Friday, March 1, 2013

Staying active in your senior years

While I am on vacation down in Arizona, I thought it would be fitting to post an article about staying active.  Yes, it is much easier to stay active when the weather is nice (70+ degrees and sunny), but it still takes time and effort to get your exercising in.  I'm sure we could think of a million excuses of why NOT to exercise, but even making time for a 30 min workout can be sufficient and effective.

My dad doing the "T" agility drill

This article was inspired by the fact that my parents and most of their community neighbors (nearly 3000 people) stay active nearly year round.  By staying active I dont just mean going for hikes or walks around the block; instead I'm referring to playing Pickleball (a smaller version of tennis and a bigger version of table tennis), softball, golf, strength training, going for walks, dancing, and even playing in a band.  Yes, my dad and a few others recently formed a band, Like Minds, and play once a month for the community.  We were fortunate enough to see them on this vacation, and there were close to 300 people there to watch, dance and have a good time.  My dad did play in a band during his 30's, and 40's but who would have thought he would be playing in his 70's, probably not him nor my mom.

My parents live in a Dell Webb community (Sun City Festival - 45+ and over) and have access to lots of activities.  Each time Jenny and I come down to visit there is never a dull moment, always something going on or something to go see.  Their community is located out near the foothills of the White Tank Mtns. near Surprise AZ; which offers plenty of hiking and exploring options as well.  My dad even found a bat cave, which of course we had to go inside, but was a little creepy.  Going inside a dark cave not knowing what to expect can be scarier than you think.  And on top of that, you hear lots of weird noises and the occasional brushing of a bat against your shoulder.  I can only imagine if someone in high school were to discover this, because it sure would make for a great truth or dare challenge.  Spending the night inside the cave would be quite the dare.

Ok, getting a little sidetracked.  I guess my whole point to this article is that it is great to see not only my parents, but many other elders staying active in their 60, 70, and even 80's.  Is it the weather alone that keeps people active, or the fact that they want to keep their heart healthy?  I asked a few people that live here to get their opinion and here is what they had to say...



my dad

So I hope this give others motivation to keep active and not let age be a deterrent.  If you are not as fortunate to live in a warm climate, I'm sure there are still plenty of indoor activities you can do.  Don't look for excuses,  they are only an easy way out.

I recommend that anyone over the age of 60 have a Health History completed by your physician and to make sure you have full clearance to participate in any exercising.  

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