What a Way to Start 2020!

Eight new fitness classes. What a way to start 2020!

On Jan. 6, more than 240 members took part in our fitness classes. When I started in 2018, we only averaged 250 people a day the BA Senior Center. Last month we had nearly that many in one room! That doesn’t count the members who played pool, cards, games, puzzles, crafts, novel writing, book club, tap dancing or anything else.

Thank you for your patience as well as your input that helped craft the new lineup – these additions were a long time coming. Fortunately, we had the space and flexibility to add additional opportunities for our members.

Member Feedback Welcome

The board of directors is making it easier for members to share their opinions, concerns, praise or suggestions. At the beginning of every board meeting, patrons who wish to address the board during “comments from the audience” can sign in during the 15-minute period preceding each regularly scheduled meeting. This provides members with an opportunity to address the board early in the agenda and ensures that the board hears issues that are important to members while having a structure to keep the meeting moving.

Improved Computer Access

We recently added two computer stations in the front of the Center near the lounge.

Check stock prices – go ahead. Research new cars – please do. Order groceries for pick up – absolutely. Look up airfare to Las Vegas – if you feel lucky. Play games – why not?

From Sudoku to hand-held games, people have been looking for ways to improve their mental functioning. It’s possible that games may help improve your memory and logic skills.

The research isn’t clear concerning whether games help. According to a few recent studies, while these brain training tools might help sharpen your ability to retain information, they won’t necessarily increase your intelligence or improve your ability to recall, think or reason.

What the research doesn’t say is that it can’t hurt – plus playing games is fun.

I start every day with two games of Solitaire, two crossword puzzles and two sudoku games. I’d play Words with Friends, but I’m short on friends, so I play against the computer – or, in this case, the app. And I love trivia games.

You can keep your cognitive skills sharp if you make puzzles and games part of your regular routine. You just need to keep your brain active and challenged to stay mentally active every day. Consider some of the following tools:

Sudoku is a number placement game that relies on memory. To complete a Sudoku puzzle, you have to look ahead and follow trails of consequences – If a 3 goes here, then a 4 must go here and that makes this square a 7). I tell myself that Sudoku helps me improve short-term memory and concentration. At the very least, it gives me something to do while I drink my coffee.

Crossword puzzles are a classic game where you access words, language and multidimensional knowledge. You can find an endless list of free crossword puzzles online. The AARP website also offers a free daily crossword.

Reading. Start or join a book club. Here at the Center, the Circle of Readers group meets the first Monday of the month.

Attend lectures. We have a monthly health and wellness seminar with our partner, Hillcrest South. We also offer additional topics, such as this month’s Social Security checkup and the shoe fit clinic in March. If you’re looking to improve your cognitive self, you can play games or do puzzles. You can also go for a walk, go for a run or socialize with a friend.

What? Yes, you read that right.

Tap dancing, two-step lessons and Zumba can stimulate your brain as much as doing a puzzle – even if you have two left feet. Yoga, tai chi and line dancing can give you as good a brain workout as a computer game. And that takes us back to the 240 people who took fitness classes on Jan. 6. Regardless of what you do once you walk in the doors, the BA Senior Center provides a safe place for older