When you reach the golden years and depart the world of work for good, it’s not an excuse to rest on your laurels. Maintaining an active lifestyle is one of the best things you can do for your health and happiness as a retiree.
No matter what age you are when you retire from your career, your goal is to maximize your enjoyment of each day. Let’s look at six reasons you should keep an active lifestyle after retirement.
Important for weight management
Of course, physical activity is important in keeping your body fit and healthy, largely by managing your weight. Staying at an optimum weight for your height and body type is especially important during retirement, when metabolism has lowered.
Your weight is connected to a host of factors that impact your quality—and length—of life. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many cancers.
Exercise helps prevent injury
Clear any physical activity with your doctor, but overall, the more active you are, the more active you’ll continue to be. You can stick to low-impact aerobic activities like walking or swimming, and be sure to add strength training as well.
Strength training increases bone density, which helps with balance and preventing falls. Doing resistance training with weights helps minimize the bone and muscle loss that occurs with age.
Activity can reduce depression
Exercise provides important mental health benefits. When exercising, you give your mind a break from difficult situations. This lowers stress and anxiety, helping you to better navigate the challenges of life.
Exercise itself releases endorphins and other brain chemicals that help you feel good. Plus, if you’re active by going for a walk with a friend, you get the added benefit of social interaction, which is so important for mood and self-esteem at any age.
Physical activity can improve sleep
When you exercise on a regular basis, your sleep patterns typically improve. Aging often changes your sleep patterns. You might find it hard to stay up as late as you once did, or to sleep as late as you’d like (which is ironic after you’ve left the workforce).
Retirement is no time to neglect your body’s need for sleep. You still need a solid night’s sleep in order for your body to perform essential cell repairs that impact all other aspects of your health. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to an inability to fall asleep or sleep deeply, so be sure to get your physical activity, which tires you out and promotes better sleep.
An active lifestyle improves your brain function
As we approach the retirement phase of our lives, many of us worry about forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. While some reduction in mental function and capacity is bound to occur with age, research shows exercise to be one of the most effective ways to lower your risk of dementia.
Taking care of your brain is essential to maintaining your chosen lifestyle and independence long into your retirement. Keeping your mind sharp impacts everything—your ability to manage everyday tasks, financial planning, and enjoyment of most activities.
Keep busy and enjoy life
Being an active person isn’t only about physical exercise. It also refers to the overall way you spend your days in retirement. Find purpose and joy through an active lifestyle.
Your retirement years, as long as you’re fortunate enough to have your health, should be a time of fun and pursuing interests you never had time for before.
Perhaps during your career, you struggled to find time for leisure activities. Now that you’re retired, you deserve to enjoy yourself. Take a pottery class, play with your grandkids, or travel to a national park. Retirement is a time to explore possibilities.