Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

When the temperature reaches 100-plus, our first inclination is to crank up the a/c and just stay inside. With the end of the monsoon season we can (hopefully) say goodbye to those excessive temperatures and all the crazy weather the monsoon season brings. Time to get out there and get moving.

Being home all the time can increase the effects of aging and make people feel depressed. This is especially true for people who live by themselves. Getting out of the house is also good for your emotional health.

For mental, physical and social reasons, being active is very good for everyone, most especially senior citizens. Shut off the television. Take advantage of the fall season and the cooler temperatures. Get out and participate in activities like sports, dancing, walking, etc. Craft fairs are popular at this time, find one that interests you.

Our age should not stop us from being active. There are a lot of activities and events you can participate in. Is there something you always wanted to know more about? A place you always wanted to travel to? Learn a new language, take dance lessons, crafts, low impact sports, water aerobics. Or just walking. Whatever interests you – go for it.

It is necessary for seniors to be active on a daily basis to maintain good health.

Unable to do physical exercise? Have difficulty walking? Playing games is a cost-effective method of entertainment and it keeps your mind and body active and encourages socialization. Consider playing cards. You can sit and be comfortable. Card games are also good for improving cognitive skills. Shuffling, dealing, and moving the cards around exercises their fingers and hands. They also have to use their judgment skills to decide if they want another card or to discard a card, stay in the game, etc. Playing bingo is similar; you can sit, be comfortable and socialize.

Join a club that shares your interest. Dinner clubs, book clubs, movie clubs to name a few. Dancing is a popular activity for senior citizens. Many seniors may remember going dancing every week. You have the time, now take the opportunity to do what you have always wanted to do. Most of all enjoy every day.

There are several websites that offer ideas and suggestions on how to be more active, more involved.

Information is out there – just ask.

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.

This column appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.