Once upon a time, retirement meant trading in active days for a life of leisure. But these days, the trend is for active seniors who continue to exercise and stay in shape after they retire. So, let’s take a look at why staying active is important for healthy senior living, and how to do it.
1. Increasing Mobility in Retirement
Retirement is often viewed as a time of slowing down – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Increasingly, retirees are taking advantage of the freedoms of their later years to explore the world. Traveling and getting out can be the key to a healthy, productive and enjoyable life in retirement.
- Take Advantage of Technology – Make the most of modern technology to plan trips and manage travel arrangements. Web-based travel tools can help you coordinate your plans and purchase tickets. This makes it easier than ever to choose unique routes or explore luxury options. Mobile devices can also help you find plenty of activities once you’ve arrived at your destination.
- Look for Group Travel Packages – Tour companies often target retirees with special package deals that allow multiple people to explore together. This can make trips less expensive and provide the opportunity to make new friends from around the world.
- Consider Working Vacations – Combine travel and work to make retirement more interesting and financial. Many retirees are now taking up volunteer work abroad, or even working for pay as a house-sitter or tour guide while seeing the world.
- Be Open to New Opportunities – Retirement often brings with it a chance to try something completely different. Take advantage of this by embracing new places, cultures, and experiences. Ask friends and family for ideas and inspirations, or reach out to destination specialists to see what they can craft for you.
Finally, don’t be intimidated by the thought of venturing out. Most of the world outside of your comfort zone isn’t as strange or dangerous as you might expect. With a spirit of adventure and a few travel tips, there’s no limit to the places you can explore. Whether it’s trying something new around the corner or a week in some faraway land – you can discover the world in your retirement.
2. Smart Exercise for Optimal Senior Health
Staying active is essential for successful aging. Finding a type of exercise that fits for your abilities and that you can do regularly can make a big difference in your mental and physical health.
Doing exercises that provide a challenge to your strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and endurance are important. Here are a few exercises seniors should consider:
- Weight-Bearing Activities: Low-impact aerobics, resistance band exercises, and lifting light weights can help improve your bone density.
- Flexibility and Balance Exercises: Yoga or tai chi can boost your flexibility and balance.
- Endurance Exercises: Swimming, biking, and brisk walking are great endurance activities.
Be sure to consult your doctor when starting a new exercise program. Remember to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts over time. Push your body, but not too hard. Taking rest days, staying hydrated, and fueling your body with nutrient-rich foods is also essential for staying healthy as you age.
You don’t need a gym membership to stay active. Try taking a daily walk around your neighborhood or trying a few stretching exercises from home. Making small changes to your daily habits can make a big difference.
3. Combatting Boredom with Activity
Beating boredom can be as simple as finding the right activity. Whether you plan to tackle a big project or simply focus on a few small tasks, the following activities will help provide a sense of momentum and purpose.
Make Smart Dishes. Cooking at home is no longer just about meal prepping. It’s about creating dishes that nourish mind, body, and soul. Spend a few hours researching and experimenting with healthy, seasonal ingredients to create something delicious. As an added bonus, use the time spent in the kitchen to practice mindfulness.
Learn a New Skill. Don’t let your skills become stagnant – take the opportunity to learn something new. No matter your level of proficiency, there are countless courses and online classes that can help take your skillset up a notch. If you’re a beginner, look for courses that cater to fundamentals. If you’re more experienced, seek out a complex project to keep you challenged.
Exercise. Physical exercise is an excellent way to keep your body and mind active. You don’t need to be a marathon runner to take advantage of the benefits of exercise. Pilates, yoga, and swimming are all great low-impact activities that will keep you feeling energized and productive.
Organize, Reorganize. Taking on a project like organizing your desk or cleaning out closets can stimulate creative thinking and help you stay motivated. The satisfaction of a job-well-done is a great way to lift your spirits. It’s also a great way to get rid of unwanted items and free up living space.
Tap Into Your Creative Side. Engaging your creative side can help open your mind to creative possibilities. Break out the canvas and paint, beads and wire, musical instruments, and much more. Settling into the creative flow can be an incredibly satisfying experience.
4. Retirement: A Time to Get Active!
Retiring offers you valuable free time. So why not use that newly acquired freedom to keep yourself healthy through physical activity? This is a great way to stay in shape and vibrant, plus it can even help you make new friends.
Types of exercise activities
- Aerobics – Aerobic exercise is most effective for improving circulation and increasing your heart rate.
- Strength Training – Strength training helps increase muscle strength, boosts metabolism, and strengthens bones.
- Yoga – Yoga can help reduce stress and can help improve flexibility and strength.
- Dancing – Dance aerobics is a great way to get your heart rate up and have some fun.
Physical activities can both be done indoors and outdoors. Depending on what you prefer and the climate you live in, you can opt for either one. So if you live in a place with mild weather, you can focus on outdoor activities such as walking or running. But if you live in an area with cold or rainy winters, indoor activities like cycling or stretching might be more appropriate.
Joining a club or class can help add structure to your exercise program. This can keep you further motivated if you need a little extra. Some of the common clubs and classes are tai chi, dance, swimming, hiking, and fishing. It’s also a great way to interact with fellow retirees and make new friends.
There’s no excuse for not getting active when you retire. With so many options available, you can make it fun for yourself and stay healthy for longer. So choose an activity that’s right for you and set yourself in motion.
As you approach or navigate retirement, keep in mind that taking care of your physical health is incredibly important. Exercise can be a fantastic way to help maintain your physical and mental well-being during this life transition. Start incorporating movement into your life today, and you’ll discover a whole new world of possibilities for a healthy and fulfilling retirement.