Adele Tarran, 82, has long made exercise a regular habit. She considers it essential to her overall mental and physical wellness. If she goes a few days without a workout, she feels "achy."

"Exercise helps work those kinds of things out and makes me feel stronger and better all around," the Palo Alto resident says.

Tarran took up tennis when she was raising her three sons on Long Island. Once they were grown and out the house, she started going to aerobics classes with a friend.

When Tarran moved to Palo Alto in 2009 to be closer to her sons and five grandchildren, she didn't give up her habit -- she expanded it.

Living in the Moldaw Residences, a senior living community, has allowed her to explore different types of exercise and fitness regimes. The community is next door to the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, which offers a range of classes daily.

Tarran has become a regular at the center's Monday aerobics class, Tuesday tai chi and Saturday morning Zumba, a fitness program that combines aerobics and martial arts moves with choreography from hip-hop, Latin and other dance styles.

"It can be hard to start exercising when you reach a certain age and if you hadn't done so before," she says. "For me, I've been enjoying aerobics for a long time, so it's hard to stop."

She loves the intensity of Zumba, and the complementary grace, balance and strength offered by tai chi. When she's not in classes, she visits the center's weight training room or takes herself on walks around the neighborhood or along San Francisco Bay.

"If I don't go to class and it's a beautiful day, I'll take a walk," Tarran says.

The former New Yorker also has become a regular patron of the region's best cultural offerings, from San Francisco Symphony to Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Tarran thinks that leading an active lifestyle, from going to concerts and theater to regular workouts, keeps her healthy overall.

"If you feel good, then you're happy," she says.