What You Can Learn From Two 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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To take a more active role in your health, some health plans, including UnitedHealthcare, offer free gym memberships. To learn more, visit UHCMedicarePlans.com.


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.