Put Some Spring in Your Step


While it remains blustery and unseasonably chilly in southern Ontario, the tantalizing prospect of spring dangles in front of us. And now that COVID vaccination programs are well underway, we can almost taste the freedom of movement and social interaction that has been denied to us these many months. So this feels like the perfect time to be reminded of the many health and wellness benefits of being outside. After all, the bulbs are in bloom, the trees are flowering and the birds are busy building their nests. There is so much to see and experience!

We have all felt the boost of energy and peace of mind that come from spending time outdoors. But there is more. Scientists have studied the salutary effects of being outside, and have reached the following conclusions.

  • Being outdoors on a sunny day increases your body’s production of Vitamin D, which provides you with a substantial jolt of wellness. This ‘sunshine vitamin’ has been linked to reduced risks of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and some inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Outdoor walks, especially those in a natural setting, have been shown to have not only physical benefits (such as enhancing fitness, muscle strength and bone health, and decreasing blood pressure), but also psychological benefits (such as relieving depression, anxiety and negative mood). These calming effects were more noticeable when walking close to water.
  • There is evidence that being in nature provides your body with the metabolic tools it needs to heal faster from illness or injury.
  • Walking or exercising outdoors has been shown to boost your memory.

The many physical and mental health benefits of what has become known as ‘forest therapy’ or ‘green exercise’ are now well-established. Doctors and psychologists are encouraging their older patients to explore new outdoor places and activities. Among the ways to experience the revitalizing impact of being outdoors are walking, swimming, biking, gardening, yoga, stretching, hiking, tai chi, and outdoor sports such as tennis, golf, pickleball and lawn bowling. Each of these will enhance your strength, flexibility and mobility, while imparting a great sense of accomplishment and a rush of natural energy. If possible, join a friend or a family member in the beautiful outdoors, and give your social soul a lift.

Happy spring, and be well,

Amy Lewtas, Founder of RetroSparX

New to RetroSparX

We are pleased to announce the following new RetroSparX memory game units which have recently been released and can be found on our website (www.retrosparx.com). We invite you to delve into the topics and tackle the memory games for seniors that comprise each unit. And we wish you happy reminiscing while you recall, relive and revel in these moments

Recall the Magic of West Side Story

West Side Story was a transformative production that wrestled with divisive social issues against the backdrop of an unforgettable score and electric dance performances. Read about this enduring theatrical success, the energy and relevance of which are as vital today as they were in the 1950s.

Included memory games for seniors

  • By solving clues in Musical Memories and completing the titles of some of Broadway’s most notable musicals and songs, you will discover two of the creative forces behind West Side Story.
  • In Broadway Boxes you will complete some mini rectangular crosswords chock full of the language of the theatre.

Recall How Malls Transformed the Shopping Experience

Shopping malls began popping up in mostly suburban areas in the 1950s, dramatically changing the way we shopped. Read about the proliferation of these cathedrals of consumerism, and about a few stand-out malls in particular that have tried to reshape the expectations of the retail consumer.

Included memory games for seniors

  • In The Joy of Shopping follow instructions to sequentially delete words from a grid, to ultimately reveal a light-hearted quote about the soul-soothing power of purchasing something special.
  • Rearrange words in Hey Big Spender to create many well-known phrases derived from the world of retail and shopping.