In a time when many seniors have taken on a sedentary lifestyle, one area man has kept busy throughout his retirement years.
According to a recent AARP survey, 55 percent of Americans ages 65 and over exercise regularly. That percentage dipped from the 66 percent of the same demographic who reported exercise in a previous poll.
But Jamestown native and Lutheran Social Services resident Ray Carlson exercises more than most, and his active lifestyle includes more than what he does in the Jamestown Community College gym.
Jamestown native and Lutheran Social Services resident Ray Carlson uses a machine in the Jamestown Community College gym. Carlson, 82, stays busy through exercise and his involvement with other organizations and activities.
"I've always been pretty active," said Carlson, who lives with his wife, Kathleen. "I enjoy the outdoor sports."
Throughout his 82 years of life, Carlson partook in several types of activities. He has kept up with most of them during his nearly 10 years at LSS. Although he no longer hunts, Carlson still golfs and fishes. He achieved a goal which many golfers aim for when he shot below his age.
"Last year, when I was 81, I shot an 80, which was my goal for that particular time," said Carlson, who has also shot a hole-in-one in his life. "I thought I had to get older to do that."
In earlier years, he belonged to Peek'n Peak, where he downhill and cross-country skied. He raced on ice skates and belonged to a local ice-skating group. For the past three years, Carlson has worked out on various exercise machines at JCC three or four times a week for 30-45 minutes a time.
"Some days it's an effort to come, but I know it's good for me, and I feel good after my workout," he said. "When you're working, it's hard to find time to do everything you want to do. It's easier now that I have more time. I'm sure I can't do some of the things I did before, but I can still do most everything. It may be slower, and it may take me a little longer, but that's about it."
In addition to his physical activities, Carlson - who worked at Automatic Voting Machine, Dahlstrom and independently as a business-management consultant - enjoys carving, wood burning and painting various creations, including birds and lighthouses.
He and his wife volunteer at LSS, buying items for the gift shop regularly. Carlson actively participates in an LSS group for residents and serves as chairman of the finance committee at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
Staying busy has kept the octogenarian feeling young.
"I don't feel 82. I think age is an attitude sometimes," he said. "(My wife and I) have friends who got old at 50 years old. You can't just drop everything. You've got to continue or otherwise you become a couch potato or whatever, and that's not good for you."