Margaret Saam practises tai chi at the Bowen Park Activity Centre last week. The City of Nanaimo’s Parks

Margaret Saam practises tai chi at the Bowen Park Activity Centre last week. The City of Nanaimo’s Parks

ACTIVE LIFE: Diverse programs keep seniors active

NANAIMO – You don't get older, you get better, goes the old saying. Classes, workshops offer new skills and social connections.

You don’t get older, you get better, goes the old saying, and Nanaimoites aged 60-plus can do that by partaking in programs through the City of Nanaimo.

Offerings through Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors’ membership are diverse and participants can take part in anything from arts and crafts, games, dance, fitness, languages, music, special interest and sports, says Michele Duerksen, a seniors recreation coordinator for the City of Nanaimo’s Parks, Recreation and Environment department.

Included in those categories are pottery, bridge, tai chi, ukulele, lawn bowling and volleyball.

Duerksen points to one of the newer classes, country line dancing at Departure Bay Activity Centre, as being particularly popular.

Duerksen says 1,500 members particpate per year. Membership is $41 annually and a majority of programs are free, although a fee is sometimes charged if an instructor is required.

Participants get active, whether by exercising self or mind, and there is a social component as well.

“It’s huge for making connections, especially if someone has lost their spouse or is new to town. That is one of the main keys in keeping folks active for life,” said Duerksen. “If you have somewhere to go, you have a friend calling you up, that’s exactly why you’re engaged here.”

Maureen Evans practises tai chi at Bowen Park Activity Centre, and preaches its virtues.

“The benefits for me is that you exercise every muscle, you strengthen everything and it helps with balance and back aches, everything that you need to keep healthy,” said Evans.

She says her class does more than just tai chi, however.

“Socially, we have a wonderful group and we do things together,” said Evans. “One of our members has a lovely home and she invites us out for Halloween and for Christmas and for Easter and we have a great time.”

Ron Levesque, a volunteer who helps with dancing, references a New England Journal of Medicine study as a reason to remain active – it found dancing reduces risk of senility by 76 per cent.

“I think the reason is you’re using your body, but you also have to use your mind to remember the steps … it’s a great form of exercise and it has the added benefit of making you think about what you’re going to do,” said Levesque.

For more information, please go to www.nanaimoharbourcityseniors.com or call Duerksen at 250-755-7524.

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP had been asking for help locating a 43-year-old man whose family was ‘extremely worried.’ (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP report man who had made ‘troubling’ comments has been found

43-year-old is receiving treatment he requires, say police

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

City of Nanaimo council has approved amendments for an animal control bylaw requested by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The bylaw includes language related to quail. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Province asks for tweaks to Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw

Ministry concerned bylaw wording could create municipal and provincial jurisdictional overlaps

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo hospital district seeks help from other districts for $1-billion project

Funding for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower discussed by committee

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read