8 intriguing ways to stay fit and healthy in retirement

Retirement is undoubtedly something to look forward to. After all, following a life of hard work and wealth accumulation, retirement is the time to achieve the things that you previously didn’t have time for, be it a dream holiday around the world, or simply spending more quality time with your loved ones. 

However, it’s important to note that your health – both physical and mental – tends to decline during the next phase of your life. 

Indeed, the Institute for Economic Affairs reveals that retirement decreases the likelihood of being in “very good” or “excellent” self-assessed health by between 10% and 30%. Moreover, it also increases the probability of suffering from clinical depression by 17%. 

Thankfully, there are several ways you can stay on top of your wellbeing and keep your mind and body fit. Continue reading to discover eight of these methods.

1. Create a fitness plan

As you can imagine, simply exercising is a fantastic way to maintain your fitness during retirement. The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, or 75 minutes of vigorously-intensive exercise. 

This is often easier said than done, so it may be worth creating a plan for your exercise to keep you on track with your physical fitness. 

You may want to focus on exercises that improve your flexibility, strength, and balance, such as walking, swimming, or cycling. 

Or, you could allocate time each morning to perform several exercises at home, namely knee lifts, abdominal contractions, or simply stretching.

As well as keeping your body fit, regular exercise can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. 

2. Join a book club

If you’re an avid reader, it may be worth joining a book club when you retire, as this can be the perfect way to make new friends while discussing your favourite novels. 

This could keep your mind active by encouraging you to read more, all while keeping you in touch with your friends and family. The Mental Health Foundation found that those who are more connected to their friends and family in retirement are happier, physically healthier, and tend to live longer. 

If there aren’t any book clubs in your area, or you simply wish to spend more time with your loved ones, you could always reach out to them and start your own club.

3. Drink more tea and coffee

This may be slightly surprising, but drinking more tea and coffee in retirement could actually help you stay strong in your later years. 

Indeed, in a study of 12,000 participants over 20 years, the Guardian reveals that those who regularly drink tea or coffee tend to be less frail in their 70s compared to those who don’t drink as much. 

This could be because, in moderation, caffeine contains a stimulant of the methylxanthine class, which can help improve your strength in older age. 

So, while you’re considering all the other ways to stay healthy during retirement, don’t forget to have a cup of tea or coffee while you’re at it. 

4. Become a volunteer

Since you’ll likely have so much freedom during retirement to do what you want, it may be worth volunteering. 

This can be a brilliant way to meet new people while giving back to your local community, as volunteering can be incredibly rewarding and could leave you feeling as though you’ve achieved something. 

In fact, Mayo Clinic reveals that volunteering can reduce stress and increase positive, relaxed feelings by releasing dopamine, ultimately benefiting your overall mental wellbeing. 

To start volunteering, you could either reach out to an organisation that interests you and is close to your heart, or look into a local cause. 

5. Start a new hobby

If you have always wanted to try your hand at a particular hobby throughout your life but never seemed to have the time, then retirement could be the perfect opportunity to do so. 

This could be something more on the creative side, such as painting or knitting, which could help you keep your mind sharp.

Alternatively, you could start a more athletic activity, such as tennis or squash. As mentioned, these could help you maintain your physical fitness after you stop working. 

Better yet, if you join a class for your new-found hobby, you could meet people and forge new relationships, further boosting your mental wellbeing. 

6. Get out in the garden

Aside from simply keeping your outdoor spaces tidy, gardening in retirement has numerous other benefits.

Indeed, it can help you maintain flexibility and motor control, all while offering a moderate-intensity cardio workout. 

Better yet, since you’ll be exposed to sunlight more often while you’re toiling in the dirt, this could help your body maintain bone health. You may even start eating healthier, too, as you’ll be growing your own fruit and vegetables to use while cooking.

There are even some mental benefits, as Thrive reveals that gardening can release serotonin and endorphins, which help you deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. 

If you don’t have your own garden, it’s worth looking for any community spaces in your area, further helping you stay social with people who have similar interests. 

7. Maintain a regular sleep routine

As you get older, there’s a chance that the change of routine could disturb your sleeping pattern. 

You typically need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Otherwise, you could be at higher risk of some health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, or your appetite and mood could deteriorate. 

As such, it’s worth looking after your “sleep hygiene” during retirement. It’s vital to go to bed at the same time every day to set a firm routine, and avoid any exercise in the evening. 

Additionally, try to avoid any screens in the bedroom as you try to drift off to sleep. And, while a nap in the afternoon can be bliss, this could ultimately stop you from getting a good night’s sleep.

8. Get your finances in order

When you’re enjoying the next phase of your life, your finances are the last thing you want to worry about. 

So, it’s worth reviewing your financial plan occasionally, making sure that your pension is still adequate, or that you’re drawing enough to support your lifestyle.

Similarly, it’s essential to review your estate plan on a regular basis to ensure that your loved ones don’t incur Inheritance Tax on your assets after you pass away. 

Rather than overly concerning yourself about your financial situation, it may be worth seeking the help of a financial planner. They could take the stress out of managing your wealth so you can focus on a well-deserved retirement. 

Get in touch

If you’d like some help managing your finances during retirement so you can focus on your dream lifestyle, then please contact us today. 

Call 01992 500261 or fill in our online contact form to organise a meeting and we’ll be in touch.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

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