Staying physically active can be the key to healthy ageing, but the idea of exercise can be daunting for some people as they get older. It helps if the opportunities for exercise are on your doorstep and your neighbours are your ready and willing exercise companions.
Living in a retirement village can be fantastic for keeping fit and active as you age. be. magazine spoke to Betty and Cyril Fincher about retirement village life, and what they do to keep fit.
Since moving into the retirement village, Betty and Cyril have been able to make the most of its myriad facilities including the nine-hole golf course, swimming pool, gym and spa. Cyril is a regular at the bowls club and Betty plays croquet at the village’s pristine croquet lawn.
“We all know how important exercise is, but taking part in group sports like bowls and croquet is not only good for your body, it’s good for your mind, mood and memory,” Betty says.
Working out or getting involved in a sport also increases the amount of time spent with friends and neighbours and strengthens the strong sense of community in the village.
“Since we moved here, we’ve gotten to know everyone and they are a really friendly bunch. Bowls and croquet are really good sports for relaxing and enjoying time with friends, and they also keep you moving.”
Village life isn’t just about sporting activities. For those who prefer a less structured approach to fitness, the village has a number of winding walking tracks and a vegetable garden where residents can work up a sweat tending the plants. The grounds are spotted with mosaic creations, including some of Betty’s own works, made in classes that run at the village craft centre.
Perhaps just as important as staying fit and healthy is staying connected to people, and the village social scene is thriving. In between bowls games on Saturdays, Cyril and his mates enjoy lunch and sometimes a beer or two.
“We often go to bottle nights on Saturday night. Everyone brings along a bottle of something – anything other than water!”
Residents and visitors can catch up with each other or visitors over lunch with a view over the golf course at the clubhouse.