We’ve all probably sung or hummed along to the holiday tune “Let it Snow” that starts off with these lyrics: “The weather outside is frightful but the fire is so delightful….” It occurred to me that this might not be the best message to send to people who have probably been overeating and overindulging during the holidays and need to get up and move instead of sitting in front of a fire no matter how delightful it sounds.
Options for exercise in the winter are plentiful even if you don’t consider yourself an athletic person. For starters, local senior centers offer a plethora of choices including ballroom dancing, La Blast, Zumba, strength and balance classes, fitness rooms and even a program called Sit and Get Fit for those who might really have mobility issues.
While not as extensive a fitness as 24 Fitness or Midway Fitness, the Cape Henlopen Senior Center’s CHSC) has a fitness room that has enough upper and lower body machines to provide a good work out plus a wide range of activity programs to serve a variety of tastes. The same room houses two pool tables, so it is fun to watch pool enthusiasts while trekking on the treadmill. On second thought, learning to play pool could be a good “cool down” activity after a workout.
The CHSC and Lewes Activity Senior Center (LASC) both offer LaBlast, Line Dancing, Yoga and a few other options. Some programs are similar at both locations, but others vary. For example, the CHSC has ballroom dancing while the LASC does not but has a Balance and Strength program that is not offered at the CHSC.
Aside from the nominal annual membership fee ($30 at CHSC and $35 at LASC) classes cost between $5-7 per session. Some programs are free with membership.
Joining a regular fitness facility is also an option. Membership at Midway Fitness is free for those who have the AARP Medicare Advantage. Most health insurance programs have a fitness facility tie-in, but distant locations can be an issue.
The Easy Striders group is also an ideal option for those who want to get some exercise and socialize with others in the community. Headed by activity enthusiast Peter Gisler, the group meets every Sunday afternoon throughout the fall, winter, and spring at around 1 pm to walk through various state parks in the area. Gisler often packs in a social gathering after each “hike” at a local “watering hole”/restaurant. These are more like walking tours than hikes. Most outings are near the Rehoboth/Lewes range. Many members participate in Senior Olympics programs, but the weekly hikes/walks are very low key.
And lest we forget the fastest growing sport in the U.S. today, the Dave Marshall Tennis and Fitness club offers various levels of Pickleball classes and clinics all year long. The facility is located off Plantations Road in Lewes.
Perhaps the “old fashion” option is to just bundle up and get out and walk around the neighbor with or without a friend. Any form of exercise is better than none, especially during the winter as the years go by.
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry s a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.