8 Ideas to Enjoy an Active Retirement in Oklahoma City
Oct 15, 2019
Are you looking for ideas to help you stay active in retirement? Whether you prefer outdoor nature walks, fitness programs, or a variety of fun programs and activities, Oklahoma City has a number of options for adults that want to take full advantage of their leisure time after exiting the workforce.
If you’re looking for ways to enhance your lifestyle by staying active, you’re not alone. Recent retirees are not slowing down and tend to be active even in leisure. The ways to stay active listed below have numerous scientifically proven health benefits and are a great way to connect with others and live your dreams in retirement.
1. Walking and Hiking
Walking and light hiking are fantastic low-impact activities, and are relaxing to boot. You can walk almost anywhere: inside, downtown, at a park or a zoo, or in your own neighborhood. But some of Oklahoma City’s best options are in natural areas.
Oklahoma City boasts many beautiful nature walks and hiking trails. Here’s a sampling of two incredible places to walk or hike in the great outdoors in and around Oklahoma City:
MARTIN PARK NATURE CENTER
Martin Park Nature Center features 2.5 miles of woodland trails, nature exploration and education.
Martin Park also has an ADA-accessible INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Courage Trail for people with disabilities and mobility limitations. This half-mile trail curves through woodlands, meadows and streams and is a sweet, short walk. The park also features guided hikes, education programs and interactive learning.
STINCHCOMB WILDLIFE REFUGE
Nestled in the northwest corner of Oklahoma City is the 1,000-acre Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, a quiet, serene place for bird watching, hiking, biking and fishing. For walking, the wildlife refuge includes the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge East Trail, a 5.1 mile moderately-trafficked trail that claims to be good for all skill levels. The trail is best used from March until October. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leash.
Yoga is great because you have a choice whether to do it at home on your own, along with a video or podcast, or in a group class. Yoga has benefits for body, mind and spirit, and has been shown to create greater calmness and reduce stress. It also increases balance and flexibility, strengthens your muscles and bones, and improves heart health.
There are over 100 yoga studios in OKC that are open to all ages. Each studio has a different philosophy, practice style, and teachers, so you can try different options until you find the one that fits you. Start by checking out Spirit House Yoga. The oldest yoga studio in OKC, their mission is to make yoga accessible for people of all ages and skill levels. Their emphasis is gentle flow, position release, and skill in action using the principles of wisdom, action and heart.
3. Tai Chi
Over 2,000 years old, this gentle Chinese martial art is a form of thoughtful moving meditation, great for adults looking to improve balance and focus. Like yoga, it can be done almost anywhere, anytime. Regular practitioners report:
- Improved flexibility and balance
- Reduced stress
- Reduced arthritis symptoms and pain relief
- Improved heart health
Like yoga, Tai Chi is found in many fitness programs, including fitness programs for mature adults. One such program is the State of Oklahoma’s Department of Health class, Tai Chi, Moving for Better Balance. Download “Community Classes” on the attached link to see the enormous number of Tai Chi Classes in OKC. You can also find other options at martial arts studios, as many teach Tai Chi as well as other disciplines.
If you haven’t heard of it, pickleball is a paddle sport that’s often described as a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong. It can be played inside or on an outdoor court and can be adjusted for single competitors or doubles teams.
Pickleball is often considered a great group activity for relaxed settings. Check out the Greater OKC Pickleball Club’s calendar of activities for a pickleball game near you. Plus, while you’re at it, check out the Woodson Center Pickleball Class.
5. Swimming and Aquatics
Swimming is the best low-impact, overall workout that you can do. It keeps your heart rate up and builds endurance and muscle, strengthens your heart and lungs, and has little impact stress.
If you’re not a swimmer, you can consider aquatics and water aerobics, which don’t require swimming skills. Both are fantastic for exercise for the same reason: their low impact on your muscles and joints. Aquatics classes tend to be social and fun and are generally accompanied by lively music. Swimming and aquatics are everywhere in OKC: at gyms, fitness centers, health clubs, community pools, and parks, so it’s easy to find an option that fits your schedule.
Fishing gets you outside by the water and brings quiet, relaxation and relief from stress. With almost 8,000 surface acres of fishing water in Oklahoma City alone, you can catch walleye, crappie, bass (largemouth, smallmouth and white) or catfish (blue, channel and flathead), among others.
Check out OKC’s three beautiful lakes: Lake Hefner, Lake Overholser and Lake Stanley Draper, for an option in your area. Fishing permits are required for people ages 16 to 62, but city permits are just $3.50 for a day and $18.50 annually.
7. Fitness Classes
Don’t forget to take advantage of age-related benefits. For example, programs like Silver Sneakers provides free access to many of OKC’s gyms and fitness classes, so you can stay active while maximizing your retirement money. There are loads of fitness classes in Oklahoma City. Here is a sample of what’s out there:
The YMCA Healthy Living Center – INTEGRIS– offers a variety of classes. For example:
- Senior Power Circuit – Senior Power Circuit combines cardiovascular and strength training using stationary equipment and low-impact cardio exercises. This class helps to improve functional balance, stability, muscle conditioning, cardio and core strength.
- Silver Sneakers Classic –Silver Sneakers Classic uses exercises and light weights to increase muscle strength, improve range of movement and to sustain strength for daily activities.
- Senior Dance Aerobics – Dance aerobics includes high- and low-intensity dance routines at a pace that is perfect for active adults.
OKC’s activity centers offer athletics, dance, theater, exercise classes, yoga and much more. There are two OKC activity centers for adults:
- Will Rogers Senior Center offers senior fitness classes such as a yoga class for strength and flexibility and the Armchair Exercise, which improves hand-eye coordination, strength, and flexibility.
- Woodson Senior Center offers an Arthritis Exercise Class to improve joint mobility, balance and flexibility with exercises that can be performed either seated or standing; pickleball and walking fitness groups.
Healthy Living OKC is a local nonprofit committed to providing state-of-the-art health and wellness services. All fitness classes are offered by Certified Group Fitness Instructors and offer everything from Zumba to Pickleball with a monthly membership fee. Fitness classes at Healthy Living OKC include classes such as aerobics, indoor cycling, Tai Chi, yoga and aquatics.
There are plenty of excellent golf courses in Oklahoma City, including Earlywine Golf Club, River Oaks Golf Club and the James E Stewart Golf Course. Many of these courses offer full rounds of golf with options for shorter games. For example, James E. Stewart Golf Course has just nine holes, making it easy to golf even if you have a busy schedule or don’t want to pay a full game.
Oklahoma City residents have a wide variety of options for staying active after retirement. While you’re thinking about your health and wellbeing, check out Grand Tapestry, Oklahoma City’s premier community for adults over 55. We provide a luxury community with programs, services and amenities that support wellness, helping adults elevate their lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more.