If retirement is fast approaching or you are already enjoying this exciting new chapter in your life, the change in routine can sometimes be a bit daunting. This new lifestyle change can mean making mental adjustments as well as physical ones to really make the most of your new-found freedom; allowing you to get on with enjoying a happy and healthy retirement.
We’ve got some great advice to help you ensure you make the most of your retirement and enjoy each and every day!
Make a list
Retirement is a great opportunity to achieve things you haven’t had time to do before. It can help to write down all your aims – think of it as your ‘to do list’. By listing the activities and scheduling them in, you’ll be surprised at just how busy your new way of life might be, as well as giving you a sense of accomplishment as you tick things off.
Develop a new routine
Some people might relish the freedom and lack of structure that retirement brings, while others might struggle without their 9-5. If the latter applies to you then it can help to ease yourself in to retirement by establishing a new routine early on, or at least continue to get up, eat meals and go to bed at a similar time. Fill your time with activities you enjoy, exercise or use the opportunity to take up a new hobby. Retirement doesn’t have to mean slowing down, look upon it as an opportunity to refocus your priorities.
With all the health benefits maintaining an active lifestyle brings, there’s never been a better time to get out there and get your heart pumping – with 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week to aim for. Whether swimming, walking or golf is your thing, factoring in regular exercise throughout the week can work wonders for your physical health as well as being an instant mood booster. Alternatively, if you’ve never set foot inside a gym before, now might be the perfect time. Joining your local 1Life gym or Leisure Centre and attending a variety of classes each week not only provides you with a sense of structure to your day-to-day routine, while putting you through your paces, it can also provide you with an opportunity to make new friends.
Whatever your chosen activities are, aim to be active for 30 minutes on at least five days each week. If this sounds unrealistic, this can always be broken down in to three 10-minute sessions and gradually increased as your body adapts.
Exercise your mind
Research shows that learning later in life can help you to stay independent in to old age. Use your free time to give your mind a work out, perhaps try out learning an instrument, new language or gaining a qualification. If you prefer to take a more relaxed approach to retirement even picking up a crossword or Sudoku can get the cogs of your brain turning. Continuing to challenge yourself mentally can be a real boost to your self-esteem and mental wellbeing, which is equally as important as taking care of your physical health.
With food being the fuel that powers our bodies and health being our most important asset during retirement, it makes sense that we should opt for healthy food choices. Keeping the extra pounds at bay can be as simple as adjusting your diet and upping your exercise levels. With your extra free time, now is a great opportunity to start enjoying cooking – try out new recipes or take a cooking course to brush up on your skills. Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients not only looks after your heart and bone health but can also lower the risk of developing certain cancers and diabetes.
If your health has always been put on the back-burner during your working life, now if the time to make it a priority. Consider booking a full health check with your GP, there’s no harm in knowing what your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are and it might just be the motivation you need to make certain lifestyle changes.
Getting older and retiring is certainly no excuse to slow down – it’s about using your time as effectively as possible. Why not call into your life 1Life centre today and chat to our team about all the activities, events and classes on offer and start building a new weekly routine based on physical activity and exercise!