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Retirement is the time that you’ve worked toward for so long. It’s when you can finally relax and enjoy an array of stress-free, fun activities on your own schedule, at your own pace. Finding different things to do in Tacoma, Washington, like activities and classes will give you an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, socially connect with others and enhance your overall well-being, because wellness is key no matter your age. In fact, the older you get, the more important it is to stay consistent with a senior wellness routine that enhances your mind, body and soul.
In the Tacoma area, there are endless opportunities for seniors to focus on wellness in a variety of ways.
Intellectually Stimulating Activities
Maintaining mental acuity is equally as important as staying in good shape physically. A wide range of activities in and around Tacoma, WA, can challenge and stimulate minds, even something as simple as reading a good book from the Tacoma Public Library. Especially important for seniors, intellectually stimulating activities can help hold off the effects of cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Arts – Express your artistic side through painting, knitting, writing and so much more. The Tacoma Arts Live Education Program is one of the largest arts education programs in Washington State, serving nearly 50,000 students, teachers and parents each year.
- Music – Learning an instrument, or even just listening to your favorite song, is good for the soul. Symphony Tacoma has been a vital part of the area’s culture for over 75 years, inspiring audiences with live musical experiences that transcend tradition.
- Technology – Video games are a fun, interactive way to keep your mind and reflexes sharp. The latest evolution in gaming, Virtual Reality (VR), has become a popular hobby for many seniors. In fact, senior living communities in more than 30 states offer VR programming from groups like Rendever as an activity for residents to enjoy. In Tacoma, Digital Reality Gaming provides a local option for virtual fun.
- Reading – Discussing a good book with friends is a great way to stay socially active. The Tacoma Public Library provides Book Club Kits to those interested in reading and discussing new and old favorites with friends.
Leisure Time Activities
A huge part of retirement is relaxing and enjoying the leisure time you deserve. Taking time to treat yourself or simply unwind is hugely beneficial to your overall wellness. From group outings to individual efforts, you can find fun ways to stay active without always needing to work up a sweat.
- Walking Outdoors – Enjoy the fresh air or the company of friends on a simple stroll around the local area. The Tacoma Nature Center is a 71-acre nature preserve with Snake Lake and its wetlands at its heart. The forested park is great for trail walks and wildlife spotting. Mount Rainier National Park measures 236,000 acres, while the mountain itself, the fifth highest in the United States, stands out from the Cascade Mountain Range at 14,411 feet. Point Defiance Park, located on the banks of Puget Sound, has a zoo, an aquarium, a boardwalk, a lovely ocean beach, an off-leash dog park, a boathouse and marina, hiking trails and a stand of old-growth forest that contains 450-year-old Douglas firs.
- Museums – There’s no better place to literally walk among history and art than in a museum. Tacoma has an abundance of fascinating museums that each highlight truly unique cultural touchstones. LeMay – America’s Car Museum has 350 of their cars from a wide range of car manufacturers and eras. Foss Waterway Seaport celebrates Tacoma’s marine heritage and gives visitors a fascinating glimpse into an important part of Tacoma’s history: boat and ship building. The Tacoma Art Museum owns over 4,500 items, including the largest collection of Dale Chihuly glass art and the largest collection of jewelry by Northwestern artists.
- Live Shows – Live entertainment always leaves onlookers with a smile on their faces. The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts comprises the Pantages Theater and the Rialto Theater, and is the home of the Tacoma Opera, Tacoma Symphony, Tacoma Youth Symphony, Tacoma Concert Band, Northwest Sinfonietta and the Tacoma City Ballet.
- Local Tours – While on-site activities are fun, a change of pace is always welcomed. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is a 500-foot pedestrian bridge that spans Interstate 705 and the Foss Waterway and links the Museum of Glass to Museum Row and Tacoma’s downtown. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum celebrates and recreates an important fur trading and farming post of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the Puget Sound area, part of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Columbia Department. The Job Carr Cabin Museum is a reproduction of the original cabin, decorated as it would have been in the mid-19th century and furnished with antiques. Knowledgeable docents have much to tell about Job Carr and why settlers moved to the Pacific Northwest.
Physical Fitness Activities
Part of staying active means staying mobile and practicing physical wellness. Although maintaining stamina can get harder over the years, little things can make a big difference. There are simple exercises that focus on aerobic activity, balance, flexibility and muscle strength. Other activities include leisure sports or fun group exercises like dancing. However you choose to keep moving, the most important thing is that you find activities you enjoy.
- Golf – A low-intensity way to spend time outside with friends on the links. Tacoma and Pierce County is a popular destination with gorgeous golf courses ideally situated along salt-water shores. Play championship courses Chambers Bay and The Home Course, take a quick walk to the New Highlands Golf Course right across the street from eliseo, or practice your swing at Meadow Park.
- Tennis – One review of academic research into tennis’ effect on seniors found that veteran tennis players displayed high aerobic capacity, greater bone density in specific areas, lower body fat and more strength. Another study found that playing tennis may increase your life expectancy by nearly 10 years. For these reasons and more, explore your Tacoma-area options like Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club and the Galbraith USTA PNW Tennis Center.
- Swimming – An aerobic exercise that’s physical without putting strain on the joints, swimming is an ideal workout for seniors because it presents little risk of injury and is low impact. Water exercises work out all the muscle groups in the body, providing a complete workout. At eliseo, our own Emerson Wellness & Clark Aquatic Center offers an innovative LEED-certified facility featuring a saltwater pool and spa, exercise equipment room and aerobic studio. The nearby Curtis Aquatic Center is also available for lap and open swim.
- Dancing – Have fun on the dance floor and wake up both your senses and spirit. In addition to its physical benefits, dancing can also provide other mental advantages due the memory work, planning and integration that learning new dance steps and routines involves. Dance Theatre Northwest is committed to making dance accessible to individuals and groups of all ages and skill levels. Backstreet Tango caters to the PNW’s thriving tango culture by providing tango dancers in Tacoma and the South Sound communities a traditional Argentine tango venue with a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
For us at eliseo, encouraging a holistic approach to wellness is a major part of enjoying your best years in retirement. Recent research has shown that Life Plan Community residents are substantially happier, healthier and have a greater overall sense of well-being than those who choose to age in place.
For more tips and tools on how to keep yourself and your health a priority, be sure to check out the rest of our blogs here. And while you’re at it, take a look at our Life Plan Community to see if it’s the right fit for you. Feel free to contact a member of our team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 253.319.3947.