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This Older Americans Month, Resolve to Move More

Portrait of Asian mature woman in a hat with backpack behind her back, an Asia active senior woman enjoying nature in autumn park. Standing on a trail in a forest outdoors. Enjoying active travel trip

Happy Older Americans Month! I can’t remember when I started to think of myself as an “older adult.” Often, it’s not a date on a calendar but more how you feel and the kinds of activities you still can do comfortably. For me, and much of the research shows, keeping active physically can help one ease into the older adult stage of life. And because you often exercise with others, it can increase social interaction as well which also contributes to longevity.

 Advisory Council chair Alex O’Reilly is the third person in the racing shell, in the black vest and hat.

Advisory Council chair Alex O’Reilly is the third person in the racing shell, in the black vest and hat.

When I was 40, I took a “Learn to Row” class through Seattle Parks and Recreation and fell in love with this sport—one that women who were born pre-Title IX (like me) were previously not encouraged to do. Thirty-plus years later, I still enjoy the feel of being in a sleek racing shell, skimming across the water in the early morning with my teammates—all of whom are in my age range.

What is your activity of choice? It can be as simple as walking with a friend in your neighborhood, doing chair yoga at a community center, trying out water aerobics at a local pool, or joining a Silver Sneakers or Active and Fit class through your health insurance plan at a local gym. Maybe you are a pickleball or tennis fan.

Need inspiration? Following are some links to some programs around Seattle and King County that you might want to check out. If you don’t see something convenient, google the name of your community and “senior fitness” to find additional ideas.


The North Bellevue Community Center offers comprehensive health and wellness activities, and a wide array of other opportunities, for older adults

Federal Way

The Federal Way Community Center Senior Program includes line dancing, pickleball, qigong, Tai Chi, and more.


Aging and disability services employees and city council members receive the Older Americans Month proclamation.

In recognition of Older Americans Month, ADS Director Mary Mitchell, ADS Advisory Council Chair Alex O’Reilly, and Advisory Council members Joe Hailey and Dr. Joel Domingo (pictured above with Seattle City Councilmember Cathy Moore) received the City of Seattle’s 2024 Older Americans Month proclamation. Watch the presentation here (Seattle Channel).

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Lifelong Recreation for Adults 50+ offers fitness classes, aquatics, arts, field trips, lifelong learning opportunities, and social programs. Check our their spring bulletin here—it’s chock full of opportunities for every region of Seattle. In addition, see opportunities for:

  • Dementia-Friendly Recreation (pp. 30–31)
  • LGBTQ+ Rainbow Recreation (pp. 32–33)
  • Outdoor Recreation—formerly Sound Steps (pp. 34–38)

Senior Activity Centers

Local senior centers offer a wealth of fitness opportunities, including Chair Yoga, Dance, Tai Chi, and more, for anyone age 50 or better. For a list of all senior centers in King County, click here. Use the links to learn about the senior center and activity site(s) in your area.

Shape Up!

The Shape Up program provides a discount to adults, 50+ years of age, to participate in group physical activity classes at six community and senior centers in King County–Bitter Lake, Loyal Heights, Burien Northshore, Mt. Si, and Sno-Valley.

YMCA Active Older Adults—YMCA of Greater Seattle

Fitness classes, outdoor walks, and more are available at YMCA branch locations throughout the region.

AARP Washington

Did you know that AARP offers online fitness classes? Currently I see classes to build balance and strengthen strength, line dancing, Pilates, Qigong, stretching, Tai chi, yoga, and Zumba—all from the comfort of your own home! See their Events page for more information.

Whatever you decide works for you, make sure it’s something fun that you can incorporate in your regular routine. Keep moving. Stay connected. Enjoy!

Alex O'ReillyContributor Alex O’Reilly chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. She welcomes input from readers via e-mail (


A group picture of the Aging and Disability Services Advisory council taken in May 2023.

Mark Your Calendars

Following are upcoming events in which ADS Advisory Council members will participate:

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