Articles, activities for boomers & seniors
Fall! It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy cool, crisp days and bright sunshine. You can try a new sport or activity or take up one that you haven’t participated in for some time. Walking for charity or biking with a team can give the activity an entirely different dimension. From kayaking to fishing to riding a tandem bike, here are some ideas for enjoying the outdoors now and in the coming weeks.
You never forget how to ride a bike, so no matter how long it’s been, get back on that two-wheeler for a feel-good workout. Join a cycling club and make it a regular social event, or take a leisurely ride to the grocery store instead of taking the car. When it comes to bicycling there are, surprisingly, quite a few variations. Some may even open the door to a new-found hobby. 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.
Check out these bike trails in the Lehigh Valley:
Ironton Rail Trail
3219 Macarthur Rd, Whitehall, PA 18052-2921 610-437-5524 irontonrailtrail.org
Lehigh Parkway E, Martin Luther King Jr Dr. allentownpa.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Parks/Park-Inventory/Lehigh-Parkway
Saucon Rail Trail
There are eight places in the Saucon Valley area where you can get on the trail. sauconrailtrail.org/getting-on-the-saucon-rail-trail
For more biking trails, see traillink.com/city/allentown-pa-trails/
This Italian classic, which dates to the Roman Empire, is easy to learn and easy to play. Two teams compete against one another, tossing metal (or sometimes plastic) balls as close to the bocce ball as possible.
Italian-American Bocce Club
273 E. Elm St. Allentown, Pa. 18103
Italian American Cultural Club of Lehigh Valley, Villa Bocce Courts at 440 Northampton Street, Easton PA
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. Plus, walking with friends and members of your community for a good cause is just plain fun!
For a full calendar of Lehigh Valley charity events, see go.activecalendar.com/getinvolvedlv/?view=
Get some fresh air, reconnect with the outdoors, and shut down the electronics. You’ll be hooked! Fishing is one of the most relaxing activities, and anyone can give it a shot. It’s a great way to make memories with the grandkids and teach them a valuable skill. Of course, you will need a fishing license to comply with Pennsylvania state law.
Trexler Game Preserve
Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville, PA 18078
For more good fishing spots in Lehigh County, visit lehighcounty.org/Departments/Parks-And-Recreation/Our-Parks/Trexler-Preserve; or in Northampton County northamptoncounty.org/CTYGUIDE/Pages/Recreation.aspx
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 or disc golf.
Wehr’s Dam in South Whitehall, Little Lehigh Parkway in Allentown
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For more information about disc golf such as local tourneys and course information, check out Lehigh Valley Disc Golf at
Knowing just a few basics you can rent a kayak and go out for a peaceful afternoon on a lake that’s as slick as a mirror, or spend the day on a river negotiating class 3 or 4 rapids. The Lehigh and Delaware rivers, Leaser Lake, and Lake Nockamixon are ideal spots to try kayaking on for size. Here are some tips if you’re a beginner:
Dress for the water, not the weather. For example, if you’d normally wear a wetsuit to swim, wear one kayaking. If the water is warm enough, a swim suit is appropriate.
Invest in water-proof storage cases for your smart phone, car keys, clothes and other valuables. A dry-bag like this one, tinyurl.com/ybbbtcs5 , is highly recommended.
Learn or review paddling basics.
Learn rapid safety practices. Better yet, go on a guided river tour, or take a kayaking course.
Know river language, a series of hand signals and gestures that help kayakers communicate with each other. You can find these at Paddling.com.
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. Almost every township has public courts for free play, or you can become a member at a club for access anytime. Check out https://tinyurl.com/y4e97d2k to locate a tennis court that’s convenient for you.
Whatever outdoor activity you choose, you’re sure to de-stress and feel better both physically and mentally, plus improve your health and slow down the aging process. What you do to keep active is not as important as just getting outside and moving!