Tag Archive for: earth day

Senior couple walking hand in hand alongside Lake Maggie at John Knox Village

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day – And Live a Long, Healthy Life

How it all began

Over half a century ago, Earth Day was made official on April 22, 1970, marking the birth of the modern environmental movement. In previous years, Americans were true gas guzzlers driving massive and inefficient cars that emitted smoke, sludge, and air pollution without any concern for its impact on our environment. Sadly, Americans remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how pollution threatened human and other living organisms’ health. And there were no legal or regulatory procedures in place to protect the planet.

Inspired by the anti-war movement and being a longtime advocate against the decline of the natural world, Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin created Earth Day in the spring of 1970 to force the issue onto the national agenda. On April 22, 1970, twenty million Americans demonstrated in cities across the country with rallies, clean-up events, and educational programs, and Earth Day was born.

Spending Time with Nature Can Add Years to Your Life

Did you know that spending time in green spaces may contribute to your longevity by as much as 2.5 years? Studies suggest that long-term exposure to greenery is good for your health.

From The Washington Post, “(Studies) show that being near green space causes some biological or molecular changes that can be detected in our blood,” says Lifang Hou, a preventative professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the study’s principal investigator. David Rojas-Rueda, an epidemiology professor at Colorado State University, adds, “We know the benefits of green space in reducing premature mortality. (We now know) how this could happen by describing how green spaces can modify how genes are expressed.”

Trees & Flowers May Boost Cognitive Health

Trees, flowers, grass, gardens and parks are wonderful for all our senses, but they’re also great for our cognitive health. According to The National Institute on Aging, residential areas with more green space are associated with faster thinking, better attention, and higher cerebral ability.

A journal published by the JAMA Network Open shares findings of a US-based study of adults 65 and over, citing that exposure to some natural environments can be associated with a decrease in hospitalizations for Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias, as well as Parkinson’s Disease. The study found that “exposure to green space around one’s home and surrounding neighborhood could improve processing speed and attention, as well as boost overall cognitive function.” The results also showed that “lowered depression may help explain the association between green space and cognition, bolstering previous research that has linked exposure to parks, community gardens, and other greenery with improved mental health.”

For older adults, retirement can provide more time and opportunities to engage with nature, irrespective of age and health status. In whatever ways we’re able to get out and enjoy the natural environment, there’s no doubt a breath of fresh air and experiencing the wonder of nature does a body – and mind – good.

John Knox Village in Pompano Beach, Florida is an internationally-award winning senior living Life Plan community that engages its residents with exciting activities to stimulate the mind and senses. Located three miles from the beach, it’s situated on a 70-acre lush, tropical campus with an abundance of green space for residents to enjoy.

Join us in celebrating Earth Day this April at any of the following John Knox Village events:

April 6th – Bonnet House Orchid Festival & Brunch
April 10th – Sample McDougald House Garden Tour & Lecture: ‘Environmental Discussion on Climate Change and Bees & Pollinators’, and Art in the Park: ‘Herb Bouquets’
April 17th – Wildlife Wonders Presentation: ‘The Majestic Elephant’ at JKV
April 26th – Nature Walk (Fitness event)
April 27th – Pompano Beach Green Market outing

Contact us for more information on any of these events, to reserve your spot, or schedule a tour. Visit JKV and come see what sets us apart!