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University Village Residents Prove You’re Never Too Old to Hike in the Great Outdoors

When John O’Donoghue first moved into University Village Thousand Oaks senior living community 11 years ago, he knew retirement was the time for him to start pursuing dreams and ambitions he never had the opportunity to pursue before. He soon became one of the founding members of the community’s popular hiking group, which takes residents into the great outdoors.

“University Village is such a wonderful place to live,” said O’Donoghue. “The hiking group has given me an opportunity to meet new people who have common interests. Without the group, I would have never visited all the parks throughout the area.”

Hiking

University Village Thousand Oaks resident Frank Bollinger captured this photo of the group residents enjoying a three mile hike from the community to the Cal Lutheran campus.

From Anna Hills to Paradise Falls to the Oregon Ville Park, John has been on more than 40 hikes, spanning nearly 100 miles. The club takes hikes across the Thousand Oaks area once a month. Around a dozen residents strap on their shoes early in the morning and hit the hiking trails for a good two-mile walk.

“Our residents are always interested in staying active,” said University Village’s fitness manager and leader of the group, Chris Morgeson. “That’s why the hiking group is so popular.”

Hiking

University Village Thousand Oaks residents and team members enjoy the scenery along their monthly hikes. Resident Frank Bollinger took this photo of Paradise Falls during a hike to Wildwood Park.

Chris, along with the other two fitness instructors, hike with the residents every month. Each time they choose a different level for the hike, so residents know the difficulty. Chris always leads the group, while the other two instructors follow behind the residents.

Physical activities like the hiking group is growing even more in popularity with seniors. Along with improving cardiovascular health, it also reduces arthritis and boost bone density.

“I’ve enjoyed going on all the trails I didn’t even knew existed,” said two-year hiking veteran Beverly Williams. She moved to University Village five years ago from the Bay area to be closer to her family. Williams had never hiked before moving into the community, but thought retirement was the best time to try something new. “This is such a great group of people, and nothing beats being outside and enjoying the beautiful weather we have here,” said Williams.

O’Donoghue, who’s now 89 years old, said he enjoys the serenity and freedom of spending time in the great outdoors with his new friends at the community. Along with his hikes, he enjoys the fitness classes, including water aerobics, circuit training and yoga. But his favorite is spending time on the trails.