BA Senior Center: Find Your Happy Place or Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

If you were thinking that the Broken Arrow Senior Center is experiencing an influx of people enjoying programs, activities and fellowship, you’d be right. People make the decision to join the Center every day so they, too, can be physically active and socially engaged.

They come to the Center to exercise their minds and their bodies. Historically, the majority of new members join in the winter – January, February and March – and summer – June, July and August.

I’m not sure what to make of these statistics. On one hand, it appears that people make New Year’s resolutions. Then, when the winter hibernation is over, it’s time to take stock and start working off those winter pounds. That’s pretty sound logic if you ask me.

“I can just exercise at home.”

I’ve been there. I’ve been there many, many times. I’ve often made the decision to take control of my health. But that’s just the start. Next is the follow through, which is the hard part.

At home, exercise is free, convenient and always there for you. But for many people that isn’t enough, probably because your options are to exercise at home by yourself, go jogging or join a crossfit/boot camp or health club – unless your spouse or partner bought you a Peloton.

That could be why more than 80% of people who decide to get in shape fail to achieve their goals. A key factor to success has to do with where people choose to exercise.

At home, I take a horizontal, non-moving, deep breathing, silent-meditation, yoga class every day. It is delightful!

It is also a workout routine I can commit to completing because exercising at home can be distracting. Between my wife, daughter, dogs, cats, RING doorbell, TV, computer, smartphone, dinner dishes and laundry, it is hard to focus.

The BA Senior Center is a better option. Why? Scientific studies continue to show that participation at an activity center can have several significant health benefits. The fun and friendship are ever-present. People who work out with a group reach their goals more often than those who don’t. Working out doesn’t have to be just exercise classes. You can work out your mind playing cards or with crafting, puzzles, photography, crochet, guitar, ukulele, singing, creative writing and many other activities that are socially focused. There’s not much aerobic activity in going “all-in” on a poker pot or yelling “bingo.”

As I’ve brought up many times, active members can improve how their brain works. Regular attendance at BASC can enhance your creativity, extend your life and improve your mental and physical vitality, not to mention your mental acuity.

You can establish, maintain and foster relationships. If you’re not at the BA Senior Center, then you might spend up to 10 hours a day alone.

At home, I take a horizontal, nonmoving, deep-breathing, silent-meditation, yoga class every day. It is delightful!

Yes, I know I already typed that line – just seeing if you’re paying attention. I’ve made that statement several times in the past month. I usually get blank stares, but occasionally someone will recognize that I just described taking a nap or sleeping. Stats don’t lie – every time I participate in that activity I’m successful. And I always feel renewed, rested and relaxed.

Giving in to “mind over couch” syndrome is not the best example to set as the director of an activity center for older adults. That’s why being at the Center every day, I find myself surrounded by like-minded people who have either found their happy place or are motivated to break out of their comfort zone – including me.

Last month, I tried my hand feet at Line Dancing for Fitness. It was only for 10 minutes, but Peggy Day and Jewelee Houston saw me. By the time you read this, I might have given it another go. Maybe 20 minutes this time – but I’m having ice cream after: two scoops.

But could I do more? Fitness for Ladies meets three days a week. Not being the right gender, I’m not sure what goes on in there. Maybe I’ll start a Fitness for Men class. As long as there’s coffee and an agreement never to discuss our feelings, I bet the activity would be popular.

I wonder if I put in a horseshoe pit or cornhole boards outside if I’d have members join me. If you’re interested, please let me know.