The Senior Adviser
Activity Thoughts for Late Winter/Early Spring
The days are getting longer, but they’re still relatively short when compared with summer. And, when you combine limited daylight with other unwanted weather conditions, some people prefer to curl up on the couch rather than expend any energy.
Nevertheless, remaining active is important no matter what the season. In fact, when our bodies keep in motion, our minds reap the benefits, as well. With that being said, here are a few activities to consider at this time of year:
Dance lessons: Ballroom and other forms of dance energize the spirit. In truth, music allows us to enter an amazing world where harmony, pleasure, and synchronization dominate. Naturally, certain individuals are more adept at picking up dance moves than others, but that should not matter. The primary point is to have fun. And, a bonus you may not have thought about? You will also be burning calories. Senior centers and other community programs periodically offer dance lessons in the winter and spring. Strongly consider this pleasurable activity if an opportunity becomes available in your area.
Exercise classes: Targeted exercise enhances different areas of the body. For example, classes that focus on cardio wellness raise the heart rate to support heart health. Other forms of exercise, like Pilates and yoga, incorporate breathing and stretching moves to promote broad-spectrum wellness. “But are workouts beneficial?” you ask. Many positive things that can be said about properly performed exercise: it encourages better sleep patterns, increases metabolism, boosts energy, reduces stress, and the list goes on. Some senior centers offer exercise classes in the winter and spring, so this can be a great place to start. At the same time, workout facilities have multiple programs to choose from. You can even take advantage of this health-building activity in the comfort of your own home with one of the many workout tapes available online and in stores. Still, remember to first get clearance from your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Book club: Books transport us to alternate places where we feel, at least at some level, as if we have entered another reality. For example, one day we may stop at Thomas Jefferson’s home and longingly gaze at Monticello. Another day we may analyze the innocent Tiny Tim as we marvel at Charles Dicken’s literary genius. The next month we might traverse the streets of Paris as we empathize with the plight of the poor in Victor Hugo’s "Les Miserables." And what better way can there be to share these assorted experiences than by discussing them with fellow members of a book club? Where can you find a book club? Your local library and/or senior center may have information regarding the ones in your area. Nonetheless, if nothing appears to be available, perhaps consider starting a book club of your own.
Volunteering: People who volunteer often say words cannot fully express the degree of satisfaction they get from giving of their time. Actually, many assert that simply knowing they have been helpful in some way, however small, is a reward in itself. If you have been thinking about volunteering, the winter is a wonderful time to begin. Places that periodically seek out voluntary helpers are hospitals, charities, schools, humane societies, animal shelters, churches, religious institutions, nonprofits, colleges, etc. For more information concerning senior volunteer opportunities, visit the Senior Corps website. This site can help match your talent and skills with the opportunity right for you.
It does not matter if we’re 50, 70, or 90, there’s something for everyone. So, with that thought in mind, enjoy.