Congratulations! You’ve spent a lifetime getting out of bed and getting to work, taking care of your family, saving your pennies and now you are enjoying the perks of transitioning from work into a happy retirement.
When your circumstances change however, so do your exercise requirements. A day job often keeps your mind active and body moving, so in retirement it’s important to find appropriate ways to get moving and incorporate activities into your day to help your body and your mind.
Health problems, both physical and mental, are sometimes exacerbated by retirement.
In 2013 a report published by the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs found that retirement increased the chances of suffering from depression by 40%, while it increased the probability of having at least one diagnosed physical ailment by about 60%. That impact was assessed after controlling for the usual age-related conditions.
Other common ailments for this age group include arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, depression, frailty and an increased falls risk.
Exercise is important for the treatment and management of lifestyle disease. You want to enjoy retirement, travel and enjoy time with the grandchildren, therefore to keep up, you must keep active. Being active plays an important role in preventing and managing chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The benefits of participating in exercise include:
Get involved in group exercise
Involvement in a group exercise class is an excellent way to stay fit and social after retirement. The benefits of participating in a group exercise class include the above but more importantly increase socialisation between members.
Find a time that works and stick to it!
Knowing the benefits of physical activity is one thing, but actually finding the time to engage in it doesn’t always follow naturally. Intentionally setting aside daily exercise time helps to maintain much-needed balance after retirement.
Get creative with you aerobic exercise
Any activity that increases your heart rate helps build endurance. Aerobic activities for retirees could include walking, swimming, water aerobics, cycling, and dance. But it doesn’t have to stop there.
Exercise Right also recommends the following fun activities:
Slip in some strength training
Muscle strengthening activities are recommended on at least 2 days each week, and it is important to minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting. Even small changes in overall muscle strength can have a huge impact on your daily activities.
Consult an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)
An AEP would be able to recommend an appropriate group exercise run by the right professionals. These programs provide a mix of aerobic and resistance training suitable for your age group and also lifestyle education.