- Aging & Longevity
Retirement Communities Like The Villages Have Healthy Lifestyles
Senior Retirement Communities Make Exercise Fun
Retirement communities such as The Villages in central Florida can provide a healthy lifestyle for seniors who want to remain active in a supportive environment. Research suggests that such places foster a strong sense of community that can counter the loneliness that may occur when seniors remain in regular neighborhoods.
Moving to a planned active retirement community can invigorate seniors and may not be as expensive as one would think. For example, some older, resale houses in The Villages sell for less than $100,000 while newer, larger, designer houses can cost more than $500,000. All residents, however, have access to the amenities throughout The Villages.
When my sister and her 73 year old husband moved to The Villages they were thrilled with their new lifestyle and regaled me with stories of their many pleasurable activities. It was (and still is) hard to catch them at home because they were dancing every night in one of the beautiful town squares and during the daytime they were playing golf or pickle ball, riding bikes, swimming or having picnics.
On their grandson's first visit, he excitedly announced that, "The Villages are like Disney World for adults!" Mike and Jeanne laughed because that was the exact response the community planner had been aiming for when he created the original plans for the retirement city.
Physical Activity is Essential to Healthy Aging
One of the most important things older adults can do for their health is to engage in physical activity which, when done on a regular basis, can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps strengthen muscles so that seniors can remain independent longer.
No matter how old you are, not doing any physical activity can be bad for you and some physical activity is better than none. However, the more physical activities you engage in, the greater the health benefits will be.
How Much Physical Activity do Older Adults Need?
If you're 65 years of age or older, you should consult your physician before beginning an exercise regimen or before participating in sports.
Most seniors who are generally fit and have no limiting health conditions will be able to follow the guidelines listed below which are recommended by public health officials:
- Engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking, or swimming for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes every week.
- Engage in muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms on 2 or more days a week. Water aerobic classes are a great way for seniors to strengthen their muscles as it minimizes wear and tear on the joints and improves range of motion.
The Villages Lifestyle Video
Try A Lifestyle Vacation Before Moving
Buying into a retirement village is very different from purchasing a private house. Seniors will be living in a community that includes other residents, management and village staff. Prospective buyers should research their options and preferably spend some time in the community before making a purchase. Many places have rental units that can give a visitor a taste of what it's like to live there.
Although many seniors love living in a retirement community, it's not for everyone. While some seniors may feel a sense of security and belonging relatively quickly, others may feel a loss of privacy and may not adapt well to a move that will require them to make all new friends and have less contact with family.