Guest blog: Active Living in Retirement


Guest Blog Julie Parry JonesIn her latest guest blog for Investment Sense, Retirement Transition Coach, Julie Parry-Jones, gives some great tips on how to deal with the dramatic lifestyle changes all retirees go through.

Transition into retirement can be stressful, even if retirement is a happy and welcome change from working. Major life changes happen when you wind down your working career and begin your retirement years.

Retirement is a major life change and is not to be under taken lightly. Although retirement itself, as a life event, may not increase your health risks, you may face higher health risks as you enter retirement as you take your foot off the work pedal..

Active Living in Retirement

Regular physical activity brings health benefits, including mental health benefits. Physical activity also improves functional abilities we need for daily living.

Doctors often recommend or prescribe physical activity as a treatment for depression, because it improves mood and can create more energy.

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Regular physical activity reduces your chances of getting heart disease and certain cancers, plus it helps reduce the effects of osteoarthritis.

Active elders have better balance, agility and strength, and are less prone to falling. They can even increase muscle and bone strength through using major muscle groups just three times per week.

In fact, as they get older, many people feel healthier and enjoy life more than ever!

Choosing Physical Activities

In the years before you retire, it’s a good idea to develop a routine of regular physical activity that will carry on into retirement.

When you retire, you may lose or change some of your daily routines from your working years. This change can be a challenge; one of the best ways to adapt to retired life is to follow fresh routines that include physical activity.

Here are some tips:

  • Find activities you love to do. They can be things you have done for years, such as walking or swimming – or something new and different like tai chi or yoga. Think of things you can do no matter what the weather or change activities to suit the season!
  • Look for a partner or a group of friends who enjoy similar activities. This can help motivate you and add to your social activity!
  • Retirement is a great opportunity to avoid busy times on the golf course the gym or at the local swimming pool. Take advantage of available times while others are working!
  • If possible be active with your children and grandchildren, such as walking, camping, outdoor excursions, horse riding, fishing or cycling. Don’t be an outsider, connect with your family and get involved with their lives whenever possible
  • Aim for at least 5×30 minutes of physical activity each week, this way you’ll know you are gaining some serious health benefits

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is a key strategy for healthy ageing. It is also an important factor in handling stressful times in our lives, such as the transition to retirement.

Here are some tips and approaches to healthy eating:

  • Healthy eating on a reduced income after retirement is a common challenge for retirees; you may have to plan carefully to buy foods that fit your budget
  • If on a tight budget plan to eat at home more often; it will be less expensive than going out for lots of meals
  • Save money and protect your health by avoiding certain foods that are not only expensive, but less healthy, such as pre-packaged convenience meals
  • In retirement you can plan time to shop more carefully, use different stores for healthy, fresh foods; another great benefit of not working !
  • Prepare home-cooked meals as often as possible; invite friends round to try out new recipes!
  • Access healthy eating information via the Internet; it’s never been easier to get healthy recipes! If you don’t own a computer, use public computers at your local library
  • Increase portions of fruit and vegetables and try hard to reduce your sugar intake!

Get Social!

In retirement it is very important to have a strong “social community” Many people don’t, some can rely solely on their spouse “oh, we do everything together, we don’t need anyone else” it’s great to have such a close relationship! But you may need to consider what might happen if one spouse was taken seriously ill or even die?

Your own social community may include lots of different contacts, family members, neighbours, and friends, colleagues from work, club members, and faith sharers. All of your “friends and networks” are “like gold” and keeping in regular touch with all of them is a vital part of experiencing a good retirement.

Always be open to making new friends after you retire. One way to meet new friends and develop new interests is through volunteering. Think about contacting an organization, school or group you admire and find out if you can help out in some way after you retire. We all have so much to offer!

Other ways to meet people after you retire are through taking a course, learning a new skill, joining a club, or becoming involved in politics or advocacy.

Retiring from the “world of work” is a major life transition, which is often underestimated! Planning for life after retirement is so important; it can help ease the stress that comes with so many lifestyle changes.

Eating well, getting social and staying physically active will help make your retirement years healthy and happy.

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