It’s Not All Shuffleboard and Yahtzee
by William D. Corlew, III Each day we all grow more and more mature, acquiring more knowledge and wisdom, while at the same time being able to slow-down, take our time, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. However, life is really never simple at all; in fact it’s rather complicated. Things that once were, are still present today, but they mean so much more and are too often drastically different: confusing right? For example: acquiring Bluetooth should warrant a dental appointment; a tweet involves an e-device and is no longer just a sound that a bird makes; previously a text usually meant a long, boring school book; ALL CAPS referred to a dress code; and
finally, once upon a time, goggle use to describe staring in awe, now if you type the word goggle in Google, you may find the search window attempting to do a spell check. Nevertheless, just because symbols, words, and definitions change over time, doesn't mean that we have too. Better yet, just because we are wiser or have aged gracefully doesn’t mean that fun has to stop or that vigor for life has to change. Therefore, for all you Retirees -- place the shuffleboard on e-bay and let's return to fun. So, you are one of the many Americans who have pleasantly retired and decided to leisurely enjoy life; venturing on long adventurous road trips with nothing more than the love of your life and a novel. You would have flown, instead of driving, but memories of chanting “C-130 rolling down the strip” allows you now to appreciate the luxury of being able to exit your vehicle without “hooking-up” or counting to “four”. Yes, vacation or time-off, however you say it, doesn’t have to refer only to a mundane trip or only curling-up with that dusty
novel you planned on reading ten years ago. There are a number of ways to enjoy your time away from the routine. For example, one of the best ways to relax, get a great workout, or mingle - is to dance. We know you enjoy the classics, right? Bands like Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Maze, Duran Duran, Santana, Isley Brothers, and The Police (I hope these aren’t too old for you) seem to always get a crowd doing the Mashed Potato. But dancing offers a number of health benefits as well: it decreases blood pressure, fights stress, improves range of motion, balance, and flexibility, socializes you with others, and can even make you sweaty. Dancing can be a great workout while having fun, improving health, and meeting others. There are even dance therapy-programs that include low-impact dances choreographed to music. By now you may be thinking of a group of older adults sauntering through some version of line dancing, but I can't think of anyone who doesn’t know and love the Hustle, Electric Slide, Salsa, or Cotton Eyed Joe. There are various types of dances for people of all ages: tap dancing, ballroom, folk dancing, tango, samba, clogging, and even belly dancing. Other than books, dancing, and the routine vacation or days-off, there are still plenty of fun activities to do if you are more than twenty (twenty years-old, twenty years retired, etc). For example to keep your memory sharp, activities that involve puzzles, darts, card and board games, and even bingo have been found to be beneficial to keep you sharp and cognizant. Playing darts, pool, and horseshoes can not only help with flexibility, balance, and range of motion, but also help you relax and rejuvenate yourself, while you improve your conscious ability. Finally, if you are one of the few Americans who actually recognize the difference in goggle and Google, you might be interested in video gaming, using gaming systems such as the Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect. Both offer interactive video games that allow the user to physically control and interact with a game icon. The icon mimics the physical movements of the user. In an article, Video games: No longer just for kids from Holiday Retirement, “Researchers studied 19 people with depression, ranging from 63 to 94 years of age. The participants played an exergame three times per week for 35 minutes.” Dilip V. Jeste, the study’s author and director of the Stein Institute said: “The study suggests encouraging results from the use of exergames. More than one-third of the participants had a 50 percent or greater reduction of depressive symptoms. Many had a significant improvement in their mental health-related quality of life”. Games such as bowling, tennis, and golf are very popular among mature adults and there are of number of other games that may contribute to better health. The key is to ditch the shuffleboard, get out and have OMG fun with your BFF!!
Quartly magazine for Fort Campbell Retirees and Families.