You could have fun and stay healthy at the same time at Retirement Communities that come in many levels of care

By Doug Callahan

retirement communitiesHenry David Thoreau once said, “An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Henry had a point, but the benefits last much longer than a day. Staying active is a great way to prevent illness, add years to your life and also make those years more enjoyable. And while living in a senior community, a daily walk is just one of the many steps you can take to start on your way to improved health and wellness.

Working out has come a long way since the days of vibrating belt machines and giant medicine balls. These days, technology and health science have made huge strides to make exercise as fun and efficient as possible. And senior communities have taken note.

With the help of modern video game consoles, you can get a thorough workout that’s specific to your needs, monitor your progress, and have fun while doing it! Many senior communities are outfitted with Wii Fit or Xbox Kinect, which will get you working out far more than just your thumbs. The little guy on the television screen won’t be the only one moving. And some games, such as “Dance Dance Revolution” and “Just Dance,” will have you so busy dancing you won’t even realize you’re getting a great workout.

Speaking of the timeless art of shakin’ what your mama gave you, Zumba is a dance-filled workout with a Latin feel and fantastic health benefits. With many of the fitness programs at retirement communities, you can be in a class with your fellow residents, sweating it out to some hot beats and improving your health at the same time. Zumba is a great workout for cardiovascular benefits, but it also keeps your muscles toned and strong. If the grandkids call and hear the music, just tell them you’re at “the club” and you’ll have to call them back. Instant cool points.

And everything’s more fun when you’re in a pool, right? Well, many communities have that covered as well. At communities with swimming pools, you can take advantage of water aerobics classes, and even water Zumba! And the refreshing coolness of the pool and the opportunity to show off your bathing suit aren’t the only added benefits – the resistance of the water improves the cardiovascular benefits and tones muscle more efficiently.

These are just a few of the fun and healthy fitness options that are available at modern retirement communities. When you’re looking at places that you might decide to call home, be sure to ask what fitness programs are offered. And while you’re at it, make sure they have healthy food options on the menu.

And of course, even though these fitness programs are lots of fun, you don’t really need them to stay fit and healthy. It starts with taking a personal responsibility for your own wellness, eating nutritious food and getting your body moving however you see fit. A walk is the simplest way to get started, so lace up your shoes and take the Thoreau approach!

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