The 40+ Fitness Guide
Have Fun Getting Fit
Jean Larose was 47 years old and ready to have some fun. She had spent the previous five years caring for her sick mother, raising two teenage daughters, and working stressful 12-hour shifts as an intensive care unit coordinator in a Springfield, Massachusetts, hospital. Four months after her mother died and her daughters were off on their own, Larose and her husband, David, moved to Summerville, on the South Carolina coast. She found a full-time job as a secretary for a hospital maternity ward, "a much happier environment," she says. One day she saw an ad in her local paper for a kayaking club. Remembering the peace she'd felt as a child canoeing on her uncle's lake in Massachusetts, she went to a meeting. "I went out the first day with another club member, borrowing her extra kayak," she recalls. "From that day on I was hooked."
In a few weeks Larose bought her own kayak and now, four years later, she kayaks at least five hours per week, alone or with friends or her dog, around the islands where she lives. "I love being among the seabirds, even the gators," says Larose, now 51. "Kayaking has helped me build upper-body strength and increase my overall energy, but most of all it has helped me mentally. I feel a sense of calm when I'm on the water; it puts everything in perspective."