Articles, activities for boomers & seniors
Traditionally, Fall is a time to put away the swimsuits, summer sandals and gardening tools, clean up the leaves and bring the house plants indoors.
If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees, you may can or freeze your harvest. Longer evenings and cooler temperatures make our wool socks necessary.
The first chilly days make you want to retreat indoors, but staying active outdoors in the Fall can do a lot more than a winter’s nap. It can increase our energy level, keep your muscles strong, build your immune system, stimulate your mind and give you an opportunity to spend quality time in nature with family or friends.
You can try a new sport or activity or take up one that you haven’t participated in for some time. Here are some ideas for enjoying the outdoors now and in the coming weeks.
Knowing just a few basics, you can rent a kayak, canoe or other boat and go out for a peaceful afternoon on a lake as slick as a mirror, or spend the day on a river negotiating class three or four rapids. The Lehigh and Delaware rivers, Leaser Lake, and Lake Nockamixon are ideal spots for trying kayaking on for size.
Local Charity Walks
Walking is a terrific way to exercise and stay fit. You feel good when you walk for fitness, and what better way to celebrate and share your health than joining a charity walk. Charity walks are regularly organized throughout the country and benefit a wide range of causes.
You never forget how to ride a bike. When it comes to bicycling there are, surprisingly, quite a few variations. Here are some options:
Road bikes- designed for speed and distance
Mountain bikes- tackle higher grounds with rough terrain and obstacles
Beach cruisers- single geared; good for trails, parks, and beaches
Recumbent bikes- allow you to sit comfortably while pedaling. Most have 3 wheels which provide extra stability.
Tandem bikes- a bicycle built for two! Great for couples.
Don’t forget to wear a helmet, which is something you probably didn’t do as a kid.
Tennis is a social sport that you can play at any age. It’s a very challenging game but easy to learn. If you don’t have the same get up and go as you once did, consider finding a doubles partner to lighten the workload. Check out the public courts for free play or become a member at a club for access anytime.
If you enjoy racquet sports but don’t want the physicality of tennis and desire more social interaction, then Pickleball is a game for you. Pickleball is a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. You probably have seen pickleball in action before, but do not realize it.
It looks like a mini tennis court, played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net. Instead of a tennis ball, players use a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. It can be played as doubles or singles. If you are curious about Pickleball, Lehigh Valley Active Life (lvactivelife.org) has an indoor court and avid players.
Many people know how to throw a frisbee, but you can take this sport to another level with several options for games. You could simply toss the frisbee between friends. You could establish targets at which players will aim. And if you’re still quite active, you could try a relaxed game of ultimate frisbee.
How to Play Frisbee Golf or “Disc Golf”. Instead of a ball and clubs, players use a disc or frisbee instead. The sport was invented in the 1970’s, and shares with normal golf the goal of completing each hole in the fewest number of strokes or throws. A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the “hole”. The “hole” is a metal basket looking contraption with chains that ‘catch’ flying disks and allows for disks to fall into the tray below (see accompanying photo).
Avid disk golfers say that the beauty of the sport is that it is outside and relaxing. Golfers get exercises walking between holes... and looking for errant throws. Most frisbee golf courses are located at community parks and therefore are free.