Activities cure winter blues

The Best Times Digital Edition
Michelle Alexander in Best Times

Michelle Alexander

Oct. 26, 2021

By Michelle Alexander

It’s hard to believe winter is creeping in on us again. The daylight gets shorter, the air is chilly and we may tend to stay inside more often which can lead to the winter blues.

Fight back this winter by staying active and engaged with Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s 50 Plus Program. There are so many opportunities at varying prices ranges to help you beat the winter blues regardless of your budget!

One of the best ways to beat the blues is by staying physically active. There are now two free indoor walking sites. Walk at New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Parkway, New Century (near Gardner) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m Monday through Friday. Okun Fieldhouse, 20200 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, offers open walking from 8 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.

If you tend to be more motivated by guided exercise, explore one of the low fee in-person or free virtual exercise program offered through the county. The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is an instructor led class that focuses on range-of-motion and endurance-building activities along with relaxation techniques and health education topics. Each 45-minute workout is $3 paid at the door each time you attend. Classes are held at the following locations and times.

  • Merriam Community Center, 6040 Slater St.; at 10 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday.
  • Spring Hill Community Center, 401 N. Madison St.; at 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.
  • New Century Fieldhouse; 551 New Century Parkway; at 10:15 a.m. every Wednesday and Friday.
  • Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park; at 1 p.m. every Wednesday and at 10:45 a.m. every Friday.
  • A virtual program is available at 11 a.m. every Wednesday via Zoom. Pre-registration is required to receive the link to each online session and can be done by calling 913-831-3359.

Another Arthritis Foundation endorsed program offered is Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse, 9101 Nall Ave., Prairie Village. Those just starting out can join the beginning class at 3 p.m. on Mondays. An intermediate class is available at 2 p.m. on Mondays and an advanced class is offered at 1 p.m. The fee for each 45-minute class is $3.

Equally important to maintaining physical activity through the winter months is maintaining your mental health.

Katherine Melton with Johnson County Mental Health is hosting two free virtual programs in November to do just that. She will host “Navigating the Holidays” at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2. The session will provide tips and strategies to help navigate the holidays in a way that is both healthy and effective.

The second presentation, “Building a Resilient You,” will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30. This session will provide a deeper understanding as to what resiliency is and the various strategies that can be used to help build a more resilient you.

Pre-registration is required to receive the link to the online session and can be done by calling 913-831-3359. To view all opportunities offered by JCPRD’s 50 Plus department, visit

Michelle Alexander is 50 Plus Department manager at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.