every part of our body. I am a firm believer that I need to keep active to exercise, I’m still able to garden, lift the soil and get on my hands and knees and get back up again. – Margaret ‘Margie’ Kobol from Whitehorn Village by Origin in Calgary, Alberta.


Balance For Life: Training together!

Origin’s Balance for Life™ is a nationwide program designed to train and educate seniors about fall prevention. Balance For Life focuses on increasing muscle strength, endurance, and balance. Balance For Life encourages participation through exercise to enhance balance, strengthen the lower body, and core muscles and ultimately build confidence and reduce the fear of falling. Work through the training sessions led by our trained instructors and you will see your confidence grow.


Origin Tempo: Sing together!

Music has the power to move you in extraordinary ways. Origin Tempo™ harnesses music’s energy in group music instruction, singing groups, music therapy and live performances. Try a ‘Conductorcize’ class, join in the resident choir...even try your hand at learning a new instrument. Tempo is a wonderful way to join in with others.

Ken playing a recorder along with Rick playing the piano together in a beautiful dining room

“I love the impromptu sessions, especially with Rick. Finding a musician who is willing to play with me is great. If I’m feeling low and I sit down and play, in an hour or two I’m quite happy again.” – Ken Blackwood from Origin at Spring Creek in Canmore, Alberta


Meet Faress Barraquias our Life Enrichment Manager

Faress standing in the movement studio with 2 residents in the background exercising

“Working at Origin and with our wonderful community members has been an incredible experience. My job is to keep our residents active and healthy, to enrich the lives of community members every day through activities, games, and Origin branded programs and classes. My goal is to make sure that those around me are enjoying themselves and staying engaged, it is a lot more like play than work, very rewarding and something I look forward to doing everyday.” – Faress Barraquias, Life Enrichment Manager at Origin at Longwood in Nanaimo, BC.


Experience The Origin Way

It is important to stay physically and mentally fit, and having fun while you do it. Imagine all these activities under one roof. Just a short walk from your suite and you can take an art class, work on your garden, take a fitness class, head out on an excursion, build something in your woodshop, or just go visit some friends in the pub for a cold one. Here at Origin we love to ask “What do you want to do today?” and make that happen.


Learn more about Origin and our Active Living Communities at

Learn more about Origin at Longwood in Nanaimo, BC

Learn more about Swan Evergreen Village by Origin in Calgary, AB

Learn more about Whitehorn Village by Origin in Calgary, AB






Topics: Independent Living, Senior Care