As you age, it may become more challenging to be as active as you once were. But maintaining your activity level is a key part of having great quality of life as you get older.
The beautiful year-round weather here in Central Florida provides plenty of opportunities to get outside and get moving. Here are some ideas for how to stay active and places where you can enjoy these activities in Central Florida.
Enjoy Outdoor Entertainment
Walking is a great form of low-impact exercise. It improves heart health and lowers your risk of certain diseases. You burn almost five calories a minute walking, depending on your pace.
Fortunately, you can walk anywhere and in the Orlando area we have tons of outdoor events to help you get your steps. There are outdoor festivals and craft shows like those held monthly at Lakeridge Winery in Clermont or the Central Florida Fair, held every February or March at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. There also are outdoor concerts, outdoor movies (check out these events at Leu Gardens) flea markets and weekly farmers’ markets at Lake Eola, Winter Park, Lake Mary, Oviedo and Casselberry. On top of walking around and checking out all the vendors, you also could discover a new hobby that encourages you to stay active.
Get a Green Thumb
Gardening is a great outdoor activity. It helps build your endurance and increases your flexibility and strength. If you rake, dig holes and cut flowers or branches for even 30 minutes to an hour, you could get a decent workout that burns up to 500 calories.
Join a garden club or start one yourself with neighbors. Not only will you burn calories, you’ll also grow your own food, which increases the health benefits of this activity.
Take a Tour
Central Florida is known for its tourist attractions, and many of them are only quick drive away. The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is great for sightseeing and learning local history. Stop by the Orlando Science Center or some of the great museums in the area, like the Mennello Museum of American Art or the Morse Museum in Winter Park. Many local tours and attractions offer discounts to senior citizens.
Play Some Yard Games
Playing yard games with the family is another great way to stay active and enjoy some quality time with those you love. Games like ring toss, bean bag toss, croquet and shuffleboard are low-impact ways to increase your activity level. If you don’t have the yard space to play, head to your local senior center, which probably offers games like pickle ball and other various group activities.
Picking season is in full swing, and the area has several places to do it. Try Pappy’s Patch-U Pick in Oviedo for strawberry picking, Bear Groves in Clermont to pick oranges or Blue Bayou Farm for blueberries. You’ll walk a lot as you pick and get exercise while doing something fun. Bonus: you can make delicious treats from what you’ve gathered.
It can be harder to get moving as you get older, but it’s important to make the effort. We lose muscle mass and our bones get weaker as we age, but low-impact exercises like walking and just getting outdoors can slow this process and help you maintain the best quality of life possible.