One of the first things you’ll notice about Kendal-Crosslands Communities is the residents’ enthusiasm and passion. With over 50 committees on both campuses, there is always something to do and someone to do it with! A great example is the cycling groups focused on the joys of outdoor cycling, both on and off campus.
On Campus-Crosslands cycling
The Crosslands cycling group started this past spring, and riders meet on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons, weather permitting. They take loop rides on the paved roads on campus, with each “loop” being about 3 miles long. Riders this past weekend included both men and women, long-time and newer residents from Crosslands and Coniston, one of our 50+ communities, all sharing a passion for the fun and health benefits these community rides offer.
The camaraderie of the group is immediately apparent. One person spoke of getting help when her bike had a chain derailment, and another spoke of learning shortcuts to keep up with everyone while she built up her endurance. Randy Lyons, who moved to the community in the past year, let us know that before now, he had experienced a history of pneumonia and other lung issues. But since starting to do these regular rides, his lung capacity and overall fitness were improving, and he was amazed at how much healthier he felt. He had to have an appendectomy recently, but just three weeks later, he was back to riding again and feeling great, a testament to the health benefits riders are experiencing through this shared activity.
Kendal-At Longwood- Trail Riding
Deborah Haskell has just turned 90 and leads the trail riding group at Kendal at Longwood. Several members of the Crosslands riding group also participate in the longer trail rides Deborah helps organize throughout the area. As a longtime resident of Wilmington, DE, Deborah has been hiking and cycling trails throughout the region for many years. At 90 years young, on her vintage 10-speed road bike, she has the energy of someone decades younger and is passionate about the benefits of cycling.
The group meets on Fridays and takes rides along protected bike trails throughout the area, combining a long 20-mile or so ride with lunch, so they will ride from Downtown Wilmington out to Old New Castle for lunch and back or do a similar ride with a break down to Chesapeake City in nearby Maryland. There are a large number of regional trails to choose from, and the Bike- and lunch with friends group can have anywhere from 6 to 25 people participating each week!
Staying Active- and Having Fun
One of the key aspects to aging well is staying active, and a key to staying active is picking enjoyable activities, too! Studies have shown that outdoor exercise seems to have a greater positive effect on mood and well-being compared to just exercising inside. It was clear speaking to the Crosslands cycling group after their recent ride that being outdoors, getting fresh air, and sharing the experience with friends are part of what made this activity so much fun!
Staying Active Helps Keep You Feeling Young
The National Institute on Aging reports the many benefits of having an active lifestyle as you age, including reducing your risk for certain diseases and increasing your life span, along with general happiness and resilience. You can see these benefits in practice when you spend time with our residents like Deb Haskell, whose weekly 20+ mile rides and stamina allow her to outcycle her own children!
It was clear that everyone in both cycling groups found an activity that they loved, and it was made even more fun by sharing it with others. That’s part of what makes life at Kendal-Crosslands Communities so great: finding others who share your passions and getting to explore them together. That’s a recipe for a successful and enjoyable retirement.