Paddleboarding has become a popular sport for older athletes



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Julie Sloan took up stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Olathe.

Julie Sloan took up stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Olathe.

Courtesy photograph

Julie Sloan has snuffed out loads of candles on birthday desserts by way of the years. Three years in the past, when she turned 60, her age grew to become an inspiration.

“There was a time when I didn’t think about physical activities, but we become less mobile as we age. I thought I’d better get myself in gear,” she stated. “I decided to be healthy.”

Her new health program was surprising. A coworker inspired Sloan to go paddle boarding along with her one weekend. Quickly, Sloan was stand-up paddle boarding on a Johnson County lake.

“I was scared to death at first,” Sloan stated. “But it was fun right off the bat.”

The great thing about gliding on Lake Olathe, stated Sloan, contains so most of the wonders of the world: blue herons standing within the water on tall, spindly legs; geese and turtles sunning themselves; and the lake’s floor, as easy as glass with bluffs towering above.

“There’s always something interesting to see. It’s peaceful. Quiet. Relaxing. And it’s a good workout for core muscles,” Sloan stated. “I can paddle all around the shore and spend at least half a day on the lake. I wish I could do it every day.”

Indoors and outside

If water sports activities don’t attraction, Olathe’s Adaptive Recreation program opens the door to an intensive vary of actions, together with mountain climbing, bicycling, fishing, bowling, organized journeys and acquainted video games like bingo. Dancing can also be well-liked.

“The city ensures that anyone of any ability at any age will find opportunities to interact, meet people and be very engaged socially,” stated Cody Kennedy, Olathe’s chief communications officer.

Many cities in Johnson County provide accessible indoor and outside applications by way of parks and recreation departments. Cities’ web sites are an invite to health-oriented and social actions orchestrated for people, teams and households.

Committing to health

“I never preach about fitness, but it works for me,” Sloan stated. “Making a commitment helps me be stronger, physically, mentally,” she stated, noting that her mom has dementia, and he or she’s doing her finest to remain wholesome.

“I worry about my mom’s severe dementia. Taking care of my body and paddle boarding on the water doesn’t keep dementia at bay,” she stated. “But my mind says that feels good.”

It soothes. It eases stress.

“I’ve learned to like vegetables. For the first time in my life, I planted a little garden. I laugh at myself because I go out there every day and watch things Grow.”

On the water, it’s not unusual to see paddlers in her age vary. Others invite their canine to journey on board.

“I really like watching families … a mom or a dad paddle boarding with their young child,” she stated. “If I ever have grandchildren, I’ll take them paddle boarding with me.”

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