Activities in Charlotte to stay active for seniors


Physical activity like water aerobics, gardening and dancing can help improve mental and physical health in older adults, according to the National Institute on Aging.

Staying active later in life isn’t just about staying busy. Being active also comes with its fair share of health benefits.

According to the National Institute on Aging, staying active can help control blood pressure and can also help manage conditions such as arthritis, type 2 diabetes and nearly eight types of cancer.

In addition to the physical benefits, staying active can also reduce feelings of depression and improve your overall mood. Here are eight ways older Charlotteans can stay active at home and in their communities.

Dancing can keep the body and mind in sync

Dancing can be a fun and effective way to get your body moving. The best part is that you can go at your own pace. Whether at home or with a group in a Charlotte Zumba class, dancing is a great mental and physical outlet.

Try walking, biking or hiking

Charlotte has its fair share of parks and trails. Although the weather may not always allow it, walking, biking and hiking are three options for seniors who want to stay active. Be sure to check weather temperatures before you leave your home to ensure conditions aren’t extreme.

T’ai chi and pakua can also be an alternative

Tai chi or “Shadowboxing” is an ancient Chinese martial art practiced around the world for health and meditation purposes. According to the T’ai Chi Foundation, the practice can help seniors improve their balance, pain management and cognitive functionality.

Charlotte’s meditation and martial arts centers, such as The Peaceful Dragon and River Flow Holistic, offer tai chi classes for older students. Some companies, like Suuz Moves, even do house calls.

Gardening has overall health benefits

The constant physical movement that comes with many gardening activities is enough for someone of any age to sweat. However, for older adults, gardening can help improve more than just mobility, reports AARP.

Along with improved flexibility and stamina, gardening can also reduce stress levels, combat loneliness, and lower the risk of dementia. Fortunately, Charlotte’s weather allows many plants and flowers to thrive in a viable environment, especially in the spring.

Swimming can help relieve joint and muscle pain

Water aerobics is not only fun, it’s also great for relieving joints and muscles. Places like the YMCA of Greater Charlotte in Dilworth and the Levine Jewish Community Center in Lansdowne offer a variety of lessons for swimmers of all experience levels.

According to the CDC, regular aerobic activity such as swimming and water aerobics can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Evan Santiago is a reporter for the Charlotte Observer and writes for the publication’s Service Journalism Desk. He is originally from New York and is currently based in Queen City where he works to help local readers with the challenges that come with everyday life in the modern world.

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