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Fitness classes keep us strong and energized, ready for the day’s opportunities. And you needn’t sign up for a marathon to reap significant benefits of exercise. Additionally, the risk of all sorts of disease, but especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is reduced by about one-half in people who follow exercise guidelines, and active people can live about five years longer on average than inactive people. Virtually everything hinges on being as healthy as possible, so give yourself the gift of fitness and invest in the full and engaging life you want to live! Our classes range from general exercise to special martial arts. Come find just the right speed and challenge for you!

For those of us who enjoy the challenges of the more traditional academic offerings, we offer a wide array of classes and workshops that will delight the lifelong learner in you! The goals of these classes are not only to promote knowledge and competences but to promote personal development and increased social participation. Research tells us that these types of classroom experiences help adults increase their overall level of activity and improve memory functioning, as well as promoting social and productive activity and emotional balance. But don’t let all of this fool you, our classes are also really fun! Designing Your Life, Conversational Intelligence and the Feminine Archetype are just a few of the unique offerings the Active Adult thread offers here at the Park District.

Art classes are designed to stimulate and inspire in a variety of disciplines. Creativity exercises the right side of our brain, and the aging brain responds especially well to art by allowing the brain’s two hemispheres to work more in tandem. Current brain research studies show that art can reduce the depression and anxiety that are often symptomatic of chronic diseases. There is great value in engaging in life-affirming artistic activity. Given the proper encouragement, the imagination and creativity of adults of all ages can flourish, helping them to realize unique, unlived potentials. Our classes include drawing and painting, book arts, card-making, and art history.

Another creative endeavor is writing. As we age, we accumulate more and more of a life arc, which is why elders occupy the sacred role of storyteller in traditional cultures. Writing is a perfect medium for distilling the wisdom and meaning of your unique life experiences. Celebrate yourself, give yourself a voice, and write! From ethical wills to memoire-writing, grief journaling or outdoor reflective writing, there are many ways to awaken the ‘writer within’!

So whether you want to concentrate on your body, your brain, or your creative spirit, Active Adult programs have plenty to offer. Check out the entire course menu in the catalog!