Your Active 55+ Experience: Things You May Need

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An insider view of the active 55+ lifestyle

I have just spent over four months wintering in an “active 55+” community in Mesa, Arizona. I’ve enjoyed the time and I’ve learned something about things you “should” have to make the most out of life in this type of setting.

    • A thick bathrobe to wear over your bathing suit on the way to and from early morning water aerobic classes. The pool is heated and the soak in the hot tub after exercise feels mighty fine, but the January morning air has a nip in it.
    • Sun visors to protect your face and stop your eyes from squinting in the sun during those water aerobics and other outdoor activities, such as pickleball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, or just lying around the pool. I purchased a collection of foam visors with elasticized headbands at Mesa Swap Meet in a variety of colours and designs to coordinate with different outfits and swimsuits.
    • Your own sports equipment. When you become a regular at pickleball, the wooden paddles provided by the community will no longer cut it. You will want your own graphite or aluminum paddle with just the right grip. If pool becomes your passion, like my husband, it won’t be long before you’re looking for you own pool cue.
    • A change purse full of coins for the card games. Stakes are low and the games are for fun, but having a purse with coins set aside means you’re always ready to play.
    • A travel bar case to carry your choice of beverage to social functions. You can improvise with plastic bottles and whatever bags you already have.
    • Plastic wine or cocktail glasses to drink the above beverage(s) from.
    • A mini-picnic basket to carry disposable or plastic plates and cutlery so you can partake of the goodies at happy hour. Don’t forget to pack napkins.
    • Good appetizer, side dish, and dinner recipes so you can contribute your fair share to happy hours and potluck dinners. Easy is best so you needn’t take time away from other activities.
    • A bicycle is a good way to travel to and from the clubhouse and pool and around the community, getting exercise in the process.
    • A golf cart is also useful for traveling to and from the clubhouse and pool and around the community. It is easier to carry your pool noodles on the back of a golf cart than on a bicycle. (Did I mention you might want pool noodles?) A golf cart is fun to drive and your dog will love the wind in his face as you race around the community at 10 miles an hour. And you will be able to decorate the cart and participate in the annual Christmas Golf Cart Parade.

    No one tells you this stuff before you move in. It’s insider information. Now you know.

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  1. Golf carts should be awesome things to have, and not necessarily for teeoffs. A vehicle you can literally take with you in those little milestones, and help you get places at a leisurely fashion.

    1. We don’t use pool noodles in the aerobics classes. But many people have their own noodles to use for relaxing in the pool at other times. There are a few available in the community pool supply bench, but they get worn out pretty quickly.