Monthly Archives: July 2016

Pan-Fried Crab Cakes

Entrees
  • Pan-Fried-Crab-Cakes1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1/2 cup minced bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 pinches salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
  • 4 tablespoons egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1-2 dashes hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, pre-cooked
  • 2 scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Add celery, bell pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir about 7-8 minutes, until celery and bell pepper are soft and slightly caramelized. Place in a bowl and set aside. Place crabmeat in a paper towel and gently squeeze to absorb extra moisture so cakes won’t be soggy in the middle.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, egg whites, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning and hot sauce. Gently stir in the breadcrumbs, scallion, crabmeat and cooked celery and bell pepper, making sure not to break up the crab lumps too much. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Gently form into patties and place on a platter or sheet of wax paper sprinkled with breadcrumbs so they won’t stick to the surface. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Fry patties on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6-8 servings.

Liquid Gold

Getaways

Liquid GoldUncork the flavor of North Georgia wine country at the award-winning Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery.

There’s gold in them thar hills. 

Gold can be found Dahlonega, and it is precious, even if not metal. Look carefully and you can see bright streaks of yellow across the sunset sky, grape clusters dripping like honey from vines, amber leaves rustling in the autumn breeze, and at Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery, shiny gold medals hanging off bottles of wine.

Lots of gold medals are there, including the one that Karl Boegner, owner and winemaker, holds most dear: “When you win ‘best in class’ for sparkling wine at the Los Angeles International,” – as he did with his Reserve Brut Rosé – “it pretty much hits the top.” Wolf Mountain also has won gold at Tasters Guild International for its Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Blanc de Blancs Brut and Plentitude blend; San Francisco Chronicle for Claret and Chanteloup blend; the American Wine Society for Claret; and the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition for the Instinct blend. Silver and bronze awards raise the winery’s overall tally of medals to well past 200. 

Varietals and Blends
Those award-winning wines come from Wolf Mountain’s 10 vineyard acres, which were planted by hand in 2000. Construction of the gravity-flow winery was completed the following year. The first 1,000 cases of wine were produced using locally grown fruit in the fall of 2001; the first harvest of estate-grown fruit came a year later. The winery officially opened to the public in the spring of 2003, and in just eight months the first vintage sold out. Though production will always remain limited, due to the hands-on method the Boegner family prefers, production has now reached 5,000 cases a year. 

Fifteen different wine varietals and blends (five sparkling, five red and five white wines) are produced from grapes that are grown on the property and sourced from two local growers. “We do blends primarily because we’re in a growing area that is more similar to Europe in that consistent weather is not easy to come by,” says Boegner of the challenges of growing grapes on the 1,800-foot elevation of the Dahlonega Plateau. Blending the juice of different grape varietals allows the winemakers (Karl and his son, Brannon) to achieve desired flavors.

Liquid GoldThe first batch of sparkling wines was released in 2008. All sparkling wines are created using the traditional methode champenoise, the “French Method” used in Champagne.

“We do things the hard way on purpose,” says Boegner. “We’re the only winery in the Southeast doing true methode champenoise.”

 Every aspect of the sparkling wine manufacturing process is done by hand, which keeps production limited to 1,000 cases a year.

“We started off as a small European-style producer,” recalls Boegner. Wolf Mountain’s philosophy of winemaking is more European than Californian, incorporating French oak aging with an emphasis on blending grape varietals to achieve more complexity.  “We only use 100 percent vinifera grapes, no hybrids and we don’t enjoy making sweet wine,” he says.

Boegner cites a focus on hospitality as key to the success of the family business – and it is a family business: Brannon serves as vineyard manager and associate winemaker, daughter Lindsey Smith is hospitality manager, son-in-law Stephen is marketing director and wife Linda oversees weddings.

“I wouldn’t have done it without the family’s support,” Boegner says, though his 45 years of hospitality experience includes stints at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Polo Fields in Cumming, The Atlanta International Wine Festival & Wine Summit competitions and The Roswell Founders Club, among others. Or, as he humbly puts it, “I went in the direction of learning more than I should.” He now puts that expertise to use “focused on making sure everybody has a wonderful experience. Our direction is to be Georgia’s premier food and wine experience.”

Liquid GoldTastings and Tours
That commitment to hospitality underscores all events, whether it’s an educational seminar or a wedding for 200 guests. “Right now we have 60 to 70 private events a year,” says Smith. “That can mean three events on a weekend” (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), since only one wedding party is scheduled each day to ensure each bride and groom feels special on the big day. What’s more, “We only do evening weddings since we’re open to the public during the day,” she says. “We feel that when someone gets married it should be a completely private event.” 

Couples that love the marriage of food and wine, have a great appreciation for a natural setting and/or want a great blend of the rustic feel of a winery but with elegant, upscale décor are most drawn to choose Wolf Mountain as their wedding venue, she says.

But you need not be getting hitched to enjoy this view of the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Just stop by the tasting room (groups of eight or more are asked to make advance reservations). For $15 per person, you can admire the view while sipping a flight of six wines – either a mix of styles or a lineup of sparkling, red or white wines as suits your personal preferences. “We put a focus on education,” says Smith. “We pay individual attention to tasters. Our wine stewards spend time with people and go through the tasting of six different wines. By the end, you’ll have a good feel for the style of wine we produce and our philosophy of winemaking.”

Getaways-Vineyards-3For guests who want an even deeper understanding, guided winemaker tours are offered at 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday for $30 per person. “The hour tour starts in the vineyard,” says Smith. “Then it’s over to processing at the crushpad and the cellar. At the end of the tour, there’s an upgraded tasting. You’ll really understand the entire process from vine to bottle and everything that goes on in between.”

Since wine is often best enjoyed with food, the Vineyard Café is on site to satisfy cravings. “We have one of the best restaurants in north Georgia,” says Boegner. Chef Darrin Stegemann’s menu serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes with Southern flair. “We’re known for gourmet pizzas, Georgia quail sliders, in-house whole-smoked salmon and the variety of specialty items featured on the Sunday brunch menu, where the theme changes each month,” says Boegner. Gourmet wine dinners, scheduled periodically, pair wine with upscale fare for four courses.

Visit, taste and enjoy. Whether you raise a glass of golden Chardonnay, sparkling wine or deep red, it will glisten in the mountain light. Cheers!

By Hope S. Philbrick

Photos courtesy of Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery

Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand

Literary Loop

Elin Hilderbrand

New York Times best selling author Elin Hilderbrand returns to Nantucket once again with an emotional, heartwarming story about a grieving family that finds solace where they least expect it.

Celebrity chef and well-known bad boy Deacon Thorpe has always been a force of nature with an insatiable appetite for life. But after that appetite contributes to his shocking death in his favorite place on Earth, a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage, his messy, complicated family is reeling.

Deacon’s will designates that the whole family — two ex-wives, his widow and three children (one from each marriage) — gather at the Nantucket cottage to spread his ashes at sea. The family, along with Deacon’s best friend, Buck, begrudgingly heads for Nantucket to spend the weekend together.

The three very different women have long been bitter rivals, each wanting to claim the primary place in Deacon’s life and his heart. But as they slowly let go of the resentments they’ve held onto for years and remember the good times, secrets are revealed, confidences are shared and improbable bonds are formed as this unlikely family says goodbye to the man who brought them all together.

Southeastern Paralyzed Veterans of America Inc.

Community Groups in Action

VETERANS CALLING POSTWhen soldiers undergo debilitating injuries, they easily can sink into depression. However, Jennifer Windham, executive director of the Southeastern Paralyzed Veterans of America Inc., has a message for them.

“Your life didn’t end the day your injury happened,” she says. “It changed.”

She has words of wisdom for the able-bodied community as well. “Someone in a wheelchair is not be feared. They’re to be included,” says Windham.

Originally chartered in 1961, SEPVA is one of 34 chapters of the Washington, D.C.-based Paralyzed Veterans of America. The Southeastern chapter, which includes 11 hospitals and clinics and has its home office in Augusta, serves all of Georgia and South Carolina as well as parts of North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. Although it is the only veterans’ service organization chartered by Congress, it is not an agency of the federal government.

CALLING-POST-3To be a member of SEPVA, veterans must have been honorably discharged, and they must have a spinal cord injury or disease. Of the chapter’s 2,000 members, about 200 of them live in the CSRA. “Our goal is to meet with each of the veterans as they’re first coming through to let them know that we’re here,” says Windham.

Services include veterans’ benefits, wheelchair sports and recreational activities, spinal cord injury research, advocacy and legislation, fundraising, referral services, literature and moral support.

The staff consists of Windham and one part-time employee, so SEPVA relies on volunteers to meet veterans’ needs. Volunteer opportunities include assisting at special events, folding newsletters and interacting with veterans. Volunteers also serve as liaisons between veterans and hospitals.

CALLING-POST-4“We have a group of volunteer veterans that mentor others. We’re here for the veterans in wheelchairs. We’re here for caregivers. We’re here for the entire disabled community,” says Windham.

For more information about SEPVA, visit southeasternpva.org. For information about membership or volunteering opportunities, call (706) 796-6301.

Watermelon Parmesan Salad

Salads
  • Watermelon-Parmesan-Salad2 slices watermelon
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 wedge Parmesan cheese
  • Fig balsamic vinegar 

Cut watermelon slices and remove seeds. Using a vegetable peeler, make fresh Parmesan cheese curls from the cheese wedge. Place salad greens on individual plates and top with the watermelon slices and cheese curls. Drizzle with fig balsamic vinegar, to taste, and serve. Makes 2 servings. 

Stack alternating cubes of cheese and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil; season with sea salt and pepper. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with toothpicks. Makes one cube.

Lisa McCollum

P.Y.S.K.

Lisa-McCollumCommunity Events Manager for Columbia County Community & Leisure Services Division 

Length of time in position: 11 months

Family: Husband CJ; three children, Kathleen, 9; Fleming, 5; Caroline, 4 

Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: My three favorite things are creating, entertaining and community service. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been involved in performance, public speaking and volunteering. God created me with a servant’s heart. I’ve always known that my calling was in the field of public relations, marketing and community service. I’ve been involved in this profession for 11 years by juggling my own marketing, advertising and event planning business; creating business and marketing plans for clients; planning and producing special events; and serving on numerous community/nonprofit boards. I didn’t think it was possible to combine all of my passions to fit into one job description. I am able to fulfill my passions by creating events that serve all citizens and nonprofit organizations in our community, and ultimately bring our community together through entertainment. Entertainment bonds people together, resulting in stronger communities while enhancing the quality of life for all.

Community Groups and Charities I Love to Support: My heart belongs to the United Way of the CSRA and serving all of its partner agencies. The organization is known as my “nonprofit family.” I’ve served as their spokeswoman, volunteer, loaned professional and board member for many years, and I was honored to be asked to be a part of this year’s Columbia County employee campaign team. I also support the University Health Care Foundation board and Young Philanthropist and Community board, Augusta University’s Alumni Association, Historic Augusta, Augusta Children’s Chorale and the Artists’ Guild of Columbia County. I also host and produce Trinity Hospital’s Pink Promise fashion shows benefiting its breast health center, and I love directing and serving as emcee for several leadership and scholarship pageants. 

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: Being a fulltime mother and a fulltime employee. Life demands so much – individually as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and employee – and collectively managing them all requires a strong support structure. I alone am not responsible for overcoming this obstacle. All the credit goes to my parents, in-laws, family and friends for helping care for my children. I tend to go “all in” in everything I do, and without their constant support and care for my children, it wouldn’t be possible.

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: Starting my own public relations, marketing and advertising firm, and utilizing all of the knowledge I gained through that to see the business relationships that I made along the way come full circle in my current position. I learn and produce by doing. I’ve always operated on the concept that if there is a bigger, better way to do things, find it and do it. I’m so proud to be a part of a strong county government that shares the same value in growth, expansion and cultivating a culture of pride in the members of the community and their employees. I’m privileged to work with an incredible team each and every day and thankful for leaders that support and encourage our efforts.

Favorite Way to Spend a Saturday: Getting up early before my little ones are awake, enjoying a cup of coffee and getting lost in the latest issue of Southern Lady magazine.

Favorite TV Show: My personal favorite is “America’s Civil War.” But at this stage in my life, if the television is on and I’m watching, it’s more than likely on the Disney Channel, Sprout or Nick Jr. Then my favorite is “Good Luck Charlie” on the Disney Channel. 

Favorite Movie: Mary Poppins

Favorite Sports Team: University of Georgia Bulldogs

Favorite Comfort Food: Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses

Favorite App: Definitely The Weather Channel – the outdoor events planner’s best friend!

Last Book Read: It wasn’t a full book, but my treasured daily devotional book is Jesus Calling by Sara Young. Each and every morning, I spend at least 20 minutes of personal devotion time with this book and my prayer journal. I can’t start my day without it.

Dream Vacation: A Disney cruise with my entire family. I was 29 the very first time I ever went to Disney World, and I witnessed why it is the most magical place in the world. Everything is bright, full of energy and happy – you can’t help but let go and enjoy. With our family’s love of the beach and open seas, I would like for all of us to be together and enjoy the trip as a thank you for all they do for me. 

Something That Has Changed My Life: Undergoing back surgery and recovery. At the time I was running my business and had a 6-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old. It was also two weeks before Christmas. Physical pain has never stopped me before but this time, I couldn’t do anything but stop, be still and know that God was calling me to a deeper faith and trust in Him for His strength. It was through this very difficult and painful process that I gained so much. I was forced to let go and let God show me how “He alone can turn all things into good for those who love Him…” (Romans 8:28) 

Best Thing I Ever Learned: You have 30 seconds to make a first impression. Always look your best, do your best, be your best. You never know whose life you may touch along the way.  

Favorite Hobbies: Interior decorating, gardening, painting, playing golf, traveling and visiting historical sites and museums

Secret Aspiration: To manage the community events department of Columbia County and raise the bar to expand our reach on the different types of events we bring to our venues. I want to continue to cultivate the relationships of our business partners and development authority to market our county nationwide. 

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: “Dancing with the Stars,” especially The Shag showcase!

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: People would be surprised to know that I am a Civil War history guru. I love to watch documentaries and biographies as well as research battles fought and the generals that led them. Since I was a child, I have been visiting battlefields and museums and still do every chance I get. 

What person do you think we should know? If you’d like to suggest someone we should meet, email editor@columbiacountymag.com and tell us why.

Dream Home

In The Home
Photography by Haley Lamb

Photography by Haley Lamb

A Martinez couple buys the house they’ve always wanted and makes it even better with their DIY improvements.

Martinez residents Kim and Bob Norland, who have lived in the area for almost 19 years, had always admired from afar the house they now call home. When it came on the market two years ago, they decided that they could at least take a look at it.

“We showed up in suits and everything. We were all dressed up,” says Bob. “It was pouring down rain, too.” 

Nothing, however, was going to rain on their parade, and they bought the house they had always wanted. And no wonder the white brick home was so attractive to them.

From the formal living room to the open, airy sunroom, the house is the perfect mix of stateliness and charm. The Norlands, who bought the house from the late Bill Merry of Merry’s Trash and Treasures, have put a lot of work into the house to put their stamp on it as well. However, at least one task still remains.

“We want to name the house, but we haven’t decided on a name yet,” Bob says. 

Even without a moniker, though, the house, built in 1985, is oozing with charisma.

Shades of Yesteryear

From the design details such as encased windows and built-in corner cabinets to the décor featuring antiques and vintage family photos, the house has the character of a majestic old home. 

“The house needed work when we moved in, but we still wanted to leave some of the traits to the house,” says Bob, who works in automotive manufacturing. “Most of what you see, we did. We put in the wood floors and refinished them.”

The front door opens into a two-story foyer with slate tile flooring. A cozy, upholstered bench is tucked into a nook by the staircase, and a decorative “welcome” sign hangs on the wall above the bench. In another greeting to visitors, a brass pineapple (a Southern symbol of welcome) embellishes the staircase newel post. This pineapple is one of several in the house.

“I have a thing for pineapples now,” says Kim, a research assistant at Augusta University’s Georgia Prevention Institute. 

The foyer leads to the formal living room, which features encased windows, white trim and oak flooring. A pair of arched openings on either side of the entryway to the dining room is one of many architectural details in the house.

homeDining-RoomThe dining room features two built-in corner cupboards, where favorite accessories are displayed, and oak flooring. The china cabinet is filled with pieces of Rosalinde china by Haviland, which belonged to Bob’s grandmother. A trio of decorative plates, stacked vertically on one wall, were a gift to the Norlands from a German exchange student who lived with them. 

An antique upright phonograph with a side crank stands in a corner of the room, and music books that Kim’s father (he once entertained the idea of singing opera) used in college are stored on a shelf.

While the formality of the living and dining rooms might harken back to yesteryear, the dining room leads to the parts of the house where the Norlands understandably spend most of their time.

homeSunroom-2Go With the Flow 

Double doors from the dining room open onto a sunroom, which overlooks a swimming pool. The sunroom had once been a deck, which was an addition to the house by the original owner. The sunroom includes a slate tile floor, a stone fireplace and a flat screen TV. Two ceiling fans cool off the space, and groupings of white wicker furniture, accented by bright red and yellow cushions, provide ample seating. A pineapple-shaped candleholder sits atop a table. A pass-through window connects the sunroom with the kitchen, and sliding pocket doors lead to the adjoining family room. 

Also offering a view of the pool, the family room includes a coffered ceiling, hardwood flooring, a built-in wet bar with glass-front cabinets and a fireplace.

“This house was built for entertaining,” says Kim. “It just flows well for parties.”

The coffered ceiling extends into the kitchen, which also features granite countertops, transom windows above a doorway, off-white cabinets, a breakfast bar and a walk-in storage pantry. Kim and Bob laid the planks and lightened the antique yellow pine flooring in the kitchen. 

However, the connecting butler’s pantry was the first room that they redid in the house. The butler’s pantry includes built-in drawers on a wall and a tile backsplash above a sink. Kim did all of the grouting, and Bob made a wine rack, which hangs on a wall, from a square-notched beam that once supported a floor in an old schoolhouse. He cut round holes in the beam for the wine bottles.

home-Gentlemen's-RoomFavorite Things 

Bob also has left his mark on the gentlemen’s room, which features a pool table, rich red walls, a chair rail, vaulted ceiling with beams, walnut flooring, chandelier and retro pictures of Hollywood’s “rat pack” playing pool. An icebox has been converted into a bar, and an entertainment center houses a large flat screen TV that slides up and down with the push of a button.

“This was Bill Merry’s favorite piece. He had it custom made,” Bob says of the entertainment center, which resembles a piece that the former homeowner saw in Egypt. “He left us a note that said, ‘You have to push the button.’”

Two golf pictures, which they found in an antique store in Washington, Georgia, hang at the top of the back staircase, and they plan to add more golf pictures to their collection. A 1930s-era cigar/cigarette tray in the gentlemen’s room was a Christmas gift from Kim to Bob. “I outbid someone for it on eBay,” she says. “I had never done that before.” 

A guest bedroom is one of Kim’s favorite rooms in the house. The room includes pale blue walls, a four-poster bed and a chandelier with lights that are suspended from a crystal pineapple. The guest bedroom is one of two rooms in the house with carpeting. 

The other carpeted room is the “fox room,” a bedroom that features fox hunting pictures on the walls and a four-poster bed. In addition, two fox stuffed animals, nattily attired in fox hunting finery, are perched side by side on a chest.

home-Master-Bedroom-1The Norlands have decorated the master bedroom with some of their favorite mementoes, including a quintet of decorative plates on the wall behind the canopy bed, two collages of photos of the house and photos from their wedding. A curio is filled with knick-knacks from New Mexico, where Kim’s mother retired and Bob spent summers with his grandparents as a youth.

“This is our New Mexico niche. The things didn’t really fit anywhere else in the house,” says Kim. 

Merry left the furnishings in the master bedroom, which also features a trey ceiling and oak flooring. “We loved the bedroom furniture when we saw it,” Bob says. “We knew we wanted it, too, when we bought the house.”

home-Slider-photoPooling Their Resources 

When the Norlands aren’t working on their house or enjoying their sunroom, they like to relax by the pool in their backyard. Umbrella tables and a brick patio accent the space.

The landscaping includes rock gardens, plant containers and Yoshino cherry trees, while birdhouses and a brick fence with tall brick columns add to the outdoor décor. Two concrete pineapples top brick pillars by the steps that lead from the sunroom to the pool area.

 “All that house, and this is where we always are – the sunroom and the pool,” says Bob.

The Norlands converted the pool house, which originally was a garage, into an apartment for Bob’s mother, Barbara Lee. (Their daughter and grandson live in their own quarters on the property as well.)

The pool house features a covered brick porch with a ceiling fan and a white wicker porch swing on each end. Double glass doors lead into the living room, which has a vaulted ceiling, sitting area and a mirrored wall. Kim and Bob laid the heart pine floor in the living room, and a small grand piano occupies a corner of the room. The adjoining kitchen includes tile flooring, and studded leather chairs line a long bar. 

“The bar was original, but we changed everything else,” says Bob. “The bar was too nice not to keep.” 

The office in the pool house includes a curio cabinet, a secretary and a depression chair. Games that span generations, including Whist, Trivial Pursuit and a Rubik’s cube, are stacked on the floor beside the secretary. Barbara also has her father’s desk in the office, and her mother did the needlepoint on the desk chair. 

“It’s perfect for us,” Barbara says. “We’re here together, but everyone has their own space.”

The Norlands, who say the house keeps them busy, agree.

“It’s a lot of work, but it feels like a home,” Bob says. “We love it here.” 

By Sarah James

Photography by Haley Lamb

Movin’ & Groovin’

Sports

Senior exerciseExercise is key for seniors – or for anyone who aspires to be a senior citizen one day – to strengthen their physical and mental well-being in their golden years

We all know it. Aging is inevitable. Sigh. Fortunately, however, poor physical conditioning is not. And one of the best ways to put a wrinkle in the inescapable effects of growing older is exercise.

While past generations thought exercise held few benefits for those of a certain age, medical science has proven otherwise. Seniors have taken notice, and, regardless of their previous levels of activity, they are discovering how great regular exercise makes them feel.

Senior ExerciseSound Body and Mind

Of course, everyone, regardless of age, can benefit from regular exercise. Exercise can have a profound influence on physical and mental well-being, and these benefits can be even greater for those who are 50-plus. 

Many seniors who exercise regularly report a marked increase in their level of contentment and mental well-being. Senior exercise holds great promise in delaying or preventing the onset of many age-related illnesses such as arthritis or heart disease as well. 

However, senior exercise does not need to be strenuous to be effective. Studies have found that even moderate physical activity can improve the health of those older than 50. Something as simple as a 20-minute walk three or four times a week can improve the health of seniors.

Moderate levels of exercise can provide significant health benefits for older persons who are frail, or who have been affected by arthritis and other conditions that make it difficult to move. Some people have found that regular exercise helps reduce the pain and inflammation that make arthritis such a troubling condition.

Many older people are reluctant to embark on an exercise program, but a well-planned and well-executed regimen is safe for people of all ages. Seniors should not let fear get in their way of a better and healthier future, and consulting with a physician is an important part of planning any exercise program.

Growing old does not need to mean growing inactive, and it is never too late to start a senior exercise program. Studies have shown that the risks of not exercising outweigh the risks of exercise, and simply getting up and moving is a great way to fight conditions and diseases that can result from a sedentary lifestyle.

In addition, a sedentary lifestyle can cause seniors to lose their strength, flexibility, endurance and balance. These losses can even cause them to lose their independence.

Suitable for Seniors

Seniors can exercise and increase their enjoyment of life in any number of ways, but some low-impact exercises are ideal for older people. Many gyms and senior centers can recommend activities for seniors or offer exercise programs designed specifically for them. 

Those who find an activity that they enjoy are more likely to stick with it, but some of the best exercises for seniors include: 

Walking – for many seniors, nothing beats the enjoyment and fun of a good brisk walk. A walk around the neighborhood is also a great way to meet new people and enjoy new experiences.

Aerobics – aerobics are a great exercise for those of any age, and many senior exercise programs have adapted these tried-and-true activities to the needs of their older clients.

Senior ExerciseWater Aerobics – water aerobics combine the cardiovascular workout of traditional aerobics with the low impact of swimming. Exercising in a pool is also a great way for seniors to stay cool while they stay fit.

Yoga – yoga has long been a favorite with fitness enthusiasts of all ages, and many senior exercise programs include this relaxing and fun activity.

Cycling – as senior exercise becomes more popular, senior cycling clubs are springing up around the country. A leisurely bike ride through the countryside can do wonders for the mind as well as the body.

Swimming – swimming is the ultimate in low-impact exercise, and many senior exercise programs feature swimming and water activities. Swimming is a great way to exercise the entire body and increase fitness.

Weight Training – weight training has many benefits, including enhanced strength, flexibility and stamina. More and more seniors are taking advantage of the power of weight training in their search for increased fitness.

By Morgan Davis