CORNELIUS – Senior citizens looking to find some fun things to do as the weather heats up won’t have to search very hard.
The Lake Norman Senior Fun and Fitness Day, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on April 16 at Jetton Park, returns to the area for the seventh consecutive year.
The first event was in Davidson in May 2007, North Mecklenburg Senior Center Director Joanne Ahern said.
“We started it as an awareness offshoot of National Senior Health Day,” she said. “We’ve retooled it to be more fun- and fitness-related, and we’ve gotten good results from that.”
The event’s impact on area seniors extends beyond a simple way to exercise, Senior Center volunteer Mabel Morrow said.
“It’s great for other things too. You get to go out and get to know a lot of people,” she said. “You get some exercise and you get to enjoy the outdoors. There’s always a nice view on the lake.”
The event begins at 9 a.m. at Jetton Park, off Jetton Road in Cornelius. Healthcare vendors will also be on hand to display their offerings to the community. Vendors can still call the senior center to register their booths.
Blood pressure checks will also be available.
Registration costs $3 per person before April 12 and $5 afterward.
Residents 55 years old and older are encouraged to attend the event, which includes a 1.4-mile group fitness walk around the park’s walking trail as well as fitness activities like basketball shooting and bean bag baseball. There’s also line dancing, Tai Chi and chair exercise classes.
This year marks the first time the event has included organized classes, which came about in an effort to increase physical activity.
“We want to try to get in as many people as possible,” Ahern said. “The whole point is to create a fun fitness day in a good setting.”
The event is a joint effort between the senior center and the Parks and Recreation Departments from Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mecklenburg County.
Morrow, a Huntersville resident who has volunteered twice for the event, said there should be something for every local senior, including food, fun and physical activity.
“We always have a good turnout and we’re hoping for another one this year,” she said.
Ahern said the event has drawn as many as 111 seniors, but they’re always looking to add to the tally. As the senior population in the region rises, the senior center’s hope is that the event will grow.
“We really want to get people involved this year,” Ahern said. “There’s so many people who can enjoy it. More and more seniors need venues like this to exercise and be active, and we want to make sure they get that chance. We want them to be able to maintain independence, and this helps with (those efforts).”
Ahern added the event has the potential to grow beyond its current scope, due in part to its growing attendance.
“There’s no reason this can’t take off even more,” she said.