Keeping fit in retirement is likely to ensure you can enjoy your time as you move into the third stage of your life rather than being uncomfortable.
According to the Office For National Statistics, a male aged 60 has an average life expectancy of 87 years and a 25% chance of reaching age 94. For a woman aged 60, it’s 92 years and a 25% chance of reaching 94.
So if you were to retire at age 60, or there abouts, you could be taking a 25-35 year retirement.
Wouldn’t you like to enjoy those years being active and well rather than suffering from different medical conditions that reduce your quality of life?
Keeping fit in retirement can prevent severe illness
For men aged 65-79 the leading cause of death is heart disease. For women aged 65-79 it’s lung cancer. Both diseases are largely preventable by keeping fit in retirement.
NHS guidelines for older adults wanting to ensure they are keeping fit in retirement states:
- Be active every day.
- Do 150 minutes moderate or 75 minutes vigorous exercise every week.
- Do some form of strength, balance and flexibility exercises at least 2 days a week.
I didn’t realise how important strength training was in exercise. I thought it was mainly for people who wanted to build bigger muscles in the gym! But actually strength training can help keep your muscles strong, maintain your balance so you can avoid trips and falls as you get older.
Ways to be keeping fit in retirement
Ultimately, in order to be keeping fit in retirement it is so much better if you enjoy the exercise you do. You are then far likely to stick at it. So don’t waste time trying to run or swim or do something else that you don’t enjoy. There are plenty of other options.
Here are some tips to help increase your chances of keeping fit in retirement.
- Get a medical check first – If you are not used to exercise or have recently suffered from a medical condition it’s best to speak to your Doctor about what sort of exercise you can and can’t do. There is always likely to be something regardless of how poorly you have been.
- Repetition/Habit/Routine – Repetition creates habit. It takes around 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic. So find something you enjoy doing, stick with it and after a short while it won’t take any effort to find the motivation to do it.
- Get a pet – Animals can be a great way to stay active. A recent study found that dog owners are four times more likely to meet today’s physical activity guidelines. Most dog walkers walk around 300 minutes each week!
- Use technology – For the tech and data geeks out there, wearing devices that track your steps and heart rate etc can be a great way to analyse your exercise. It can also make it fun to try and beat challenges you or the fitness app set yourself.
- Diet – You can’t outrun a bad diet. Eating healthy is just as important as exercise.
Whilst physical activity is essential in keeping fit in retirement, don’t forget your mental health. This needs exercising too!
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is still a big killer for those in retirement. So if you have yet to retire, as well as a physical exercise plan, you should also consider a mental exercise plan. Include things like:
- Part time work including potential small consulting contracts that allow you to sell and pass on your skills and knowledge you have built up over the years.
- Charity work.
- Writing, whether it’s just for fun or for publishing on various web pages. There are always reporters and bloggers out there looking for stories. We would love to include articles from our clients!
- Socialising. This is massive for mental health. Keep in touch with work colleagues (if you like them!) after you retire, make new friends and look at new hobbies that ensure you talk to people. All proven techniques to help your mental wellbeing and even prevent dementia.
This will be your first retirement, but for us, we have done it hundreds of times. So please get in touch for a no obligation, free 15-minute conversation so we can help you understand where you stand and what you need to do next.
Stock market linked investments and any income from them, can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. Any figures quoted are for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as a forecast or guarantee. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future returns and clients may get back less than they have invested.