It’s never too late to start living healthy
As you transition into retirement, it’s important to maintain your physical and mental health, as you would at any stage of life. Your senior years, however, come with a new set of challenges; your bone density can reduce, you might feel weaker or more frail, your confidence might be down and you just don’t know how to begin.
Keeping active and healthy as you age doesn’t have to be difficult. It could be as easy as taking a walk around your neighbourhood each day, swimming a few laps at the beach each morning, or even signing up for a dancing class.
Here are six ideas to keep you fit and healthy as your body ages:
Yoga is not only relaxing and calming, but it’s also great for increasing and maintaining your flexibility and balance into your older years. The meditative exercise is easy to pick up and can be tailored to any number of physical abilities, and you’ll notice improvements quickly.
Yoga can help to improve not only your physical health, but also your mental health. It encourages calm, measured breathing, which helps to reduce stress and improves your quality of sleep.
Weight and resistance training
It might sound intimidating, but weight and resistance training can be of real benefit as you get older. As we age, our bones and muscles naturally become weaker and less flexible, meaning we have to make extra effort to ensure they stay strong and healthy. Weight and resistance training can help to strengthen and maintain muscles and bones, and can help to prevent loss of bone mass.
Try some simple exercises using a resistance band or small weights at your local gym, and make sure to enlist the help of a personal trainer or physical therapist to ensure your posture and technique are correct to reduce the chance of injury.
Dust off your old racquet, tie up your shoelaces and head out to your local courts; tennis is a great way to keep fit and healthy in your retirement years. It’s a fast-paced game that encourages lots of movement and quick reflexes, so you’ll be working on your aerobic fitness and your reaction time, as well as your coordination and balance.
Tennis can also help you if you’re looking to lose or maintain your weight. As tennis is a weight-bearing exercise, you’ll also be improving your muscle strength and bone density, which can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Join your local senior tennis club or form a team with your friends for a social game each week. At Greenfields Living, the villages are designed to be social, with a great community feel and plenty of friendly faces around that might want to join a team with you!
Simple but effective, taking a leisurely stroll is something we all savour. The calming feeling of the morning breeze on your face paired with the sounds of nature around you can be reason enough to put on those walking shoes and get moving.
Walking helps to increase your cardiovascular fitness, lowering your resting heart rate and encouraging more oxygen to reach your muscles and lungs. It can also be a great way to get social and meet new friends. Join a local walking group in your neighbourhood, or call a friend and head out on a walk together; you could even make a stop in at your local cafe or favourite brunch spot!
A low impact, non-weight bearing activity, swimming is gentle on your body and keeps pressure off any sore or uncomfortable joints. Swimming is an aerobic exercise, which means it will help to improve your heart health, lower your blood pressure and improve circulation. It can also help to improve muscle strength and tone, and increase flexibility in your hips, back, neck, arms and legs.
Water aerobics is a popular choice and is available at many gyms and public pools. If you prefer to go it alone, 30 minutes of freestyle, backstroke or breaststroke is all you need to feel the benefits. Greenfields Living Seniors Living Communities have great community areas, including swimming pools, that all residents are welcome to use at their leisure.
Dancing might not feel like exercise, but it’s a great way to improve your cardiovascular health while having a great time. As you get older, it’s important to make time to do things that make you happy, and what better way to have fun than dancing!
Whatever style of dancing you’re interested in, there are great health benefits to be had. Dancing can help to maintain your balance and coordination, help strengthen muscles in your legs and arms and improve your endurance – so you can dance for longer! Dancing classes are a great way to meet new people, which helps to improve your mental health and your sense of well-being and confidence.
Maintaining a good exercise regime into retirement and beyond can enhance mobility and coordination, and reduce the impact of the ageing process on your body.
Aside from the physical benefits, exercise can help to boost your mood and self-confidence, help your brain function and cognitive ability as you age, and it can also help you sleep better.
Exercise doesn’t have to feel like a chore; listen to music, an audiobook or podcast on your iPod or MP3 player, join a class and make new friends or enjoy an outdoors exercise program that’ll get you into the sunshine.
Enjoy an active, independent retirement at Greenfields Living! Contact our Village Manager to enquire about one of our seniors living communities and find out more about retirement living in Darwin today!