Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important during all life stages. Following a healthy diet, managing body weight, and keeping up with an exercise routine are a few fundamental habits that can help preserve and promote overall health.
However, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for people of all ages, it is absolutely vital for seniors. Physical activity in particular is critical for healthy aging, and senior citizens should be aware of the importance of exercise for their overall health.
Since it can sometimes be difficult to find the motivation to keep up with physical activity, here are 5 major reasons to start a fitness routine in your retirement years.
1. Maintain Quality of Life
One of the main benefits of starting a fitness routine during your later years is simply to improve overall quality of life. Retirees often have increased disposable time on their hands, and a portion of this time should be dedicated to some form of physical activity every single day.
Daily exercise has been proven to reduce the speed of the aging process, and this is just one broad benefit of exercise. Exercising can help keep older adults more nimble, flexible, and strong, ultimately allowing them to continue to operate independently and enjoy their hobbies to the fullest.
2. Save Money
Medical bills and procedures can be costly, and aging can often come with an increase in medical conditions and associated healthcare costs. However, by living a healthy lifestyle and keeping active during retirement, it is possible to reduce the risk of various illnesses and to avoid costly bills along the way.
Taking time to exercise is not just an investment in personal health. Rather, making an effort to remain fit and strong has financial implications, and is perhaps one of the best ways seniors can mitigate expensive healthcare costs.
For example, remaining flexible and strong can greatly reduce the likelihood of injuries that can be obtained from falling. Similarly, a strong cardiovascular system and healthy bodyweight can also reduce the risk of various diseases or chronic illnesses.
3. Enjoy the Rewards
Setting and accomplishing a goal can be one of the most rewarding feelings.
In retirement, it is therefore important to consistently challenge yourself in order to stimulate your mind and body. Beginning a fitness routine and tracking your results over time provides the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself while also maintaining your overall health.
It’s also important to remember that your fitness routine doesn’t need to be the most strenuous routine you have ever attempted to still be rewarding. The simple act of tracking your progress and remaining consistent is enough to improve your health and release endorphins.
4. Remain Social
During retirement, it can be all too easy to fall into sedentary habits. While relaxation and rest are important, older adults should make note of the value of maintaining a social network.
Group exercise activities can provide the perfect outlet for retirees to keep up with their fitness while remaining social. Many community centers offer group fitness sessions, yoga classes, or recreational sports leagues for seniors. Additionally, local running, walking, or cycling groups can also provide an easy way to meet new people in your community.
5. Develop New Skills
Developing new skills during retirement isn’t just rewarding. In fact, sharpening your mind and body can help prevent the onset or progression of disease such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Taking up hobbies like learning a new language or instrument can serve as an effective way for older adults to sharpen their minds. However, learning new sports or working to preserve athletic ability can help seniors maintain or even improve motor functioning.
Again, activity does not have to be overly strenuous in order to see results. A moderate amount of daily activity is enough for seniors to maintain their health and stay sharp.
As we age, it certainly becomes more critical to live a healthy lifestyle. By beginning a fitness routine, retirees can improve their quality of life, save money, remain social, and reduce the risk of onset for a variety of diseases and conditions.