We live in an area lush with hiking trails, biking trails and water sports — whether in the valleys or up near Lake Tahoe. Sometimes, these activities can be daunting to older adults who might not have the joint strength or wherewithal like they used to.
What are some easy-to-learn activities or simpler exercise ideas for active adults to participate in the warmer summer months to ensure they are getting ample exercise and blood flow outdoors?
Here is our top five:
Guided walks, hikes and bike rides in Carson City
“Muscle Powered” is a Carson City-based organization dedicated to making the area “healthier for all citizens and safer, more accessible for cycling and walking through education and advocacy, the promotion of bicycle and pedestrian friendly infrastructure, and developing and maintaining recreational trails throughout the city.”
Weekly bike rides are offered on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m., and a variety of cycling activities, maps and trails are offered throughout the year.
Muscle Powered also offers morning walks on Tuesday and Friday mornings at 9 a.m., evening hikes on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., an afternoon hike on Thursdays at 3 p.m., and easy Saturday hikes sprinkled throughout the month. Walks and hikes can vary in intensity and elevation, so check out their calendar at www.musclepowered.com/calendar to find the best one for you.
Swimming and water exercise
The Carson City Aquatic Center houses an indoor pool, an outdoor pool and a therapeutic warm pool, as well as a weight room facility. The center offers lap swimming and open swim Monday through Saturday.
Lap swimming not your thing? Try an Aquacise class, a low-impact, improve-as-you-go class to tone the muscles without soreness; or, try deep-water exercise, which provides a cardiovascular workout wearing a flotation belt with no impact on the joints.
Need a gentle way to start your day? Try the Range of Motion class to increase mobility in stiff or sore joints, which is offered in the therapy pool five days a week. For more information, call the Swim Center at 775-887-2242.
Indoor walking, jogging and running
The Carson City MAC (Multi-Purpose Athletic Center) boasts an indoor 1/8th-mile walking/jogging/running track that is open seven days a week, except for certain holidays.
Stay protected from the elements and still hit your steps for the day! Downstairs from the track, pickleball and basketball are available most mornings, and in the afternoon the courts are available for volleyball, futsal, dodgeball and basketball. For information on the MAC, call 775-887-2339.
Health and wellness activities
Carson City Parks and Recreation offers a wide variety of programming for health and wellness — from adaptive recreation for people of all abilities and their families to aerobics, stretching, muscle resistance training and Tai Chi C’huan and Qi Gong.
They also offer outdoor excursions and hiking, as well as learning opportunities through the Carson City Library.
For more information, visit www.carsoncity.org, or pick up the Carson City Parks and Recreation activity guide at grocery stores and other outlets around town.
Senior-focused activities and dining
The Carson City Senior Center provides a variety of programs that encompass physical health, intellect and learning, social activities and lunch options.
Serving Carson City residents age 60 and up, the Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with scheduled activities each day such as exercise, bunco, bingo, line dancing, lapidary, bridge, yoga and many other senior-focused activities.
A hot, nutritious meal is served in the Senior Center dining room every weekday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a suggested donation of $2.25 for seniors (age 60 and older) and $6 for guests under age 60.
The Senior Center also provides services including Meals on Wheels service, Medicare counseling, tax preparation service, blood pressure clinics, AARP driving services and senior support groups, along with a Social Work Program Manager who can help our seniors connect with the services that they need. The Center also has a bilingual Case Manager.
Courtney Warner is executive director of the Carson City Senior Center. For more information, visit www.carsoncityseniorcenter.org or call 775-883-0703.