Senior Corner: Staying active after 55

Senior Corner: Staying active after 55

By Margaret Orlando

Margaret Orlando

The baby boomer mantra is “I’m not a senior citizen.”

That’s not a knock to our elders whom we respect so much, but it’s a state of mind that views this stage of our lives as vibrant and fulfilling. The 55 and over generation is still at work, play and family life is in full swing with plans to stay that way for a long time to come!

However, those aches, pains and gray hairs do remind us that we are getting older and to continue an active and healthy lifestyle requires effort and attention in our everyday life.

The offerings of your Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities (RPCA) can provide some of the resources to stay active physically, mentally and socially with a variety of programs and activities. Finding a fitness class, club, hobby, or social network during your working years or after retirement is key to a healthy lifestyle.

The Recreation Services Division branded our “senior” offerings as Power Plus 55, denoting the commitment of our community to maintain strong bodies and minds into maturity. Look for the Power Plus 55 logo on RPCA offerings and activities on the web or in the print brochure.

Join in a club or activity at your neighborhood recreation center or sign up for a recreation class. Have fun playing cards or participating in sports leagues, taking exercise and fitness classes, creating art and so much more. And don’t forget to take a walk on the waterfront or around the lake at Ben Brenman Park, participate in community special events, visit the Nature Center and explore all the offerings available to you in your community.

And once you’ve taken that step to find an activity you love, take it to the next level and join in the friendly competition offered by the annual Northern Virginia Senior Olympics. The Senior Olympics provide the opportunity to compete with peers in your favorite events.

This year’s Olympics kick off at Thomas Jefferson Community Center in Arlington with opening ceremonies and track competition on September 7.

“Living healthy longer is the mission of the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics,” says Janet Garber, chairman of the NVSO. “It is our goal to promote healthy aging through both mental and physical activity which is why NVSO offers such a wide range of events from sports to board games.”

The 2013 NVSO will take place September 7-19 at 17 venues throughout Northern Virginia including Table Tennis on September 12 and Volleyball on September 14 at Charles Houston Recreation Center. Online registration is available through August 23 at or by calling 703-228-4721.

Whether you are currently active or need to get started, there are people, places and opportunities to get moving right outside your front door. See you out there soon!

For more information on Recreation programs and activities, visit the web at, your local recreation center, the Senior Corners at libraries and recreation centers, or call 703-746-5429, 703-746-5411 or 703-746-4343.
The author is the recreation manager at the City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.