Page 106 - South Mississippi Living - November, 2023
P. 106

B e y o n d story by
Lynn Lofton
Activities for Seniors
Maybe a rocking chair was the symbol for senior citizens years ago but not any more. Neither is bingo the only game in town. Today those living their golden years are far more active physically and mentally than earlier generations were.
Nicholas Bondio, D.O. and board-certified family medicine specialist with Memorial Physicians Clinics Diamondhead, says, “It’s very important for seniors to stay both physically and mentally active, even after retirement. I always tell my patients to do something physical every day to get their bodies moving and to do something every day to stimulate their minds. This will help promote a long, healthy life.”
Aware that the current pickle ball craze has caused injuries, he does recommend proceeding with caution with that and other physical activities. “But do not be afraid to be physically active. Physical activity helps control chronic medical conditions
such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and depression,” he said. “Stretches and light aerobic exercises are a great way to prepare for physical activity.”
For mental stimulation, the doctor recommends various activities such as crossword puzzles, meditation, sudoku, listening to music, reading novels, bingo, and social events with family and friends. “Social interaction is crucial, even as we get older. Interaction with others our age is important to learn about resources in the area, have points of contact in case of an emergency and help prevent mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.”
In the coastal counties opportunities abound for tennis, golf, boating, fishing and other outdoor activities. Local cities have tennis and pickle ball courts.
Another great connection is through the University of Southern Mississippi’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Gulf Park Campus Director Marianne Herodes says it’s a wonderful program offering classes, seminars and field trips. Membership with a nominal annual fee allows members to partake in a range of activities.
“We offer exercise, art, history, religion, music, technology – you name it,” Herodes said. “The majority of the classes are on campus with some through zoom and some such as pottery classes taken at the Ohr Museum. Learning is forever and this program gives a connection for members. There are all sorts of opportunities.”
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