I recently spent 7 days at my parents beautiful home in a part of Florida called the Villages. If you’ve never heard of it you should seriously consider convincing your parents to retire here! Check this place out-here is a link to their website!
You must be over 55 to live here (unless you are visiting or work in the Villages) but trust me, youwould never believe that anyone who lives here is a day over 50! There are so many activities to choose from: pickleball, baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, track and field, billiards, the list goes on! The gyms are beautiful and there are multiple classes almost every hour of the day. There is something for everyone, no matter what age or fitness level and the classes were packed! I did a few classes with my mom (power yoga, spin, body pump) and the people were shoulder to shoulder in these classes! It was so inspiring to see so many active ‘older adults’ as they like to be called (don’t you dare call them ‘seniors!’) participating and breaking a sweat! Fitness is booming here and the population in the community is growing so much (currently over 100,000 people live here!) that they needed to build another commercial size gym! There are smaller (free) gyms at most of the pool/fitness centers on top of all the other sports facilities. And get this- there is a senior games event in Florida for ages 50-100! Some people are so good they compete nationally!?
Here are a few things I learned observing the people in the Villages gyms…
1- There is no such thing as TOO OLD! Never mind that, I could never guess what age anyone was? This just goes to show how exercising keeps you young!
2-Exercise is fun at any age! I think what brings people together is the socializing! I loved seeing the interactions between the ‘regulars’ at the gym and how the instructors and trainers called most of the members by name.
3- Exercise makes you feel better, stronger, more confident and that you accomplished something! I think that going to the gym or playing sports is the best part of their day! I didn’t see a single miserable or sad person at the gym, and everyone is so friendly, asking where I was from, etc etc. Whatever makes you happier leads to a longer and healthier life right? No wonder they are so active!
4-Older adults don’t like being called ‘old’…they are all proof that you are only as old as you feel!
5- They respect their equipment and facilities. I have never seen a more immaculate and cleaner gym than the ones in the Villages, if only younger people would adopt these habits at our gyms in Canada! It makes working out so much more enjoyable when you get to train in a brand-new and spotless facility!
So let’s just say, every time I left the gym while on vacation I had a big smile on my face and left feeling inspired! I couldn’t wait to go back the next day! After all, if they can do it and they are all at least 30 years older than me, I better be able to keep up with them!
Thanks to the many wonderful members and staff at the MVP gyms and to my mother who let me tag along and join her for her workouts and classes for a week in the Villages, I wish I got to live there year round! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!