Active at 50

Active at 50:  Great Ways to Meet New People

Meeting new people and developing a circle of friends is difficult at any age.  For men and women over the age of 50, it can sometimes feel downright terrifying.  There are some great ways to meet interesting people within your peer group, however, if you are willing to venture “outside of the box”.  No matter whether your goal is to remain physically active, to keep your brain busy, or to experience something more relaxed and calm, there are groups and activities that will both get you out and about, and make it possible to meet new people from all walks of life.

Exercise/Movement Classes

While enrolling in the hip-hop class at the local community center may not be your cup of tea, or taking advantage of a ski deals USA style adventure package is not exactly the activity for which you are looking, there are a number of other activities that will exercise your body, your mind, and already have strong communities in many cities. 

Tango milonguero, or close-embrace tango, is popular worldwide, and for anyone who has ever visited Argentina, it is the form of tango danced by the true portenos (older citizens of Buenos Aires).  Different from show tango, tango milonguero is danced socially, is devoid of flashy steps, and requires very little space.  It is a dance of connection, and is popular with tango dancers young and old.  Milongas, tango dance parties, are a great way to meet people, and there are tango milonguero communities in just about every major city. 

Gyrotonics is a form of body conditioning that works in a series of circular arcs, done primarily from a seated position.  There are gyrotonics classes offered all over the world, and the classes are a great way to stay in shape without using weights or putting strain on your lower back or knees.  Getting a cup of tea or coffee with other gyrotonics students post-class is common, so it is possible to not only improve your physical health, but also get to know a new circle of friends.

Hash Hound Harriers is a running club with a twist.  The races, called “hashes”, take place all over a particular region and involve following a series of clues drawn on the ground, and the sound of a horn, to get from one place to another.  There are “Hashing” groups all over the world.  This is an intensely physical activity, and is perfect for people who used to run marathons or participate in track and field activities.  Participants come in a wide range of ages and are quite passionate about the sport. 

The Arts

Intense collaboration is often required when it comes to creating any work of art.  Indeed, one of the merits of learning an art form is the amount of experience one gains in working and communicating effectively with other people.  Joining a group devoted to the arts is a fantastic way to meet people.

Writing a novel may seem like a solitary activity, but joining a group of other local writers for critique and encouragement is a perfect way to form new friendships.  If a novel is just too much commitment, writing groups exist for poets, and script and screenplay writers as well.  Enrolling in a writing course at your local college or university is also a great way to meet people. 

Acting is an excellent way to exercise both the mind and the body, and theater requires working with multiple people in order to get a production off the ground.  There are community theater companies everywhere, and if performing is not of interest, using your carpentry or painting skills to design and build set pieces, your sewing skills to create costumes, or your organizational skills to handle the box office or producing tasks, will also make you vital to the company’s activities.

Playing a musical instrument is a lovely skill to have, no matter your age.  Many of us played an instrument as children, but put it away as we got older and our time became devoted to other things.  Reacquainting yourself with an instrument, or picking up a new one, can be a lot of fun.  Joining a group class or ensemble at a local college or community center will allow you to practice regularly and get to know people in another community.

No matter whether you choose to go running or to join the local orchestra, there is definitely a community out there that is just right for you.  The skills and experiences you have accumulated over the years will make getting to know you enjoyable for everyone.  Have fun with your “outside of the box” activity, whatever it turns out to be.