Tips for Outer Banks seniors to get outside and stay active

Published 2:34 pm Thursday, February 2, 2023

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By Gail Sonnesso, GEM Adult Day Services, Inc.

Wintertime can lead to social isolation and sedentary days, but the Outer Banks has many centers and programs enabling you to enjoy the winter season. Explore these options to beat the winter blues! We can enjoy a walk outside, participate in a group exercise class and socialize with peers.

“It’s important to get outside as much as possible, whether it’s temperate or even if it’s colder, as long as it’s safe to do so,” said Dr. Angela Catic, associate professor in the Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor. “If it’s cold, bundling up and getting outside is good for your spirit and good for you physically.”

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Being outside provides vitamin D from the sun and you will see a diversity of birds and plants. The Baum Center and The Dare Center have walking paths on site and the Fessenden Center has guided walks on a path nearby. Nags Head Woods features a wonderful ADA trail and Jockey’s Ridge State Park offers an ATV service enabling individuals with mobility restrictions to go to the top of the ridge as park personnel provide a historical narrative of the ridge as you ride. There is also a path to the top of the dune. We must not forget our ocean walk! If you have mobility challenges, you can visit Jeannette’s Pier in Nags Head or take the Coquina Beach boardwalk to the edge of the dunes and sit on the benches to view the ocean.

Our county centers offer a wide variety of indoor art and exercise classes plus exercise equipment. GEM offers chair exercise and art classes at our Harmony Cafes, providing a safe environment for individuals experiencing Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and their care partners to socialize.


  • Baum Center –(252) 475-5635 – 300 Mustian St, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
  • Virginia Tillett Community Center – (252) 475-5625 – 950 Marshall C. Collins Dr. Manteo, NC 27954
  • Fessenden Center – (252) 475-5650 – 46830 North Carolina Hwy 12, Buxton, NC 27920
  • Powell’s Point Center – (252)491-8173 – 8011 Caratoke Hwy, Powell’s Point, NC 27966
  • GEM Adult Day Services, Inc. – (252) 480-3354– Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
  • Jockey’s Ridge State Park – (252) 441-7132– 300 W Carolista Dr, Nags Head, NC 27959
  • Nags Head Woods Preserve – (252) 441-2525 – 701 W Ocean Acres Dr, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948