Stay Active and Social During Retirement

Engaging Ways to Stay Active and Social During Retirement

Life changes after retirement, but your well-being is just as important as ever. Part of our mission at Inclinator is helping older adults enjoy their golden years by making it easier to age in place. We created this list of tips to help you make the most of your retirement.

Benefits of Physical Activity for Seniors

Taking care of yourself is just as important after retirement as it is when you’re young — if not more so. Sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss, can seriously impact your mobility and independence. Research suggests that people begin losing muscle in their 30s, and the rate of atrophy accelerates around age 60.

Regular exercise and proper nutrition can help you minimize the effects of sarcopenia and other age-related conditions, which can:

  • Extend your life
  • Increase your immunity against illness
  • Accelerate recovery from injury and disease
  • Help you stay independent
  • Reduce your medical expenses

Mental and Emotional Benefits

Depression and anxiety disproportionately impact retired people due to social isolation, loss and health complications. Keeping yourself active physically and socially can help you stay sharp and emotionally healthy well into retirement. Plus, studies have found that people who stay active in retirement may even decrease their risk of developing dementia.

Social Benefits

Getting out and about in your community allows you to build a strong support system, which is essential for navigating the challenges of aging. The National Council on Aging found that social isolation can lead to health challenges in older adults.

Being part of a community that prioritizes wellness also makes it easier to adopt and maintain healthy habits. Going on a walk with friends or engaging in group fitness classes fosters connections while providing health benefits.

How to Stay Active in Retirement

Just like in your younger years, regular physical activity is essential for maintaining your physical fitness and mental health.

Fitness and Exercise Options for Seniors

The best way to stay fit as an older adult is to find exercises you like and do them regularly. Whether you’re lifting weights or hiking nature trails, daily exercise is essential for reducing your risk of sarcopenia and staying mobile.

Walking is one of the most accessible exercise options for older adults because it’s easy on the joints — and it’s totally free. Many communities have walking groups that meet up weekly or biweekly to hike local tracks or trails together.

If you love the social aspect of group exercise, try checking out what options are available at your local gym or community center. Some great options include:

  • Barre: Pioneered by a retired ballerina, barre is a low-impact, high-intensity workout that combines cardio with targeted strength training and stretching to improve coordination, balance and flexibility.
  • Pilates: If you want a low-intensity way to improve mobility, flexibility and posture, Pilates classes will make a great addition to your fitness routine.
  • Cycling: Indoor cycling classes can help you improve cardiovascular endurance without putting too much stress on your joints.
  • Water aerobics: The natural resistance of water makes water aerobics a great, low-impact way to build strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance.

Hobbies and Learning Opportunities

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new. Keep your mind and body active by exploring anything that catches your interest, such as:

  • Learning a new language
  • Trying a new form of art
  • Taking cooking or baking classes
  • Auditing courses at your community college
  • Joining a board game group
  • Traveling to places you’ve always dreamed about
  • Getting onstage at an open mic night
  • Starting or joining a book club
  • Getting outdoors with a birding group

Volunteering and Part-Time Work

Volunteering

Volunteering can help you find a sense of purpose after you stop working and deepen your community bonds. Some places that always need volunteers include:

  • Places of worship
  • Local animal shelters
  • Public libraries
  • Soup kitchens and food pantries
  • Public parks
  • Schools

If you need help finding volunteer opportunities near you, sites like VolunteerMatch and JustServe are great resources.

Many people also take on part-time work to stay busy. If you want to stay within your industry, starting your own consulting business may be a good option for you. You can help younger people on your schedule while making some extra money to pad your retirement savings.

How to Stay Social in Retirement

It’s easy for older adults to become isolated once they step away from the working world, which can negatively impact their physical and mental health. Staying connected to your family and community is essential for a fulfilling retirement.

Embracing Technology for Communication

Even though the majority of Americans live within an hour of their families, it can be tough to stay in touch during life’s busy periods.

New modes of digital communication can help you keep up with your loved ones through it all:

  • Social media: Platforms like Facebook and Instagram help you stay in touch with friends and family members. Many social media sites have built-in instant messaging features, so you can reach out anytime.
  • Video chat: Talk to faraway loved ones face-to-face using video chat apps like Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Meet or Skype.

While messaging and video chat can help you keep up with loved ones who may be far away, it’s also important to prioritize the here and now. Staying connected to your local community is critical for building a strong support network.

How to Stay Healthy in Retirement

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is totally within reach for most retired adults. Here are some tips to help you stay hale and hearty for years to come.

Nutritional Considerations for Aging Well

Eating well is crucial for maintaining a healthy body as you age. Try to follow these nutritional guidelines:

  • Prioritize whole foods: Aim to eat a balanced diet of mostly whole foods, like fruits, veggies, dairy, meat and fish.
  • Read food labels: When you do buy processed foods, try to find options that are low in fat, sodium and added sugar. The ingredients list should be short and easy to read.
  • Talk to your doctor: If you struggle with age-related health challenges, there may be dietary changes you can make to reduce the effects of your condition. Speak with your doctor for recommendations and before you make any major diet changes.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink water throughout the day and minimize your consumption of sugary or salty drinks.

Mental Health and Wellness

Taking care of your mental well-being is important for a happy, healthy retirement. If you ever need to talk to someone about what you’re going through, consider seeing a mental health professional. Group therapy is a great option for older adults because it provides a safe space to talk while connecting with others in your situation.

Home Safety and Accessibility

Although remaining at home after retirement is a popular choice, most houses become increasingly difficult to live in as your body ages.

If you plan to age in place, installing these home accessibility modifications can help:

  • Transition strips: These strips bridge the gaps between different flooring materials to eliminate trip hazards and create a smooth surface for mobility devices.
  • Home elevators: A residential elevator allows people with limited mobility to travel safely between floors without having to navigate the stairs.
  • Dumbwaiters: Carrying groceries and other household items up and down the stairs gets harder as you age. A residential dumbwaiter can handle this task for you to make navigating your home easier.

Prepare For a Healthy Retirement

Prepare for a Healthy Retirement With Help From Inclinator

Want to safely age in place? Inclinator’s residential elevators and dumbwaiters can help you prepare for a long, happy retirement.

Contact your nearest dealer today to set up an in-home consultation. Our knowledgeable reps will help you design a solution that perfectly fits your home.

Inclinator Team

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