Many of us spend years looking forward to retirement only to find that when the time comes, we feel lost, lonely, and completely unprepared for all of the spare time that we suddenly have. Retirement isn’t always easy. It can be hard to fill your hours and days, your health can decline, you can lose touch with your friends, and many people who suddenly go from a busy working life to a quieter retirement struggle with their mental health.
Another issue many of us face post-retirement is a decline in fitness, which leads to weight gain, poor heart health, worsens mental health issues, and can increase the risk of a whole range of health issues. If your job meant that you were on your feet a lot, or always on the go, you might have found it easy to stay fit while you were working.
Your routines and relationships might have made working out easy, fun, and a great way to reduce stress. Then suddenly, you find yourself leading a more sedentary lifestyle with greater health concerns and it’s no wonder that your fitness levels drop. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep fit, even as you get older. Here’s a look at some tips to help you.
Get into Good Habits
Exercise doesn’t have to mean hours in the gym or long runs. Being active for 10 minutes, a few times a day can be as beneficial, especially if you are new to exercise. Get into good habits that are easy to maintain, such as stretching when you get up and before bed and going for a daily walk.
Try New Hobbies
Hobbies are a great way to meet new people, become more active, and maintain or increase your fitness levels. Gardening is a popular hobby with seniors, but you might also enjoy things like swimming, nature photography, or cycling.
Listen to Your Body
As we get older our joints become stiff, we lose flexibility, and our muscle tone declines. This is normal, but unfortunately, it makes injuries more likely. Residents at McKnight Place receive onsite restorative physical therapy to help keep their bodies strong, enabling them to enjoy the benefits of exercise.
As you exercise, listen to your body. If something hurts, stop and rest, see your doctor if you are worried, and don’t be surprised if it takes you a long time to build up strength and fitness.
Join Clubs and Groups
One of the biggest benefits of moving into assisted or independent living communities is the opportunity to meet people, join groups, and create a new social circle. But you can also do this while living in your own home. Look for local groups for seniors, such as walking groups to stay active and make friends.
Walk Every Day
Walking is one of the most effective and underrated ways to keep fit. Walk with friends or listen to audiobooks and podcasts and enjoy being out in nature. Try to go for at least a short walk every day, even when you don’t fancy it.
It’s normal for our bodies to change as we get older, and if you are out of practice, you might find exercise difficult. Start slowly, build up gradually, drink plenty of water, and check in with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.