5 Ways to Keep Fit in Retirement
Fitness comes in many shapes and forms in retirement. Fitness can range from physical activity, a good sleeping pattern, and bettering your mental health. Staying fit in your golden years can help maintain your weight, blood pressure, and improve your overall mood. However, staying fit can be difficult for some seniors who are not sure where to begin. With that said, here are five ways to keep fit in retirement.
1. Physical activity
Something that comes with age is a slower metabolism. Maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging at times, but exercise can help increase your metabolism, while also making you physically stronger. According to the CDC, if you are age 65 or older, you should receive two hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week and muscle training two times per week.
However, not all exercises you partake in have to be extreme. Light activities, such as walking, can be a beneficial exercise that can help prevent diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Water aerobics is another form of physical activity many seniors enjoy. Water aerobics increases flexibility while improving lung and heart functions. This exercise also relieves joint pain while improving your balance and strength.
If you are new to working out, consult with your doctor. Even If you begin your fitness journey small, some exercise is better than none.
2. Healthy diet
A healthy diet works hand in hand with physical activity. Having a nutritious diet will help you receive and maintain the calories and nutrients you need for energy for your daily activities and exercise. As you age, maintaining a healthy diet is essential in building a robust immune system and upholding your fitness goals.
A senior’s healthy diet should consist of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and natural fibers, which will help your body function properly. Healthy unsaturated fats are also essential in keeping you active throughout the day. These fats can range from avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and oils.
According to Healthline, a woman should consume 1,200-1,500 daily calories, while men should receive 1,500-1,800 daily calories to help lose weight and maintain your fitness safely.
3. Receive enough sleep
As you enter your golden years, you may find changes in your sleeping patterns, which is normal. However, a good night’s rest is essential in preserving your cognitive function and physical and mental well-being.
Older adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night, according to the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging. Good quality sleep gives your body time to recuperate, preserve energy, and repair muscles you worked the previous day.
Exercise has a chemical effect on the brain, as exercise releases adenosine, which makes you more tired. Therefore, the more your workout, the more adenosine will be released, which leads to a deep sleep at night. The more rest you receive, the more energy you will have for your daily activities the following day, and the closer you are to your fitness goals.
4. Limit alcohol consumption
As you age, you may find that alcohol has different effects on your body than when you were younger. If you consume alcohol regularly as a senior, it will severely affect your brain, heart, pancreas, liver, and immune system.
Alcohol and fitness do not go well together, as drinking too much alcohol over time can lead to cancer, liver, and brain damage. Alcohol can also worsen health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis, which is what you are trying to maintain and better with physical activity.
While drinking in moderation is fine, it is recommended not to consume large amounts.
5. Strengthen mental health
As physical fitness is essential, mental wellness is just as vital. Seniors in retirement must stay mentally fit to improve cognitive functions and maintain balanced neural pathways. If you challenge your mind with games such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles, you will promote a healthy brain, while also keeping it active.
As you enter retirement, you may find that you have too much alone time and become self-isolated, which can result in depression and anxiety. Having a social life is critical in sustaining your mental fitness. With that said, there are many ways to stay socially involved, such as volunteering, joining a club, or even making friends at your local park.
Fitness in retirement will come with effort and may be discouraging at times. However, if fitness becomes a habit and part of your daily life, it can help prevent diseases, improve your mental state, strengthen your social skills, and enhance cognitive function. Regardless of age, it is never too late to start working on a better you!