Once you’re retired it can be easy to let yourself go. You no longer have to look fit and in shape to impress your coworkers and you also no longer have to follow any type of strict schedule. This can lead to weight gain and a drop in fitness level and capability, which can of course be bad news for your health.
However, there’s no reason why you can’t be in great shape and stay super fit while you’re retired – in fact you could even see retirement as your golden opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Don’t let your freed up time stop you from embarking on a healthy retirement. Follow these 10 tips for senior exercise to stay in great shape:
1. View Staying Active as a Wise Investment
If you think about it, you’ll likely save yourself a ton in medical bills by staying physically active into your old age. This is because regular exercise for older adults can significantly reduce the chances developing many diseases which are very expensive to treat (even with health insurance) which could ultimately save you many thousands of dollars in the long run. What’s more, staying fit could also add years onto your life, allowing you to enjoy your well earned retirement for much longer.
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet
An active lifestyle is essential for maintaining good health, but so is a healthy diet. Be conscious that as you get older you don’t need to eat as many calories so try to lessen your daily food intake once you retire. Also try to uptake your daily servings of fruits and vegetables as these are absolutely essential for a healthy diet. Furthermore, although eating out regularly is a perk of being retired, try to eat as healthily as you can when you dine out, as restaurant meals can be surprisingly calorific. As well as a person of any age, eating healthy goes hand in hand with fitness for seniors.
3. Create an Exercise Schedule
After sticking to a work schedule for years it can be hard to find structure in your life once you’re retired as you find yourself suddenly free to do whatever you want. An easy way to overcome this is to create a strict exercise schedule which you stick to week after week. Once you’ve created your weekly schedule type or write it up and post it on your fridge door to remind yourself of exactly what your exercise agenda is each day. This way you can add some structure to your life and get fit at the same time.
4. Do Activities You Love
Physical activity for older adults does not mean to do daily workouts that you hate; this is your time to enjoy yourself, so choose physical activities that you enjoy. Perhaps you love tennis or swing dancing, whatever it is find a physical activity that you love and practice it regularly. Doing this won’t just allow you to stay in tip shop shape well into your later years of life, but it will also allow you to do something you genuinely enjoy and gain happiness and fulfillment from doing it consistently
5. Choose Something that is Affordable
If you’re worried about how a pricey gym membership or sport will reflect on your retirement savings, then try to choose a physical exercise that is affordable. Some of the best exercises for older adults are free. Look for completely free activities such as walking or jogging or ones that are very affordable. Community centers often have plenty of activities for seniors and offer very cheap exercise classes and fitness DVDs can be very inexpensive. Find activities that you’ll enjoy but are also affordable as you can then get fit without it having to burn a major hole in your wallet.
6. Take Up Gardening
Sometimes it’s good just to get some fresh air, and you can easily get this from gardening. A lot of pleasure can be gotten from working in your backyard, and creating a beautiful garden can be surprisingly inexpensive. If you don’t have access to a garden you could see if you could get an allotment or perhaps there is a local community garden you could work on. Gardening will get you outdoors, bring you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment and you’d be surprised at how many calories you can burn just from shoveling and weeding!
7. Get a Dog
Retirement and elderly exercise definitely doesn’t have to be lonely; you can easily liven up your home by getting a dog. Save a life by adopting a dog from a local shelter and you’ll have no excuses not to go on a daily walk anymore! Dogs won’t just keep you active, they’ll also help you socialize more easily and feel generally happier in life. People are often more likely to stop and socialize with you if have a dog in tow, which can make dogs a great conversation starter if you’re looking for more friends post retirement. What’s more, studies repeatedly show that animals (particularly dogs) can have a calming effect on humans, allowing you to feel more relaxed and content when with them.
8. Sign Up for Fitness Classes
There’s no reason why you can’t attend fitness classes just because you’ve reached retirement age. Look for fitness classes that spark your interest in your community, sign up and give it a go. Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable working out in front of younger people, many gyms and community centers host senior fitness classes, which can provide a great workout in addition to teaching you a ton of specialty exercises for seniors.
9. Buy Fitness Equipment
If you don’t feel confident exercising in public, bring the gym to you! Invest in some fitness equipment such as an exercise bike or an elliptical trainer and make it a set goal to exercise on it each day. These pieces of equipment can be expensive, but they can also last you years and years, making them a worthwhile investment long term. Plus, there is a ton of productive exercises for seniors to do at home.
10. Enlist Some Friends
Staying motivated can be tough when you’re going at it alone, so why not enlist some friends to work out with? Perhaps you could go to an exercise class with a friend or two or you and several friends could work on a community garden together. Whatever it is, find a physical activity that you all enjoy and practice it together at least once a week. This way you don’t have to exercise alone and you can also touch base regularly with your friends.
Staying fit and healthy in your golden years is very much achievable, especially if you follow some of our above tips. Make staying fit and having a healthful diet a top priority and you should be able to live an active and healthy life well into your old age – good luck!