Aerobic exercise, also known as “cardio,” heavily involves oxygen in reactions that provide the body with energy needed to perform an activity. When you do aerobic exercise, your body becomes more efficient in delivering oxygen to its various parts. Your heart and breathing rates increase. Aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps regulate blood sugar, reduces asthma symptoms, reduces chronic pain, aids sleep, regulates weight, strengthens the immune system, improves brain power, boosts moods, and reduces risks of falls.
Imagine getting all those benefits while having fun with friends. Sarah Vaillancourt keeps busy helping Walton County Snowbirds stay healthy. Along with leading line dancing with Diane Likhite and Julie Flynn as reported previously in this column, she teaches senior aerobics with Peggy Breetz. She is coordinator for water aerobics as well. Senior aerobics takes place at Faith Assembly Hall on Mondays from 11 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 1 to 2 p.m. Members are asked to bring an exercise mat and hand weights. Five different types of exercises are done during the session. First are stretching, toning, and conditioning exercises; then upper arm strengthening; next is cardio; then dance steps to music; and last are crunches. This coed class has about 60 participants this season. The last class will be Feb. 26.
Water aerobics is held at the Ariel Dunes heated pool at Seascape Resort on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-11 a.m. when the outside temperature is 50 degrees or warmer. Four types of exercises are done, starting with stretching and toning, then upper arm strengthening, low impact aerobics, and ending with pool noodle exercises. Registrants bring their own noodles. The class has around 35 participants, mostly women. The last class is scheduled for Feb. 27.
Biking is a great cardio activity. The Walton County Snowbirds have an extensive schedule of bike trips that began in November 2019 and extends through March 2020 posted on www.waltoncountysnowbirds.com in the activities section. Most sessions begin at 11 a.m. and end with lunch at local restaurants or picnic lunches at designated destinations. Some begin at 2:30 p.m. and end with happy hour attendance. In order to join, riders must wear helmets, be able to ride at about 10 miles per hour for 10 miles minimum, and have a bike in good working order. There is a subgroup of the riders, the “Long Riders” that add mileage to the planned rides. Online information for Biking includes the schedule, participation requirements, description of each ride including GPS coordinates, safety comments, and bike maintenance tips.
REMINDERS: The last general meeting for 2019-2020 will be held at the Santa Rosa Beach Community Church on U.S. Highway 98 West starting at 10 a.m. on Feb. 19. The Walton County Snowbird Singers will perform. There will be the usual raffles and door prizes.
Access www.waltoncountysnowbirds.com for information about storage and contact phone numbers of coordinators for this service.
Debra Wynn, whose other home is in Connecticut, is looking forward to her fifth year as a Walton County Snowbirds’ member.