Keeping Fit in Retirement

Shirley Price
Shirley Price

Both cardiovascular and aerobic exercise is important. Aerobic exercise is instrumental in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes, while reducing cholesterol. With all of these activities, it is important to be in tune to what your body tells you. If there is anything you are concerned about – talk to your doctor first. Don’t forget – the hardest part of any exercise regimen is the first couple of weeks. Once you choose something that you think will be a good fit for you, stick to that routine, and before you know it you will have a new and healthy habit.

Not only does getting and staying fit help your physical health, but it can have wonderful benefits to your mental health as well. The mind-body connection is strong, so prepare to reap the benefits of a regular exercise routine – more energy, better sleep, and it’s a great way to ward off depression. Staying active makes for a healthy person, from the inside out.  Exercise lowers stress hormones and increases endorphins, which are your natural ‘feel good’ chemicals. As they’re released during exercise, you get the benefit of having your mood boosted in a natural way.  Exercise also helps your body to release adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine, which also help you feel good. We were designed to move!Here are some exercises that both men and women can consider:

•    Walking – head to a park and take in some natural beauty.
•    Biking – stationary or a bicycle you can ride on the pathways.
•    Yoga – great for stretching, breathing and meditation, proven to reduce stress.
•    Pilates – strengthens the core, challenging at first, so take it slow.
•    Tai Chi – great for mind-body connections, very relaxing, but with a surprisingly noticeable workout.
•    Swimming – take a lesson or find a water aerobics class. This is good, low resistance exercise and it’s a fun change of pace to splash around in a pool.
•    Weight training – ensure you have a program designed for you at a gym to avoid overdoing it or sustaining an injury.
•    Running – start off slow, run for a couple of minutes, then walk for a minute or more, and build up as your body allows.

Folks 50+ who ensure fitness is part of their lives are also far less at risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease, as well other forms of dementia. Getting out into the sunshine as often as possible is important too, so if you’re joining a gym or taking a class indoors, be sure to include mother nature somewhere in your schedule and soak up that vitamin D.

Remember – overall fitness requires an integrated approach – diet, lifestyle habits, and exercise all play a vital part. Staying fit will help you look your best, feel your best, and live a longer, healthier life.

To your good health!

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