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Active Adult Living Del Webb Communities

Will I Fit In?

One of the concerns or questions that people think about when considering a move to a Active Adult Community is will I fit it? Will I be accepted? Will I make friends?

Once person says I am not religious and not too political, so will I fit in with the people at a 55+ community who are generally conservative?

Others wonder about the age differences between themselves and the others in a particular community and would that be a problem?

Others may be coming from a completely different region of the county and wonder if regional differences may keep them from fitting it.

Still some others may have an unrealistic view of life in a 55+ community and think that only old sedate people on walkers who just live out their life in a quite setting live there. These people think they are not ready for this yet and don’t want to be viewed as old.

Wow, that is a lot of concerns to address in one post, but having lived in a Del Community for one year now, here is my take.

In general, just about everyone living in our community seems to be very interesting, engaging and active. Having different backgrounds and experiences makes this a much more interesting place to live than your run of the mill suburban subdivision. People just want to have fun and there is an understanding that we are all in this together.  Just about everybody wants to make new friends and get along.

Culinary Club

People want to get along and there is no where that is more likely to happen, than right here in an Active Adult Community.

Let me take the age concern first. In our community, there is a wide range of ages, all the way from 55 to 95. That’s 40 years. I think we have friends from every one of those decades.

There’s going to be people your own age. But here is the thing: it doesn’t make any difference. People are people and you will learn not to prejudge someone just because they are older (or younger) than you. Some of the most interesting people I have met are in their 80s. Even on the bocce and pickleball courts, several competitors in their 80’s can beat me at my baby age of 68 🙂 (I learned that lesson at the Senior Games too!).

As far as religion and politics, most of the time that is not discussed. In the present election season, just like in society at large, there is more voicing of opinions, but I don’t think you can escape that until after the elections. There are both Democratic and Republican clubs.

I have heard that us older people can be very opinionated, by this time in life, we know what we believe. I think most people just want to have fun and not be hassled. There is always one or two people you will run into that are to be avoided, but that is the exception.

There is going to be differences of opinions. Just let it go. It’s just their truth, not yours. No harm is being done to you and hopefully by this time in life, you don’t have to convert everyone over to your way of thinking.

Tip: If differences in opinion are an insult to you, please stay off Facebook, where people post things they never (thankfully) say in public.

Some of the people who moved from other regions seem to enjoying living here the most. They love to explore surrounding towns and attend local events. It’s like they are on vacation all the time, as everything is new to them.

The people with the unrealistic view of life at an Active Adult Community will probably just have to miss out on improving their lives. They aren’t likely to take your advise about what life in an Active Adult Community is like. Their minds are made up.

They don’t see the whole purpose is to stay younger by being active, socializing, making new friends, having fun things to do.

The bottom line is that you won’t have any trouble fitting it. This is not high school. There are close to 100 clubs plus many more events for socialization if you want. People are probably going to be more interesting and diverse while being more friendly than where you moved from.

Line DancingAnother thing is that people are past the stage of trying to impress you with how much money they have or the size of their house or their personal belongings. Unless they mention it, you have no idea what they did for a living. If you live here, it matters not if it’s in a Villa or the largest home with basement. That is kind of freeing all in itself.

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Active Adult Living

Fitness Walking For Active Adults

Walking is the one of the best exercises for most 55+ active adults and the most popular. Fitness walking is when you take casual walking one step further and develop a purposeful walking plan to walk faster, farther and more frequent.

You will reap more benefits in the same time spent with fitness walking. Assuming you already walk sometimes and want to take the next step, how do you develop your fitness walking program?

How to Develop a Fitness Walking Program

  1. Decide when you will be walking and schedule a time to walk at least 3 times a week. Many people like to walk every other day, so Monday, Wednesday and Friday are options. Walking in the morning is great for many because they know they will get it done, rather than trying to work walking in later in the day.  You may be walking 5 or 6 times a week before you know it.
  2. Start walking slow and build up your speed and distance over time. Maybe start with two or three miles. I like to walk for an hour a day.
  3. Vary your routine, walking harder some days and easier other days. Within the same workout, using interval training to go faster for a ways, then slower, then faster, etc. is a good practice.
  4. Get a walking buddy or join a walking group. Remember  you are doing fitness walking, not just a casual social walk.
  5. Attend some local walking events. Many if not all running events now are open to walking. They even changed the names to run/walk.  Ask your local running shoe store or better yet check active.com and search “walking” and your location.

Why I Like Walking Events

  1. Helps get you motivated. Takes you to the next level.
  2. Challenging
  3. Competition with yourself and others in your age bracket.
  4. Helps you gauge your progress
  5. Feels great!

Many people like to walk close to home and residents of active adult communities have plenty of places to walk with sidewalks, parkways, LifePaths, and parks nearby. Parks are a nice place to walk. Check with your local senior center also as they may have a walking group. They will have an annual senior games with walking events too.

Consider your Walking Form – Walking Technique

Turning your normal walk into a fitness stride requires good posture and purposeful movements. Be mindful of how you are walking and use these walking techniques to build your fitness walking form

TIPS FOR FITNESS WALKING FORM

  1. USE GOOD POSTURE. Walk tall, Keep your chest raised, and shoulders relaxed – shoulders down, back and relaxed. Your neck, shoulders and back are relaxed, not stiffly upright
  2. HEAD LEVEL look forward (not at the ground), gazing about 20 feet ahead. Your chin should be level and your head up.
  3. BEND YOUR ARMS in slightly less than a 90 degree angle. Cup your hands gently. Swing arms front to back. Do not swing side to side – arms should not cross your body. Do not swing elbows higher than your sternum (breast bone). Swing your arms faster and your feet will follow.
  4. SHORT FASTER STEPS
  5. LAND ON YOUR HEELS
  6. ROLL THRU AND PUSH OFF. Push off with your toes. Concentrate on landing on your heel, rolling through the step and pushing off with your toes. Use the natural spring of your calf muscles to propel you forward. You’re walking smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe.

WALKING DON’TS – COMMON MISTAKES MADE BY WALKERS

  1. Do not over stride especially in front.
  2. Do not use too vigorous arm movements.
  3. Do not look at the ground. Keep that head up.
  4. Do not hunch your shoulders
  5. Do not carry hand weights or place weights on your ankles

Fitness walking is a fun activity as well as a great exercise that you can do for the rest of your life. Make the commitment and form the habit. You will be glad you did.

Robert Fowler,  Racewalker

Racewalking is a type of fitness walking that I practice and like a lot. Here is Ian Whatley giving the basic of how to race walk.