What You Can Learn from 2 Friends’ Morning Routine

Twenty-seven years ago, Mary Casey, 69, and Kathy Olson, 64, got together for an early-morning walk. They didn’t know it at the time, but that simple activity set in motion a commitment to health and friendship that is still going strong today. 

While it might not be surprising that 70% of Americans ages 62 and older are concerned about their physical health as they age, a majority have taken proactive steps to make themselves feel healthier. Some have started to volunteer, while others have started a fitness routine, like taking a morning walk. 

Not only is physical health important as we age, being socially active matters, too. And 75% of older Americans said they host or attend social gatherings each month. In some cases, exercise and socialization can be combined (it might even make the workout more fun!). 

In the years since Mary and Kathy set out on that first walk, other friends (and dogs) have joined in. Some days the group is as many as 12 two- and four-legged friends. The morning stroll has become a can’t-miss routine – a relied-upon way to remain physically and socially active through the ups and downs of life and into retirement. 

Now, nearly three decades after the first morning walk, the group reflects on how the morning routine has helped shape their health goals and motivations throughout the years. 

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For UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members interested in ways to be both physically and mentally active, be sure to take advantage of Renew Active. Renew Active is a fitness program that is designed to help you live your best life by offering free gym memberships and online brain strengthening exercises.


Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in these plans depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare.

Participation in the Renew Active™ by UnitedHealthcare program is voluntary. Consult your doctor prior to beginning an exercise program or making changes to your lifestyle or health care routine. Equipment and classes may vary by location. Services, including equipment, classes, personalized fitness plans provided by fitness centers, and brain activities provided by BrainHQ, are provided by third parties not affiliated with AARP or UnitedHealthcare. AARP and UnitedHealthcare do not endorse and are not responsible for the services or information provided by this program. Availability of the Renew Active™ program varies by plan/area. Renew Active is not a standard benefit available on all plans. Some plans require the purchase of an additional fitness rider.