Staying active is one of the most important things to be able to enjoy retirement. Of course, having a solid pension and retirement fund is important, but if you’re not active then it will be difficult to enjoy. Active seniors are far more likely to have a high quality of life than those that are more sedentary. Staying active will increase your overall health and ensure that you are able to live an independent lifestyle.
Unfortunately, as we age we become more susceptible to getting sick and experiencing falls. Once these things start building up then the quality of life drops and the ability to continue living unassisted declines. Staying active will keep those problems at bay for as long as possible. In this article, we will go over several ways that you can make sure to stay healthy well into retirement.
1 – See a doctor first
Before setting out on an exercise routine, it is a good idea to have a doctor check you out. You could have some hidden problems that will complicate your activities. Or, you may just need to make sure that you are clear to go and can pretty much do what you like.
They will give you a thorough looking over and give you an idea of what you should be doing to stay in good health. They can even give you some ideas on the types of exercises that you personally would benefit the most from. If they feel that you need some strength in your core to maintain your balance and avoid falls then they can give you some ideas that will help you.
Your doctor can also decide if you need things like a hearing aid or medical alert systems to make sure that you are going to be able to be safe while getting enough exercise.
Hopefully, your doctor will run some tests like an echocardiogram that will reveal any heart issues since those are generally what will limit your ability to exercise freely.
2 – Get strong
Many people’s ability to live independently comes to an end when a fall happens. This is often followed by getting sick and a spiral of poor health is very common. The reason falls generally happen is because of poor balance. Moving a certain way causes a loss of balance that results in a fall.
The best way to maintain good balance is to have plenty of strength, particularly core strength. This means that your exercises should revolve around keeping muscle mass and maybe actually building some if you haven’t been as active as possible in the last few years.
Not only will your strength give you the ability to maintain balance, but if you do end up losing your footing, you will have the agility and strength to right yourself before a fall occurs.
In addition to all of that, you will have the strength to do the common things you need to be able to get through the day. Opening doors, carrying grocery bags, and walking your dog will all be easier due to your increased strength.
3 – Do yoga
One of the worst aspects of getting older is the joint pain that can be so common. It makes doing the simplest actions uncomfortable and even painful. The way to avoid these aches and pains in the joints is to do some serious stretching. It’s often the ligaments and tendons that have gotten tight over the years that cause the pain. By stretching them out, they won’t be inflamed and will move much more easily.
Yoga is absolutely the best way to do these kinds of stretching to keep the joints from getting tight and inflamed. There are so many different types of yoga to try and some that are actually ideal for older people. The moves and poses are not difficult to maintain and will promote the flow of blood through the joints which reduce the inflammation which can also be painful.
It is a good idea to do this a few times per week at least to keep yourself flexible and pain-free.
4 – Have activities
There are plenty of things you can do that will keep you moving without being a specific type of exercise. For instance, gardening is a great way to stay active and busy without needing to set aside time to go to the gym or yoga lesson. This involves a lot of bending, stretching, and carrying heavy objects. Since it doesn’t have a specific exercise attached to it, you end up using a lot of different muscle groups. This is a great way to get a total body workout that builds strength.
Being out in the sunshine and fresh air will also contribute to good health. The best result is that you’ll have plenty of healthy vegetables to eat to stay even healthier since they are eaten at their peak of nutrition.
Some other activities are things like doing repairs around the house. For instance, painting is a good exercise as it is impact-free and has you moving around in many different positions.
5 – Swimming
As you can see, any activity that involves many different muscle groups is the ideal kind of exercise to be doing. Swimming is very high on the list of great exercises that seniors can do. It doesn’t impact the joints at all since there is no pounding from running or walking.
It is a good way to burn a lot of calories so if you struggle to maintain a healthy weight then swimming is one of the things you should be focused on. If you have a local pool or pond nearby then make it a part of your weekly routine to go at least a few times per week.
It doesn’t matter how strong of a swimmer you are either. You can take some lessons from an instructor to learn the best strokes for your age and ability and go from there.