Sweetwater has several fitness classes - in and out of the water - helping residents stay active .

Staying active is one of the best ways to prevent chronic illness, heart disease, and weight problems.

It’s also a lot of fun.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, physical activity does not have to be strenuous in order to deliver health benefits. Even gardening or walking can keep you healthy. Opportunities to stay active should be one of your criteria when you’re looking for a place to live. If Jacksonville is your target location, there are several 55+ communities that do an especially impressive job of helping residents stay fit and active.

Sweetwater – Jacksonville, FL

Low $200s – Low $400s

Sweetwater in Jacksonville is a gorgeous and convenient place to live, and it also offers some great opportunities for exercise and fresh air. This gated community of 950 single-family homes, attached villas, and condos has a state-of-the-art fitness center that provides the latest equipment for cardio and strength training. There’s also a movement studio where residents can practice their yoga, dance, or just do some stretching.

The outdoor pool offers a chance to swim, as does the indoor lap pool. Active adults can get their steps in on the walking trails, bike through the scenic landscape, or volley back and forth on the tennis court. If you’re looking for support in your active endeavors you’ll get it at Sweetwater. There’s a Jogging Club, a Golf Club, and a Meatless Mondays Group for health-conscious eaters.

Cascades at World Golf Village – Saint Augustine, FL

Mid $200s – High $400s

Just 45 minutes south of Jacksonville is Saint Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S. Active adults looking for a place to call home will enjoy the indoor and outdoor amenities at Cascades at World Golf Village. In this gated community for adults 55+, residents can choose from a number of health and fitness classes, including water aerobics, yoga, and Zumba.

Indoor and outdoor pools are available for swimming and soaking, and there are lighted shuffleboard, tennis, and bocce ball courts. A modern fitness center with an aerobics room is right outside the 22,000 square-foot clubhouse. On days that you don’t feel like working out you can take a long walk along the nature trails winding through the community. As the community’s name suggests, there are multiple opportunities to get your exercise on the fairway. Join one of the golf clubs or sign up for lessons.

Del Webb Ponte Vedra – Ponte Vedra, FL

High $200s – High $500s

Just outside of downtown Jacksonville is the charming community of Ponte Vedra, where residents can enjoy the feel of a small town while still being close to the art, culture, and recreational opportunities of a big city. Del Webb Ponte Vedra is one of the largest and most sought-after 55+ communities in northeast Florida.

One of the reasons active adults love living at Del Webb Ponte Vedra is its long list of activities and fitness opportunities. It even has a zip line for thrill-seeking active adults. More traditional amenities include the Plantation Fitness Room, which has state-of-the-art equipment and the Magnolia Movement Studio where residents can practice yoga or do aerobics. There’s an indoor lap pool, an outdoor pool and spa, and six miles of nature trails to walk or bike. For extra support and accountability with your fitness goals the community has a Weight Watchers Club. Del Webb Ponte Vedra is still in the building stages and will have nearly 2,000 single-family homes, attached houses, and condos for residents 55+.