Fresh air fitness: Outdoor exercise for older adults

May 31, 2023 • 3 min. read | By Staff Reports

A game of pickleball is one of numerous options for outdoor exercise in the Wilmington area. ( productions)


Memorial Day marks the start of the summer season, and nicer weather opens the door to new opportunities for exercising outside. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends daily activity for older adults, and in addition to plenty of places for scenic walks, the Wilmington area offers a variety of options for open-air workouts.


Done Dill: Pickleball

If you’re looking to play the increasingly popular game on an outdoor public court, Arrowhead Park, Northern Regional Park and Wrightsville Beach Park all have dedicated pickleball courts. However, many of the area’s public options feature tennis courts lined for pickleball play, among them Robert Strange Park, Greenfield Park, Veterans Park, the Legion Sports Complex, and Carolina Beach’s Mike Chappell Park. Joining the 700+ member Cape Fear Pickleball Club can open new opportunities at the latter group through access to lockboxes stocked with nets needed to modify the courts. Membership costs $25 per year and includes monthly social gatherings. New to pickleball? The club also offers free lessons every Saturday morning at Greenfield Park from 8-9 a.m. For more information on the Cape Fear Pickleball Club, click here


Kidding Around: HOOF Farm Yoga

Bolivia’s Helpers of Our Farm (HOOF) hosts monthly farm yoga from June to October, with a miniature cow and several miniature goats joining human participants for an all-levels class on the first Saturday morning of the month. A professional instructor leads the relaxed sessions, which include 15 minutes of time devoted to interacting with animals at the start and end of the class. A suggested donation of $20 reserves your spot. For more information, click here


Stretch by the Sea: Pier Yoga

Wilmington Yoga Center offers weekend sessions on Wrightsville Beach’s Crystal Pier every Saturday and Sunday morning from May through September. Open to all ages and abilities, the classes follow a set sequence and are all led by a certified yoga instructor. Each hourlong session, which starts at 7:30 a.m., costs $18; pre-registration is recommended. For more information, click here. 


Fitness and Fellowship: Sandy Sneakers

Want to exercise by the water, but yoga isn’t your thing? Sandy Sneakers, an outdoor spin-off of the popular SilverSneakers fitness classes, meets Monday through Thursday, 9-10 a.m., at Carolina Beach Lake Park. In the case of excessively wet or hot weather, the classes move indoors to the nearby community center at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Like the Cape Fear Pickleball Club, this group also hosts monthly social gatherings. To join a class, simply stop by Carolina Beach Lake Park one weekday morning at 9 a.m.; no pre-registration is required. 


Making Waves: Aqua Aerobics 

Want to exercise in the water? Echo Farms Park is home to two group fitness classes utilizing the park’s swimming pool for the summer, which both begin the week of June 5. On Monday mornings at 10 a.m., the pool hosts an all-levels water aerobics class; on Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10 a.m., the pool is used for an all-levels stretching and meditation class. Both classes cost $3 to participate, and pre-registration is required as classes tend to fill up. For more information, click here