For most people, staying healthy, strong, and active as we age is the ultimate goal. Countless studies show the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle for your physical health, mental wellness, and overall well-being.
Yet despite more Americans living to be 100 years or older, society continues to focus on and cater to younger populations. To combat this, the City of Oakland Park created the Active Adults program, geared toward providing opportunities for older adults to get out of the house and stay engaged in their community.
Not Your Typical Adult Enrichment Program
The Active Adults program is designed for people aged 55 years or older and based out of the Collins Community Center at 3900 NE 3rd Ave, Oakland Park, Florida 33334. With a low annual fee of just $20 for Oakland Park residents and $25 for non-residents, participants are invited to join others in a variety of fun and engaging activities throughout the year.
Because they recognize different people have differing levels of ability, the Active Adults program offers programming that is accessible to everyone. This includes fitness classes like chair yoga, various arts and crafts classes for new and experienced crafters, and field trips for new experiences. Activities are planned Monday through Friday with the occasional Saturday field trip and participants have the choice of joining as many as they would like.
One upcoming trip is to Superblue in Miami, an interactive art museum created by a team of more than 25 artists and design companies. Superblue includes an immersive mirrored maze experience, immersive biometric artwork consisting of 3,000 suspended light bulbs, and an ever-changing dynamic sculptural installation made of soap bubbles which guests can walk through and explore. They also offer sensory friendly sessions for guests with sensory disorders, disabilities, or who would simply like to enjoy a quieter, more comfortable visit.
The program also plans to visit the Bowlero bowling alley in Dania Pointe, and Monster Mini Golf in Coral Springs. With about 90 active, regular participants in the program to date, there’s sure to be plenty of fun and good company to be found.
Summer Fun Field Trips for Older Adults
This summer, the Active Adults program is offering a 7 week long Summer Series of free field trips on Fridays beginning in June. To participate, members need only sign up and meet at the Collins Community Center at the designated time.
“On a normal basis, we have one free field trip per month and one trip participants would pay for themselves,” Carrie Mahadeo, the Recreation Coordinator comments. “With this series we’re hoping to encourage more people to come out and join us to see what we have to offer.”
Benefits of Joining Active Adults in Oakland Park
With a variety of activities and events to partake in, participants are sure to find something that aligns with their interests. This opens up opportunities for creating lasting bonds and friendships with others who share their passions and hobbies as well.
“We have different groups that allow people to join together with people with similar interests and connect,” Mahadeo says. “Even something as simple as a game of dominos can be really beneficial, both for making friends and also important things like the mind and memory.”
As part of the program’s primary objective, the mental and physical benefits of joining Active Adults in Oakland Park can’t be understated. The Center for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity per week for adults, especially those over the age of 65. Staying active and engaged helps to protect your heart, lung, and brain health by slowing the effects of aging.
This is particularly important for those who already have a diagnosis such as heart disease or a cognitive ailment such as dementia. Studies have shown physical exercise can significantly reduce your chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease by between 30 and 45 percent. For those already living with these diseases, staying active can slow their progression and improve your overall quality of life.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Active Adults program, including details about upcoming classes and events, visit their website or stop by the Collins Community Center today.