Picture it, Sicily...1912...Juuuust kidding! It was more like Hagerstown, 2011. I'd already spent 28 YEARS…
Research can be funny, sometimes it tells us things we didn’t know and other times it just tells us what we already thought we knew. In this case, research tells us that people are more likely to engage in activities that are enjoyable. Not exactly groundbreaking! What is new information is that ensuring participation requires social exercise opportunities that are age appropriate. And that participation in age-appropriate social activity programs is key to decreasing the number of hospitalizations, emergency room visits and length of stay for inpatient care! That’s right, through engaging in activities that you like which incorporate physical activity with social connections, not only are you helping your metabolism, flexibility, circulation, and well-being, but you are helping all those that are participating with you!
A personal example of this is my experience with golf lessons. Five years ago, I took private golf lessons and had a miserable time. Not only was my lesson zero fun, but I had no one my age at my beginning level to play with. As you might guess, my golf lessons were a miserable failure and short lived. Fast forward to now: I am taking golf lessons through Prime Time for Women with a group of women that are close to my age. We laugh and learn together on the green, then gather for some girl talk and wine. We are planning a regular golf ‘date’ to continue to advance our skills when our lessons are over.
What does this mean? Exercise comes in all forms, and it only takes two to be a group! Find what works for you, when you find it, look out for friends or acquaintances who might want to join. Pro tip: look for classes during the day if you are seeking an older group of participants!
Do you like the environment? Start a group that walks and picks up trash- this is called ‘plogging’.
Like water? There a many great indoor aqua fitness classes.
Looking for variety? Many local parks have fitness stations for circuit training.
Need a destination? Make a weekly lunch or coffee walk.
Like dogs? Volunteer at the local shelter to walk them.
There are so many ways to incorporate activity into your life, the most important is to find the one that works for you!
Ellen is a doctoral prepared registered nurse with a passion for health and fitness and a proud PTFW board member. An avid runner, hiker, biker, swimmer, kayaker, roller skater and so much more, what she enjoys most about keeping active are the friends and people she meets through her activities. Committed to lifelong learning, she is enjoying her recent group golf lessons and is looking forward to sailing lessons in the spring. When not running around she enjoys sewing, knitting, reading and the challenges of raising her two favorite teenagers.