Did you hear?...Over-55 crowd seeks active lifestyles

The aging baby boomer crowd says it wants to remain active, adventurous and fit, and active recreation emerged as a top lifestyle trend for that group in a recent survey.

The aging baby boomer crowd says it wants to remain active, adventurous and fit, and active recreation emerged as a top lifestyle trend for that group in a recent survey.

The survey, done by Del Webb communities, found that especially adventurous pursuits, such as river rafting and hiking, are a couple of top picks by those over 55, while health and fitness activities, including strength training and aerobic workouts, topped the lists of active interests.

Fitness still strong

Staying in shape remains key to the group, with working out a top priority for Del Webb residents and prospective buyers. More than three of four respondents (77 percent) said they workout at least three days a week. Top activities are walking and using aerobic equipment such as treadmills. Also strong were strength- and weight-training equipment, with 67 percent saying they were also extremely important. Other programs rising in popularity are Pilates, tai chi and yoga, with more than half (51 percent) of respondents saying they were important to programming. Men and woman said they were similarly interested in working out.

Adventure moving in

Fitness interests don't preclude outdoor and more adventurous activities. Paddlesports and hiking drew increased interest, although topping the list were swimming and golf. Just over a quarter of residents (26 percent) said canoeing/kayaking were important, while 18 percent -- a growing number -- said hiking/climbing/rappelling were important, with river rafting (17.8 percent) right behind.

Golf, passive recreation, crafts not gone

Of course, all that activity doesn't mean the older crowd still doesn't golf or ask for arts and crafts. Nearly 40 percent said they play seasonal golf at least occasionally, compared to a 12.3-percent golfer participation rate of people of the same ages in the general population, according to the National Golf Association.

Computer interests ranked highly, as did ceramics, clay, painting, drawing and other arts and crafts.

The survey was conduced for the Del Webb communities among residents and prospective buyers, with respondents totaling 5,138.


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