Activity Makes Golden Years Great

Even a teenager might have a tough time keeping up with the Brooks.

"You oughtta see our calendars!" laughs 81-year-old Larry Brooks.

He and his 79-year-old wife Naomi have activity sewn into the fabric of their lives. Their list of appointments is long. They work out at the YMCA and volunteer for Doorstep, HealthWise 55 and their church. Naomi belongs to the Needlework and Quilt Guilds. Larry builds custom furniture and is a K-State Master Gardener.

Naomi and Larry say they get satisfaction from helping others. Plus, keeping busy is their secret for keeping their bodies and minds fit.

Larry says being active is just something he likes to do and he feels tired when he doesn't do something. Naomi believes the more things you study and learn about and the more you interact with people, the more mentally alert you'll be.

Connie Woods of HealthWise 55 says being active improves health because you're using your muscles and joints. Plus, you keep connected to your community. Even if you can't get out, you can do something. Woods suggests crossword puzzles or reading to stimulate the mind.

Don't wait until retirement to grow your interests. Woods says in your younger years is the time to think about your interests and cultivate relationships to keep you busy once you're done with your working career.

Larry and Naomi carved several niches over the years, and hope to keep at it for many more years to come.

HealthWise 55 has several events planned for Celebrate Older Americans Week, May 2 thru 5. A schedule follows. For more information or to register, call HealthWise 55 at (785) 354-6787.

Monday, May 2 - Bingo Time
Bingo at the Moose Lodge, 1901 N. Kansas Ave., 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Free. No reservations needed.

Tuesday, May 3 - It's a Zoo Out There
Zoo visit and "Up Close and Personal" zoo class. Classes from 10:30 to 11:30 am and 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Tickets are $3. Call HealthWise 55 to register, 354-6787.

Wednesday, May 4 - All Aboard!
Tour the Great Overland Station, 701 N. Kansas, 10 am to Noon. Coffee and cookies provided. $3/person. Call HealthWise 55 to register, 354-6787.

Thursday, May 5 - Fit and Fun at the YWCA
Activities throughout the morning at the YWCA, 225 SW 12th St.
8 to 8:45 am - Arthritic Aqua Exercise Class
9 to 9:30 am - Sit and Be Fit Exercise Class
9:30 to 10 am - Exercise Equipment Demonstration
10:15 to 11 am - Fibromyalgia Aqua Exercise Class
10:15 to 11 am - Tai Chi Class
11 am to Noon - Aqua Yoga Class
11 to 11:30 am - Blood Pressure Checks
11 am to Noon - Foot Screening by Dr. Chris Brodine
For more on the activities, call Darren Falk at the YWCA, 233-1750, ext. 225


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