Staying Socially and Physically Active in Retirement
After a rewarding career, retirement gives you the gift of time. How will you choose to spend it? Staying socially and physically active can give you something to look forward to every day.
Studies show that keeping your mind and body active has important benefits. Reducing many health risks, improving your mood and cognition, and maintaining healthy relationships are all great reasons to stay active and connected with your family, friends, and community. Looking for ways to make the most of your retirement? Here are a few ideas.
Vary your Activity
If you have mobility issues, choose an activity that mimics movement in regular life as a preventative measure from slips and falls, which are the most common cause of injury for older adults. Add daily balance to support mobility. Try lifting one leg as you brush your teeth and then the other. Practise getting down on the floor and back up again. Add rotational movement through your torso and reach overhead and back down to mimic reaching in the highest kitchen cupboard.
Pick where you park
Adding cardiovascular movement to your day can be achieved by simply parking further away when you go to a store or appointment. Consider leaving the car at home more often and taking regular walks to explore your neighbourhood.
Exercising with a friend or two will help you be accountable and increase your chance of sticking with a walking or fitness program. Gather a few friends for a regular walk outdoors, Google a slow roll cycling program in your neighbourhood, or enjoy a safe indoor or virtual sweat session over Zoom.
Put it in your calendar
Finding it hard to catch up with your grandchildren? Is it always slipping your mind that you meant to call a friend and you forgot – again? Schedule phone or video calls with your loved ones by putting them into your calendar so you don’t miss an opportunity to socialize. Regular social interactions contribute to happiness and have been proven to reduce depression.
Reach out to community
Local community centres and social clubs have found innovative ways to build connection throughout the pandemic. Take advantage of what they have to offer. Find an in-person or virtual class or event in topics ranging from an introduction to drawing to fitness and dance. It’s a great way to engage in something fun while meeting new people.
No matter how you choose to do it, staying social and active will make your retirement even better. Stay healthy, stay social, and stay safe!