In winter, lots of ways to stay active

FAIRMONT — During the winter, it can be difficult to stay active and engaged. For adults who are retired or empty-nesters, it may be especially hard.

However, there are a number of activities in the Fairmont area to keep older adults busy all winter long.

Roni Dauer, director of Fairmont Community Education and Recreation, is also a member of the networking group Martin County Senior Voices, which works to connect with people who may be isolated.

“People often forget about things that are right in front of their nose,” Dauer said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control lists many benefits for older adults staying active. It can help maintain the ability to live independently, reduce the risk of falls, help reduce blood pressure, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

One easy way many people stay active is walking. Even on really cold and snowy days there are still options.

“Walking is available at the schools and at the mall,” Dauer noted.

Five Lakes Centre in Fairmont is open to walkers from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Fairmont High School allows walkers to come in on school days from 7-7:45 a.m. and from 3:30-6 p.m. Fairmont Elementary School welcomes walkers on school days from 3:30-8 p.m.

Dauer discussed a variety of other activities available around Fairmont.

“We have three fitness facilities in Fairmont and they all have great things available,” she said.

Dauer suggested people check out those facilities to see what classes, equipment and programs they have available.

“The Martin County Library is a great place to check,” she said. “Books can be checked out or downloaded to be read on a Kindle. They also have audio books. They have the daily newspapers too.”

There is a gentle yoga class offered at the library in Fairmont, along with other activities. Area libraries also offer classes and activities. The schedule can be viewed at martincountylibrary.org

Bowling is available at Bowl-Mor Lanes in Fairmont.

Dauer said CER offers snowshoes. For just $5, snowshoes can be checked out for a few days or even a weekend. She said they have about 20 pairs, including small sizes for youth.

The CER office has GED and ABE classes available at no charge. Dauer said these are great opportunities for people to learn a new skill or brush up on skills such as math.

Tuesday evenings there is open gym from 7-9, which includes pickleball, in the Little Cardinal Gym at Fairmont Elementary School.

“The Red Rock Center has a lot of different activities and art is always on display and worth checking out.,” Dauer said.

Red Rock Center is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. It is always open by appointment, and often offers classes and entertainment.

Likewise, the Martin County Historical Society is open daily.

“People can volunteer at the schools. They can volunteer to read to children. Volunteers are also needed at the hospital,” Dauer said.

Fishing with Friends is a youth mentorship program in need of volunteers to fish with youth.

As Dauer notes, there are many service clubs in the area, including Kiwanis, Rotary and the Exchange Club.

There are also social clubs, such as quilting clubs, including the Prairie Star Quilt Guild. Many churches also have their own social clubs. Dauer noted there are a lot of weekly suppers at churches that people can attend or volunteer to assist.

There are more volunteer opportunities at Heaven’s Table Food Shelf, CREST, Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels, to name a few.

Safe Routes to School needs volunteers to walk with children to school in the morning.

There also are many classes available year round that can be found in the CER booklet or viewed online by going to fairmont.k12.mn.us.com and clicking Fairmont CER under the menu tab.

Activities and events around Fairmont and Martin County can also be seen on the Fairmont Area Community Calendar, found online at fairmontareacalendar.com

For more information on activities and classes, contact the Fairmont CER office at (507) 235-3141.