Some people think about slowing down in retirement. For others, it’s the opportunity they’ve been waiting for to start a healthy new hobby, whether that’s taking more walks, jogging, or something more ambitious.
It’s remarkable how our ambitions vary. Whatever you’re doing now though, it’s useful to remember that your body will change as time moves on, and creating healthy active habits now makes sense – not just physically, but socially and mentally too. In fact, studies have shown that people who do physical activity are generally healthier than those who don’t, and that the social benefits of exercise can also help you as time goes on.
So if you’re looking to start a new, healthier hobby or maybe just increase what you’re already doing, where do you start?
You don’t live near the park or out in the countryside? Not a problem. Even a couple of times walking around the block is a good way to get your circulation going every day. Little and often is best. If you can, try to aim for thirty minutes exercise, five times a week.
Swimming is a great way to get your heart and lungs going, and to keep your joints mobile too – without too much stress or strain. And if you don’t swim, why not learn now? Most swimming pools have classes from beginners to advanced techniques and water aerobics for older people.
Moving on from dancing in the water with water aerobics, how about dancing with friends? With the popularity of ‘Strictly’, dance classes have popped up all over the country. Most of them offer classes for groups who prefer certain types of music – so you can choose one with the music and style you love the most – from the Beatles and Bob Dylan to more classical formats.
Or what about walking football? It’s a pastime that’s becoming very popular – with informal teams and leagues springing up all over the country.
Is more exercise right for everyone?
As long as you don’t take things too far too fast, mild exercise has very few risks. If you’re in any doubt, check in with your GP before you change your activity levels significantly – and if you ever feel dizzy, short of breath or unwell, please stop and seek medical attention immediately.
You’ll find more information about exercise in retirement online at ageing better.