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Maximizing Your Lifetime Potential: Strategies for Staying Active

As the executive director of Active Aging, I frequently sport shirts featuring our logo. Whenever I’m asked if I am actively aging, my response is always a cheerful affirmation: “I certainly am, and it’s far preferable to the alternative.”

If you find yourself not actively aging, I recommend either verifying your pulse or embarking on a journey towards an active future.

Research consistently emphasizes the vital role of social support in preserving the physical and mental well-being of older individuals. engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults is dedicated to formulating a national strategy aimed at educating organizations like Active Aging on the most effective approaches to crafting programs and fostering social interaction among older adults.

The studies referenced by engAGED underscore how social engagement significantly enhances the overall health—physical, mental, and emotional—of older adults. Additionally, they shed light on the challenges faced by individuals in rural areas, where feelings of loneliness and social isolation are prevalent.

At Active Aging, we have witnessed firsthand how feelings of loneliness and isolation can precipitate depression, often leading to physical ailments. The solution? Get up and get moving!

Our county boasts three “Active Aging centers”: one in Linesville, another in Meadville, and a third in Cambridge Springs.

Following the renovation of our Meadville center, we observed a notable increase in foot traffic and engagement. Presently, more older adults frequent our Meadville center than ever before.

Similarly, our Linesville facility, known as The Bair Family Active Aging Center, has undergone some refreshing updates to enhance its appeal.

Contrary to the traditional image of a “senior center,” our centers are intentionally designed to defy stereotypes. Recognizing that aging today differs significantly from previous generations, we offer a range of amenities at each center, including fitness centers with diverse classes (such as Zumba, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Silver Sneakers, Circuit training, chair fitness, and yoga) catering to all fitness levels, as well as a variety of exercise machines and weights. Exercise at your own pace, in your own space.

Physical exercise is not the sole focus of our activities. Mental stimulation is equally essential to overall well-being. Our Linesville and Cambridge Springs centers host vibrant groups of card players and frequently organize tournaments. We also invite speakers to address a wide array of topics, from scams to local information and future planning.

Our aim is to introduce older adults to new experiences and encourage them to step out of their comfort zones. We strive to ensure that no one in our community suffers from unnecessary loneliness or isolation. Whether through a phone call, a visit, or a browse through our Facebook page, we urge you to explore what we have to offer and seize the opportunity to enrich your life—and possibly someone else’s.

Krista L. Geer serves as the executive director of Active Aging, Inc.