Boomers Stay Active With Outdoor Games
Many of us boomers had indoor jobs all those working years and couldn’t really spend too much time outdoors. Now that we are retiring, it is a nice benefit of retirement to get outside. Many boomers are getting outside with outdoor games which provide fresh air, vitamin D, exercise and socialization with your fellow players.
Games played on a schedule give you a reason to get out of the house and get going. For example, my wife Mary Ann and I play Bocee every Monday and Wednesday at Park Place Adult Center and we look forward to playing every time. Senior centers provide an opportunity to join some of the outdoor games right in your neighbor.
Active adult communities have all kinds of outdoor games for boomers. We just spent a few days at Sun City Carolina Lakes outside Charlotte NC and here are some of the most popular outdoors games being enjoyed there. All of the pictures below were taken by me at Sun City Carolina Lakes.
Boomers Enjoy Golf, which is one of the most popular outdoor games ever.
Pickle Ball is an extremely popular outdoor game enjoyed by active baby boomers. Quite a social activity as well as great exercise.
Tennis of course is enjoyed everywhere by boomers and remains one of the most popular outdoor games.
Bocce Ball is a great social game and can be played by anyone. This one is my favorite.
Softball is another very popular game with boomers when a playing field is available like in a recreational park or active adult community. This is a great team sport and boomers love to dress up in their uniforms, rallying their team mates, and tail gating.
There are many more outdoor games like horseshoes. volleyball, basketball, badminton, croquet, corn hole, ladder golf and others. These are many organized outdoor activities other than games for individuals like walking clubs, running, boating, fishing, swimming, bide riding and others.
Why Boomers Enjoy Outdoor Games?
Boomers are getting involved with these outdoor activities to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise and meet new friends.
Here at the Spring AARP Life@50+ Convention in Boston, I am one of nearly 20,000 seniors and baby boomers from all walks of life, come together for learning, sharing, shopping, and some good, old-fashioned fun. This is not, as our children and grandchildren may think, an “old person convention.” It is a gathering of individuals with an amazingly diverse set of experiences, backgrounds, interests, and persuasions, looking – more than anything – for ideas, opportunities, services, and products that will make the next few decades at least as exciting and fulfilling as the first five.
Contribute to Posterity with a Family History
After spending most of their adult lives working diligently for financial gain and material comfort, a growing number of retirees have become interested in ways to contribute something to posterity – such as providing a legacy of knowledge and understanding for following generations. One way to do this is genealogical research – and the tools available today for discovering one’s roots are more accessible, easier to navigate, and less expensive than ever before.
Creating a Buzz: Ancestry.com
One of the most visited vendor booths here in the convention center is that of the world’s leading online genealogy and family history resource site, Ancestry.com. My wife Mary Ann is here with me and is finding this most interesting since she is working on a family history with her brother Mike who has is a member of ancestry.com. As an AARP Discount Partner, Ancestry.com offers a substantially discounted rate for AARP members to access its extensive worldwide database of billions of genealogical records. The Ancestry.com vendor booth is drawing crowds consisting of both avid genealogists – who have already begun the challenge of untangling the roots of their family trees – and newcomers who have never before considered researching family histories. The eminently knowledgeable and helpful Ancestry.com team is here to meet with AARP members, have conversations about the site, and infect Boomers with the “genealogy bug.” People who have almost no previous knowledge of genealogy leave the booth inspired and intrigued by how much historical information is available to them. Ancestry.com has set up shop here with numerous computers and on-site research assistants. Those who want a demonstration fill out a simple worksheet with basic background information from both parents’ families, then sit down with one of the Ancestry.com researchers to see what can be accessed in the database. Even visitors who don’t have much historical information about their families beyond the names of their grandparents are amazed at how much information can be accessed with just some basic info: draft cards, census records, naturalization papers, and more. The ease and rapidity with which Ancestry.com’s researchers are able to pull up records, documents, and genealogical details is creating a buzz here among the Life@50+ attendees. Many, after experiencing that first exciting discovery, are eager to activate a membership at the site so they can begin digging deeper into their families’ histories.
Special Ancestry.com Discount Available to AARP Members
Contributing to the excitement surrounding the genealogy site is the great deal being offered to AARP members: Ancestry.com gives a 30% discount on a year’s worth of their World Explorer package subscription (those who are already members on the site can also access the discount by calling 1-800-514-4654). The World Explorer package gives members access to all of the Ancestry.com databases and other sources within the US and worldwide. This includes about 13 billion different documents, photographs, official records, and other information sources – and the available records are added to constantly, to the tune of about two million new pieces of information each day. An Ancestry.com membership can help you and the younger generations in your family understand where you came from. It can aid in verifying connections with historical societies such as the Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution. It may even help to improve your family’s healthcare, as documents such as death certificates are unearthed, shedding light on family medical history. You can organize and share your family tree, locate immigrant ancestors, connect with other members for help and ideas, and ultimately, bring your family history alive with historical documentation, leaving a legacy of information for your children and grandchildren. If you want to join the many AARP Life@50+ visitors who are taking advantage of the Ancestry.com World Explorer package discount, visit aarpdiscounts.com.
This week I was a participant in the North Fulton Golden Games, a collaborative effort by 5 local cities that provides a month-long series of Olympic-style events and activities (shot put, discus, one-half and one mile walk, one-mile run, tennis, golf, and bowling) for adults age 50 and older.
Participants compete in track and field events, pickleball, tennis tournament, golf tournament, Bocce ball competition, ball room dancing, swimming and more. I came in first in the one-half mile walk in my age group and enjoyed several other activities. Our senior center helped with sign up and even transportation.
There is a state competition and in my state it is the Georgia Golden Olympics which is scheduled for September 17-20, 2014 in Warner Robins, GA. Every state has a similar event and here a senior games list by state. All this feeds into the National Senior Games Association which will have the 2015 National Senior Games in Bloomington/Minneapolis/St. Paul in July 3-16, 2015 in which they are expecting 12,000 athletes ages 50 and up from all over the county.
Working Boomer has been giving a lot of thought about getting involved with her community senior center. Here are 30 reasons boomers and seniors should visit their senior activity centers.
Some of you may know that I am a single working boomer. Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought about getting involved with my community senior center. Since I work the night shift and all week ends it is difficult to have a social life. Also my family has been suggesting that I check out the senior center in my community.
So I did a little research on senior centers and discovered a good deal more about them, their programs and activities. There seems to be many good reasons to visit and participate in the community senior center. Maybe you can relate with me as I list some of the benefits that I might expect in my own life as I use my senior center.
At a senior center I can make new friends.
Since I am single, who knows, I might just meet that special someone
It is more fun to laugh with a group of people than sitting at home laughing by myself
There will be a lot of friendly folks there to love and love is a good thing.
By socializing with like minded folks it will give me a new way to learn
It is a place to relax
The center has healthy tasty meals and I love to eat.
It is a drag to eat alone so at the center I can enjoy dining with others
There are games to play which will strengthen my mind
Some of the folks will be a lot wiser than me and I can learn from their stories
There is a place to exercise and workout. I really need to loose weight.
They have a billiards room therefore I can really get into that.
Dancing use to be one of my favorite things to do and they offer dance classes plus have social events
The folks there go on senior trips by bus. Since I drive for a living, it will be nice to allow the bus driver to do the driving for me.
Sometimes they go to the gambling boat. I love to play those slots.
They do taxes. I have never done mine so not only can I get someone to do my taxes just maybe they will teach me how to do them.
It will be a great opportunity to give away a smile. My dog doesn’t really care if I smile or not. I work night and don’t see many folks therefore I am not involved in much smiling.
It is very inexpensive and I live on a limited income. Most of the activities are free.
The center is within blocks of my apartment and it will not take much gasoline to drive there. They even have a bus that will pick some folks up.
Since it is in my plan to move from here to a over 55 apartment or senior community, I am sure that I can get information about the best places in the area. Who knows, I might even find a good roommate.
Instead of sitting around alone on holidays, I can meet folks to be with and enjoy holidays
My daughters are very busy and would really be happy to hear that I am going to the senior center
Since I am off 2 days during the week, it will give me something to do. I might even want to volunteer.
There is a huge crowd there on bingo day. I might even get good enough to play more than one card plus I like to play games.
Sometimes they do crafts. It is finally time that I learn to do some and get into the arts.
It would be an excellent way to learn more about my community.
There are times they go out of town on mini trips. I have a lot of vacation time therefore I could enjoy vacationing with others.
As I get older and even now, it is important to have a support system. At a senior center I can develop that.
The center has meals on wheels. The last time I had a hospital stay, it was difficult to fix meals for myself. This would be real nice.
Also, I might be able to get assistance for transportation if I am unable to drive to the store.
This blog is getting very lengthy. That is a good, thing because I am now excited about getting involved at the senior center. There is much more that I could write but I will wait and write more after I have attended. It is amazing when one writes out a positive list how much more exciting a new adventure can be!
Socialization is important to your quality of you life, especially as we age. Here are 10 tips for socialization and new friendships for baby boomers.
10 Opportunities for Socialization
Socialization is important to your quality of life, especially as we age. Some studies say it’s important in our length of life as well as quality of life. Socialization is important to your physical and mental well being.
We are not only talking about singles meeting people but couples also need socialization and outside friendships. It is healthy for the marriage. You don’t have to be retired either to benefit from these socialization tips.
So you see the need for socialization, but how do you do it, especially if you are not in the workplace anymore, the usual source of many friendships.
So I researched some ideas and then asked my Facebook friends to add to the list. Below is our group sourced list of socialization opportunities.
10 Socialization Opportunities
1. Churches – Phil, Betty Jane and a number of people mentioned church. Churches are a main source of socialization opportunities throughout life. Many churches have senior and single group activities like pot luck dinners and field trips. Betty Jane says: Bible Study Fellowship is a worldwide organization with classes that encourage discussions and participation.
2. Volunteering – my wife volunteers at the hospital and she has become friends with both the employees and other volunteers. She joined the auxiliary committee and they started having lunch meetings to discuss activities and then continued with social lunches. Now she frequently has lunch with another lady volunteer she has become friends with. Randy says: A lot of nonprofits and charities need all kinds of help. You can help out and make friends too. Kathy suggests volunteering too. Resources: AARP Volunteer and VolunteerMatch are good places to start. Or your local hospital or senior center needs volunteers.
3. Senior Centers – They are absolutely great for socialization with all the programs and activities with friendly people. There are a huge selection of activities for seniors that you can enjoy with others. For the more active, try to find an “active adult” center. Resources: See activities at senior centers.
4. Hobbies – Whatever hobby you have or want to start, there is usually a local group of people who have a passion for the same hobby. Attend local meetings, shows and conventions. The group will need members to help with activities and this a great way to meet people.
5. Clubs – Donna says: Check to see if there is a club for your favorite activity in the area. You’ll automatically have something in common with the other members. Book clubs are popular. Dance Clubs – Every larger metro area has people who like to dance. Take dance lessons and you will meet others who like dancing. Attend the dances and enjoy meeting the friendly people and you may turn into a regular dance club member. We are members of a dance club that meets every Saturday at 7pm. Resources: Meetup.com, just Goggle for your city + activity + club.
A. Sports events – A group of us have attended the Petit LeMans Race at Road Atlanta every year for the last 5 years. We look forward to this very much and start talking about it a few months before, buying tickets, checking out web sites, discussing etc. This could be a football, basketball, soccer or other games.
B. Gym / Health Club – Phil says he has a group of regulars that he sees and visits with at the health club. A health club can be a social event as much as an exercise opportunity.
C. Sports team participation – Join a bowling team, bocce ball team, golf team, walking club, even Wii-games.
The senior games or senior Olympics are great because they have something for everyone and will assign you to a team if needed. I participated last year and went to the awards banquet. We had so much fun getting our gold medal for bocce ball in the beginners level.
7. Move to a Retirement Community – New friendships can easily be made at retirement communities which have programs and activities to encourage socializing, especially at active adult communities.
8. Life long learning – classes of any type stimulate your mind as well as having interaction with fellow students and teachers. Betty Jane says continuing ed classes at your local college. Also I have taken classes at the senior center.
9. Breakfast meetings – senior groups meet at McDonalds or other local restaurants, even some grocery store cafes and other places. Larry attends the morning meetings of regulars at McDonalds.
10. YMCA – Kaye suggest this. I think your local YMCA is worth a visit and tour what’s available. These days the YMCA is very modern and resourceful.
Bonus tip: Part time jobs – work has always been the number one provider of friendships and part time work can too.
If you have any additional socialization tips, please note in the comment section below.
Thanks to Facebook friends for their suggestions for this list: Donna Hull, Kathy Woods, Randy Mitchell, Betty Jane West Reese, Kaye Swain, Phil Miller, Ann Hearn, Robin Murray, Duane Lane Smith, Larry Wehunt