Turning 65 nowadays does not mean that one has to deal with social isolation or recreational restrictions. Not anymore. That may have been the norm of bygone years, but the 21st century is unfolding an entirely different scene. With money saved up from a lifetime of hard work and mortgages paid off, seniors are the targets of commercial endeavors, such as fitness and wellness solutions.
For example, the world-famous Cleveland Clinic has initiated a program called “Senior Circle Plus”, open to individuals 55 years and older. The program offers health and wellness lectures and workshops, as well as exercises and other recreational activities tailored for each individual.
Elsewhere, the Mayo Clinic’s Senior Health Center emphasizes exercise as a means to live longer and healthier. Dr. Paul Takahashi of the geriatrics unit says that it is absolutely never too late to start. He maintains that regular physical activity cuts the risk of:
The Mayo Clinic encourages seniors who are thinking of engaging in a regular exercise program to check with their doctors first; especially if they have a chronic health condition. Other suggestions are to start slowly, focus on enjoying the exercise chosen, aim for 30 minutes of exercise three to four times a week, be creative (those with arthritis will fare well in pool and water exercises), and know when to stop (severe shortness of breath, chest pain or pain in the arms and jaw, faintness and dizziness are all alarm signals that you should heed).
Too Old for What?
Remember: old is often a state of mind, and aging doesn’t mean that one has to start sacrificing health, recreation, and the enjoyment of being fit. In fact, many sports have competitive age brackets exclusive for seniors (sometimes called “Masters” age brackets). So if you still have some competitive fire in you, take it out on that 60-year old hot shot rookie who thinks that he’s king of the pool, the court, or the track.