Why Exercise Works

woman exercising in a pool

Much research goes into the “science of exercise” and scientists have realized it doesn’t require long sessions of sweat-breaking exercise to make improvements in your health, endurance, and strength. 

Each session of exercise stimulates some form of change in every body system including countermeasures for the negative effects of arthritis and protection from symptoms of other chronic diseases. The CDC recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate level exercise like brisk walking to benefit your health and help prevent disease. Dr. Zhen Yan, professor of medicine reports that his research shows exercise can prevent and even reverse the damage of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease as well as arthritis. Exercise improves circulation and removes cellular waste which is linked to tissue damage associated with many chronic diseases. Essentially “Exercise takes out the trash.” Exercise reduces levels of proteins in the blood that cause inflammation that results in painful swollen joints, improving function and reducing pain. 

Exercise actually does produce more energy by increasing “organelles” that create energy at the individual cell level especially in the skeletal muscles, improving circulation and empowering brain and muscle cells. So on those days when you feel so-o-o tired, gentle to moderate exercise can boost your energy level. 

Exercise improves balance in several ways: improving communication between joints and brain by increasing the awareness of where the joint is in space. Chair Yoga‘s slow controlled movements promotes “motor learning” improving smooth and precise motions thus improving balance. 

Aerobic exercise (water aerobics) strengthens the heart muscle and keeps the circulation flowing through healthier veins and arteries. Better circulation means better oxygen flow to cells in the brain, organs, and muscles. Also stimulating muscle cells to build stronger fibers helps the heart to pump more powerfully and more efficiently. Keeping arteries and veins more elastic will prevent arterial stiffening that result from unhealthy eating or aging which lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke. 

People doing a yoga class

Weight–bearing exercise (walking) keeps joints healthy: strengthened muscles relieve pressure on supporting tendons and ligaments. In other words, the muscle acts as a natural brace. Strengthening core muscles helps support the back, reducing back pain. Stronger muscles absorb the normal jarring of weight-bearing exercise by nourishing and thickening the cartilage inside the joints. 

Rhythmic exercises (line dancing, NuStep and walking) soothe the nerves while producing natural hormones called endorphins that give a happy feeling which helps relieve depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. 

Prove it for yourself. Join one of the many exercise classes and/or use the equipment in the Oasis available here at Kirby Pines. 

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

– Confucius

Preparing for Our 40th Anniversary at Kirby Pines

The 40th Anniversary of Kirby Pines is just a month away. Whether you have been a resident for ten years or just four days, you are enjoying the numerous improvements and upgrades to the community over the past years. These improvements and our consistency in delivering services to our residents has resulted in Kirby Pines being voted the Memphis Most winner by the Memphis Commercial Appeal year after year. This year the theme for our 40th Anniversary will be prayer and the color – digital lavender. 

The theme has personal meanings to each person, but it important to know that Kirby was the idea of several clergy and lay people whose prayers laid the foundation for what has become a landmark retirement community in the southeastern United States. The color digital lavender, is said to signify stability, serenity and wellness. An imaginative and creative color, the color is already embraced by today’s youth. 

So mark your calendars for September’s Lighting of the Lake ceremony, celebrating Kirby’s 40th Anniversary, Saturday September 9th. 

August, known for its dog days of summer, is hot in Memphis, and yet we can be thankful for temperatures cooler than those in the west and southwestern parts of the United States. Just 

the same, it is important to stay hydrated both outdoors and indoors, keep window treatments closed during the afternoon hours, and set your air conditioning to a comfortable mid 70’s degree. Of course, wearing light loose fitting clothing is helpful as well. 

Regardless of how long you have been a resident, or have been contemplating a move to Kirby Pines, our upcoming 40th Anniversary is possible because of the trust you and so many in the Memphis community have in us. On behalf of all employees, thank you for your cooperative spirit throughout the years, and may I suggest you make some time to relax away from the hot August sun and enjoy an ice cream treat in the Kirby Bistro. 

Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

How Are YOU Praying the Lord’s Prayer?

altar of candles

In the Christian tradition most of us know, and can enter into praying what has come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is really our prayer. There are two common ways we pray this prayer. Sometimes, we wrestle against God. We receive intimations of something God wants us to do- – and we wrestle against God because we are not sure we want to respond. Or, we come face to face with an issue of God’s justice and holiness – and we resist. We don’t want to do it. 

But there is also another kind of wrestling. It is not wrestling against God; it’s a matter of wrestling with God against that which opposes God’s will. It really becomes a matter of spiritual warfare. We sense that there are forces within our world which are opposed to God’s will: sickness, hate, meanness, narrowness of spirit, fear, lethargy, prejudice, and ill will. I speak of our warfare against the forces of darkness – we wrestle against Satan himself. We set ourselves against all such forces and to them we cry, “God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” 

The whole issue is abandonment. Sometimes when we pray, “Thy will be done,” it is a declaration of submission in which we confess that we do not know what is best but we want God’s will. We struggle, we wrestle, we stay in the presence of the Lord until our hearts are made tender, and we’re ready to trust God and surrender our will to Him. 

My favorite story about Lourdes, the world known healing place, has to do with an old priest at that famous healing center who was asked by a newspaper reporter to describe the most impressive miracle he’d ever seen there. The reporter expected him to talk about the amazing recovery of someone who had come to Lourdes ill and walked away well. “Not at all,” the old priest said, “if you want to know the greatest miracle that I have ever seen at Lourdes, it is the look of radiant resignation on the face of those who turn away unhealed!” That’s abandonment! — thy will be done as a declaration of submission, confessing that all we want is God’s will – because we know that it is best for us. 

So, let us pray, Our Father…… 

-Maxie Dunnam  

Congratulations to Our Champion of the Month


Director of Caring In Place

Describe your family: My family is fun and always full of jokes and laughter.

Describe yourself in five words: Humble, observant, dependable, caring and thoughtful.

What do you do for fun: Spending time with my grandsons and watching movies.

What are some of your hobbies: Reading inspirational books and painting.

What is your favorite thing about your job: Seeing the smiles on resident’s faces and providing care.  

What is your favorite food: I love tomatoes. 

What is your favorite song: I’m Still Here by Dorinda Clark Cole.

What is something you are proud of: Raising my 3 beautiful kids into responsible, respectful adults.

What would you like people to know about you: I absolutely LOVE butterflies!

Tania was hired as the staffing coordinator for Caring In Place and then moved to Supervisor/Manager In Training in the Fall of 2022. She continues to cover the department ands works as a PCA when needed. Tania not only does all of the work for residents at Kirby Pines, she has taken on the task of providing PCA services for the residents at The Farms, too. She is truly an asset to Caring In Place, Kirby Pines and The Farms at Bailey Station. We are grateful to have her on board!

Michael Escamilla, Executive Director 

4th of July Jokes Sure to Go Off with a Bang!

Q: Who has to work on the 4th of July?
A: Fire works.

Q: What did the colonists wear to the Boston Tea Party?
A: Tea-shirts.

Q: Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
A: On the bottom of the page.

Q: Why couldn’t George Washington fall asleep?
A: Because he couldn’t lie.

Q: What was the most popular dance in 1776?
A: The indepen-dance.

Q: Why does the Statue of Liberty stand for freedom?
A: Because she can’t sit.

Q: What did the flag do when it lost its voice?
A: It just waved.

Q: What beverage do you drink on July 4th?
A: Liber-tea.

Q: Why is there no knock-knock joke about America?
A: Because freedom rings.

Q: What did King George think of the American colonists?
A: He thought they were revolting.

Q: What did the lightning say to the fireworks?
A: You stole my thunder!

Q: Did you hear the joke about the Liberty Bell?
A: Yeah, it cracked me up.

Q: What are the most patriotic flowers?
A: Yankee Doodle Dandylions.

Q: What do you serve with cheese on Independence Day?
A: Fire crackers.

Q: Why did the firecracker go to the hair salon?
A: It needed to trim its bangs.

Q: What is the best sport to play on July 4th?
A: Flag football.

Q: Which flag is the most highly rated?
A: The American flag. It has 50 stars..

Q: What do you get if you cross a T-Rex with a firework?
A: Dino-myte.

Resident Spotlight: Mike & Suzanne Hufnagel


In small town America, many people have been nurtured and supported in their formative years by the advantages which are unique to small town living. Both Suzanne and Michael Hufnagel are products of such an environment. Although their lives encountered hardships, cumulatively, their lives could be described as the “ultimate life.” There were supportive families, opportunities for education and advancement through employment, three children and six grandchildren to love, and a retirement to envy. In 2011, the Hufnagels sold everything, bought an RV, and spent the next eight+ years traveling the Unites States and Canada.

Suzanne (nee Stevens) and Michael Hufnagel were born in, or near, Tell City, Indiana. This small town had a rich heritage and was ideal for childhood. Life was good. No one locked their doors, bicycles were ridden from dawn to dusk, and sleep-over with friends was the norm. However, both Suzanne and Michael suffered losses during their childhood. Suzanne’s parents divorced when she was nine, and Michael’s father died when Michael was four years old. As a result, both lives were altered. Suzanne’s mother began working outside the home, and Michael’s family moved to his grandfather’s farm. However, according to Michael, “I loved living on the farm. There are many adventures I had in those early years that I wouldn’t trade for anything. That’s when I developed my love for the outdoors.”

Suzanne attended St. Paul’s Catholic school through eighth grade and was active in the band, playing cornet and French horn. Michael attended a different school. They met at the city swimming pool the summer following their freshman year of high school. They soon began dating “off and on.” Suzanne participated in musical and drama ventures while Michael developed the “Hoosier Hysteria” by involvement in sports. In his younger years, Michael also enjoyed scouting and eventually became a Boy Scout Leader.

Following graduation in 1962, Suzanne moved to Indianapolis to work in the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and then as a receptionist in a prominent law firm. Michael entered Purdue University. The romance blossomed, and in 1964, Suzanne and Michael were married. One interesting bit of information shared by the Hufnagels was that both their mothers remarried around the same time.

The Vietnam War caused disruptions in many lives. Michael was drafted into the Army in 1966. He relates this about that experience: “I was in the Army from 1966 until 1968. I was trained as a Drill Instructor and discharged with the rank of Sergeant (E5). My Army years have many stories that had God’s hand in them. The main one is that I remained stateside while most of my trainees had to go ‘across the pond,’ and many didn’t return.”

After his discharge from the Army, Michael returned to Purdue earning a BS and an MS in Industrial Engineering. His employment resulted in family moves from Indianapolis to Cincinnati, Memphis, and Little Rock. Starting out in the engineering field, Michael moved to Marketing and then Information Technology. His last positions were as CIO of transportation companies.

Suzanne worked until their first child was born in 1970. She became a homemaker and the family increased to three, two boys and one girl. According to Suzanne, “Sewing and making things has been a big part of my life. I made my children’s clothes and my own for many years.” She began piecing the beautiful quilts we see displayed on our Art Wall in 2016. So far, she has made a total of 12 quilts. “I enjoy making things that are not only beautiful but useful,” says Suzanne. In 1975, Suzanne became a believer in Jesus Christ and has been involved in study and teaching Bible classes. She and Michael are members of Harvest Church and participate as Greeters.

Because of his love of the outdoors, Michael has always sought activities which allowed him to be “with nature.” He says that he has done a lot of backpacking and water skiing. When his children came along, they also enjoyed the outdoors. According to Michael, “We enjoyed tent camping, boating on a pontoon, and jet skiing on Pickwick Lake.” Michael says he has always enjoyed wood working and refinishing furniture.

When RV living came to an end, the Hufnagels did not want the hassle of another house and began looking at retirement facilities. After considering several, they chose Kirby Pines for a number of reasons. Primarily, Memphis seemed like home base, and their daughter lives here. Also, important to them was the Lifecare benefits and the community that Kirby offers.

The Hufnagels 

Living at Kirby is living the ultimate life. According to both Suzanne and Michael, “We enjoy living in our two bedroom apartment which requires little maintenance and no yard work. We SO enjoy the beautiful grounds here and are thankful for those who keep our grounds beautiful.”

Suzanne and Michael Hufnagel have certainly been a wonderful addition to our community. Both remain very active. Suzanne leads a Bible study and pleases us with her artistry. Michael has served on the Resident’s Association Board and has been an extraordinary helper to many of us who have various technology problems. 

The Hufnagels’ thoughts on moving: “So many residents experience the agony of downsizing when they move in. We had the experience of up-sizing in moving from a 400+ square foot motor home to a 900+ square foot apartment. We were able to buy all NEW furnishings. What fun!”

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident, Kirby Pines.

Celebrating Independence

woman exercising outdoors

“Life is not merely being alive, but being well.”
-Marcus Valerius Martialis

We all know July 4th is a federal holiday in the United States to commemorate the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. This holiday is typically filled with fireworks, BBQ, and family and friends gathering to celebrate our great country. It’s also a great opportunity to celebrate our personal independence and autonomy.

Ways to Celebrate and Promote Independence:

woman lifting weights

1. Functional Fitness Testing. Functional fitness testing is a great way to put a spotlight on your independence. Determining your baseline fitness level and making appropriate recommendations for exercise classes, programming, or additional support is a step towards continued independence. Not sure where to start? Contact the TherapyTeam!

people donating to charity

2. Look at Vocational Wellness. Vocational Wellness is one of the seven dimensions of wellness, and it is the ability to achieve personal satisfaction and fulfillment, maintain balance, and make a positive impact. Examples of vocational wellness can include mentoring or tutoring, volunteering, or even caregiving.

man using exercise machine

3. Exercise! Participate in wellness classes, walking programs, or aquatics. Keep your body moving! The more you move, the stronger and healthier your bones, muscles, and brain will be!Healthy minds and bodies promote independence!

As we celebrate our nation’s independence, take a moment, and celebrate your OWN independence – physically, mentally, spiritually. What things are you doing throughout the week, month, or even year, to spotlight your abilities and promote continued independence? Not sure where to start? The Functional Pathways Therapy Team can help!

10 Tips to Tread Safely

Using the Treadmill with Arthritis

woman on a treadmill

Treadmills seem simple, but they can be hazardous, particularly for people with joint or balance issues. “Trying to catch yourself when you lose your balance can result in muscle strains or injury in almost any joint”, says physical therapist Mary Ann Wilmarth, CEO of Back2Back Physical Therapy in Andover, Mass. 

“Injuries can go all the way up the kinetic chain when people slip and try to recover by catching themselves. This can mean foot injuries, strained or sprained ankles, shoulders and wrists – as well as the back and hips if you’re twisting as you lose balance,” she says. 

You can protect yourself by using these tips to tread more safely. 

  1. Use a full-sized treadmill with side rails. The belt should be at least 22 inches wide and 50 inches long, and the machine should have handrails on both sides you can use for balance. 
  2. Wear sturdy, low-heeled athletic shoes. Soles higher than 1 inch can lead to ankle rollovers. Use the topmost shoelace hole for extra stability. 
  3. Learn the controls. Before you step on, get familiar with how to adjust the speed, incline and especially the red “fast-stop” button. 
  4. Use the safety key. Before you hit start, clip the safety key to your shirt so if you slip, the machine will stop immediately. 
  5. Start, then step on. Hold the rail and stand on either side of the belt as you start it at a low speed. Then step on the belt and increase speed slowly. 
  6. Use a slight incline. An incline of about 2% can reduce impact on the spine, hips, knees, feet and ankles, but a steeper climb increases joint stress. 
  7. Find the right stride. You’ll know it’s on target when you’re walking comfortably – not overstretching your lead leg – with arms swinging freely. 
  8. Look straight ahead. Looking down or around can throw off your balance and cause you to trip. 
  9. Stay centered. Know where you are on the belt and avoid drifting sideways or toward the back of the belt. 
  10. Catch Your Fall: If you start to fall while you’re on the treadmill, hit the emergency stop button. Grasp the rails and move your feet to one side, then step off and sit down until you’ve recovered. 
man holding yoga mat

Use the NuStep as an alternative if you are currently using an aid for balance, such as a cane, walker or wheelchair or having balance issues. You should not attempt to use the treadmill. 

Tomorrow’s Treadmill – One day in the near future, a treadmill that uses sonar technology to automatically adjust its speed to match the pace of the user may be the future of treadmills. But until then, follow these guidelines for safety on the treadmill. 

Never use exercise equipment if you have any questions about how to use it. Exercise is important, but your safety is more important. 

Summertime is Finally Here at Kirby Pines

July is traditionally the month in we begin to think about summer and celebrating America’s independence with family and good friends. This July will be no exception for residents at Kirby Pines Estates. 

As part of national Hot Dog Month, the Bistro will be featuring a Hot Dog of the week. What better way to celebrate the opening month of summer than with a meal that is so closely tied to family outings, and gatherings of friends. In addition, it is an excellent way to entertain grandchild and great grandchild visiting for the day. 

Another special day in July is National Ice Cream Day. In celebration of this special day, the Culinary department is preparing a “Sundae Surprise”. If you have special toppings, you want available for this day, please let Mark Simpson know early in the month, so that he can include them, if possible, in the available toppings. This fun fill event should be a great way to cool down before we get into the dog days of summer. 

Another great way to stay cool is to embrace Kirby’s long standing summer casual dining attire. During the heat of the summer months, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, men are not required to wear a jacket and women are not required to wear more formal attire to eat in the dining rooms Mondays through Saturdays. Residents still prefer all residents to wear a nicer attire on Sunday. 

So whether you are a new resident at Kirby Pines, or a resident who has lived with us for several years, we invite you, your families and friends to join us for some fun as we all begin to celebrate the opening month of summer.

Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

boy selling newspapers

Being Kin to God

As persons created by ‘God in His image we are Children of God. Can you think of a better name to be called? Child of God.

Scripture notes over and over again how important that is. God notes even the fall of sparrows, and we are more important than a sparrow. What a powerful way He put it, “Even the hairs on your head are all counted.” 

We don’t have to worry if we know that we are important to God. Nor do we ever have to prove to others that we are worthy of their love.

When we truly live up to the glorious title we bear, children of God, the image of God can readily be seen in us. Years ago I heard a story that dramatically confirms this. A minister’s wife noticed a small boy selling newspapers.

He stood in his bare feet over the grating of a hot air vent outside a bakery to stay warm. Moved by pity, she asked him, “Where are your shoes? He replied, “Lady, Iain’t got no shoes.” She took him to a department store and bought him new socks and shoes.


The lad ran off without a word of thanks, and at first, she was a bit disappointed. Suddenly he burst back into the store and exclaimed, “Lady, I forgot to thank you for these socks and shoes, and I do thank you. But, lady, I wanna ask you a question. Are you God’s wife?” Taken aback, she stammered, “Why–ah-no I’m just one of his children.” The boy replied, “Well, I knowed you must be some kin to him.” 

Whenever we Christians project an image of God as he was revealed in Jesus Christ others recognize our kinship with Him. I can’t think of a better way to be named, Children of God.

-Maxie Dunnam