Summer fun

Wind Crest’s under-one-roof design is perfect for active lifestyles

Created date

June 13th, 2018
Karen and Ken Pinkham stay cool by staying active in myriad activities at Wind Crest, where they have lived since 2015.

Karen and Ken Pinkham stay cool by staying active in myriad activities at Wind Crest, where they have lived since 2015.

Summer’s high temps can be brutal. But you don’t have to just sit around inside all day. Community members who live at Wind Crest stay active year-round, regardless of the weather. 

The maintenance-free, amenity-rich Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., has everything under one roof, so whether it’s hot or snowy outside, residents can still pursue their passions and live a vibrant, active lifestyle.

Importance of social engagement

Staying socially and physically active is important at all life stages, but it becomes particularly vital as we get older.

Scientific evidence increasingly reinforces the association between social engagement and good health. Research reveals that loneliness may raise levels of stress hormones and inflammation, which can increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia, according to Matt Narrett, M.D., Erickson Living’s chief medical officer.

Narrett says that combining social interaction with some sort of physical or mental activity can help maintain or improve overall health.

Five ways to beat the heat

At Wind Crest, these types of activities are easy to find. The community has more than 110 resident-run clubs and groups that cover the gamut of interests.

This summer, while many of their peers are confined to their houses trying to escape the heat, Wind Crest community members continue to come together in a variety of ways.

1. Take a walk. Those who enjoy walking daily don’t take a hiatus when the mercury rises. They simply move their activity indoors; climate-controlled walkways connect every building, creating miles of indoor walkways. On Denver’s mild days, the High Line Canal Trail, which runs through campus, is buzzing with walkers and cyclists alike.

2. Get wet. The swimming pool is always busy, especially in summer. The glass-walled aquatics center gives the sensation of being outside while offering an escape from the sun’s hot rays. Community members play water volleyball, swim laps, and take aquatics exercise classes.

3. Exercise your brain. Those looking for something more intellectual or creative can take a painting class, participate in memoir-writing, or attend a current events discussion group. Lifelong learning classes also offer intellectual enrichment and social engagement.

4. Catch a show. The 250-seat Arts and Enrichment Center is always hopping with shows, movies, and music.

5. Avoid home maintenance. Probably the number one way people stay cool is to let someone else sweat over yard work and home maintenance. Wind Crest’s general services department handles everything from landscaping to changing a light bulb. And it’s Wind Crest’s responsibility to keep your AC running efficiently.

The monthly service package makes living at Wind Crest nearly all-inclusive. It covers utilities, a monthly meal plan, property taxes, use of all amenities, 24/7 security, and home maintenance.

Active couple

Ken and Karen Pinkham moved to one of Wind Crest’s newer residence buildings, McHenry’s Crossing, in November 2015. By shedding homeowner responsibilities like lawn mowing, shoveling snow, and even cooking dinner, they’ve been able to get involved in myriad activities.

For example, Ken plays the drums and Karen has joined Helping Hands and attends weekly yoga, tai chi, and aerobics classes.

Together, they walk the neighboring High Line Canal Trail daily, weather permitting, and attend Sunday worship services on campus.

Then there’s the Lifelong Learning courses, the fitness center, and the Resident Advisory Council committees.

Regardless of the weather, they can participate. “I don’t care what it’s doing outside anymore,” Ken says. All buildings connect via climate-controlled walkways.

“We’re very active, so [Wind Crest] appealed to us right away,” Karen says.

“We truthfully didn’t think we’d like it as much as we do. With all the activities and maintenance-free living, we have the luxury of choosing what’s really important to us. And the opportunities are widespread so there’s something that appeals to everybody,” adds Ken.

Five more ways to beat the heat at Wind Crest

1. Express your artistic side. Join a painting or ceramics class.

2. Research your genealogy. The new genealogy club is a great way to discover your family history.

3. Read a book. The on-site library is stocked with hundreds of books, including large print.

4. Cool down with gentle yoga. Wind Crest’s on-site fitness center offers several low-impact fitness classes each week.

5. Join a card game. Wind Crest has a handful.