There was a time when the word “retiree” brought up an image of a white-haired, frail person sitting in a rocking chair watching TV. Those days are long gone, and many retirees are more active than they ever were. Movie stars like Suzanne Somers, Diane Keaton and Robert DeNiro are all in their seventies and as fit as ever. If you want more proof that age is just a number, look up Johanna Quass, a gymnast who still loves her tumbling routine well into her 90s. There’s also Ida Keeling, a 104-year-old sprinter from New York.
While you don’t have to do gymnastics or sprint to stay fit, flexibility and strength are vital to enjoying an active life throughout your later years. In Toronto, there are several clubs that are welcoming and friendly to older adults who want to become more active. And hitting the gym isn’t just a great way to get your heart pumping. You can meet new friends, socialize and learn new skills. Here are just a few of our favourite places in Toronto for active retirees:
Soul Fuel Fitness
The founders of Soul Fuel Fitness believe in accepting your body without judgment. Getting in shape is a personal journey that should be joyful and not stressful. It is located near the Bloor West Village and offers classes both online and in person. Although the gym isn’t designed specifically for seniors, the customized workouts, challenges and private training make this the perfect spot regardless of your age or current fitness level.
If you’re near Swansea or the Bloor West Village, why not warm up with a quick walk to Conquer Fitness? You don’t have to commit to a membership to get a workout because they offer a free 30-minute demo session. You can see if their programs are right for you before you sign up. With a combination of personal training, group classes and women’s only classes, you’re sure to find a routine you love. The trainers understand that members may be intimidated to walk through the doors for the first time, and will go out of their way to accommodate your needs.
Have you had a bad experience in the past that made you never want to step foot in another gym ever again? The trainers at Kondition Athletic are committed to doing whatever it takes to make you love being active again. They don’t believe in wearing you out with rigorous workouts to start with. Instead, the goal is to condition your mind and body for lifelong fitness, healthy nutrition and wellness. Their fully customized plans and personal trainers are designed to install a lifetime of good habits that ensure long-term results. The gym is within easy walking distance of anyone in the Roncevalles, Parkdale or High Park neighbourhoods.
Syme 55+ Centre
If you feel more comfortable working out with a slightly older crowd, try the Syme 55+ Centre. Dance and shake your way to health and fitness with cardio boosts and line dancing. Zoom classes are available so you can work out in the safety and comfort of your own home. Strengthen your core with pilates training and increase your flexibility with Flex & Stretch and Yoga classes. There’s more to the centre than fitness classes, however. You’ll also find a virtual health fair and a wealth of other resources to help you live well. The centre is a 4-minute drive or 12-minute transit ride away from the Baby Point neighbourhood.
Swansea Area Senior’s Association (SASA)
Who wants the same old workout routine every day? SASA holds meetings at the Swansea Town Hall and offers a variety of activities like Zoomba, Kung Fu, Bollywood Dance for Women, Yoga, Essentrics and Yoga. When you’re not working out, you can come and socialize during community lunches, bridge or billiard games or unleash your creativity at the SASA writing circle.
The Four Villages Community Health Centre
A three-minute walk away from High Park, the Four Villages Health Centre offers free programs to residents of all ages. Sessions include a 7-week physiotherapy program for low back pain. Or you can try Nordic pole walking, a low-impact program for all ages and mobility levels. Yoga for people over 55 enhances your flexibility. And don’t forget about “Strong and Steady,” a 12 week routine for adults over 65 to promote strength, endurance and balance. The centre also offers nutritional counselling and a series of virtual programs designed to improve every aspect of your life, from cooking, memory retention, and more.
Our Number Once Choice for Active Retirees…
Our top favourite place for older adults to work out is in your very own building. Many Toronto condos come with a fully-equipped fitness centre for adults of all ages and fitness levels. Rain or shine, you never have to leave your building to break a sweat and build your strength and endurance. What better way to get to know your neighbours than getting fit together? After your workout, many buildings also have a lounge area where you can sip coffee and socialize.
Want to know more about staying active in the West End? Here are just a few more ideas to get you excited about Toronto life:
- Five Best Skating Rinks in the West End
- The Old Mill Walking Trail: What to Know Before You Go
- Five West End Dog Parks Your Pooch Will Love
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