Get healthy – and stay healthy! – with these fun ideas
While studies have shown that leaving the workforce can actually be good for you, of course it’s still very important to keep fit by getting enough gentle exercise on a regular basis.
That’s because as you age, your body will naturally begin to lose muscle and bone mass; which can cause back pain, osteoporosis, or osteoarthritis. But by getting regular exercise you can slow down this process, while improving your balance and mobility, and reducing muscle and joint pain.
Keeping reasonably fit in retirement can also lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk of heart disease or heart attack, control diabetes, and of course help you maintain a healthy weight.
You don’t even have to exercise long and hard to get the benefits! Just half an hour of moderate physical activity (such as a brisk walk) each day will provide you with most of the health benefits.
The key to making exercise enjoyable is to find something you actually like to do, rather than something you’ll do anything to avoid!
To help you with this goal, the Kensington Gardens team spoke to some of our current retirement estate residents. We asked them for their thoughts on their most enjoyable ways to get some regular moderate exercise – and how the Kensington Gardens environment is ideal for staying fit and healthy in retirement.
1) Get out for a walk
Here’s an activity that just about anyone can partake in and enjoy! Walking is easy, you can enjoy it with friends (or your dog) – and it can even save you money on petrol and car maintenance.
It’s easy to incorporate a little extra walking into your weekly routine. Try parking a little further away from the shops; or if you catch public transport, hop off a stop or two early and take shanks’ pony from there.
Walking regularly is a great way to explore your community and get to know your neighbours. And with so many places to visit and explore in Albury and Shepparton, taking a gentle stroll is one of the most enjoyable exercise you can find.
2) Exercise at home
If you’d prefer to get active in the privacy of your own home (or if the weather’s less than ideal), why not invest in an exercise bike or walking treadmill? This will let you keep your body moving while you watch Netflix or TV, listen to music, or even read a book.
Just remember not to let your new equipment rust away in the corner... make a commitment to use it regularly!
3) Try keeping up with the grandkids!
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding ways to stay active is to get out and about with your grandchildren.
Visiting the local park, throwing the Frisbee, playing ‘chasey’ (at an age-appropriate pace!), or pushing the grandkids on the swing are all wonderful ways to get your heart rate up and reinforce your connection with family. Even pushing the pram around the park for a while will help give mum a break and improve your health.
4) Take up yoga or Tai Chi
Imagine if there was a way to relieve stress; improve your balance and flexibility; help you become more mobile; and relieve pain – all at the same time! In fact, that’s exactly what Tai Chi and yoga can offer you.
Both these activities are popular with seniors, so keep an eye out for classes specifically for retirees at your retirement estate, the local community centre, or seniors’ groups.
5) Try water aerobics
As we get older, exercising in water can be a low-impact, very enjoyable way to build stamina, burn body fat, and improve your strength and flexibility. It’s a great all-round workout that’s also gentle on your body.
If you’re having difficulties with circulation, or you need to rehabilitate muscle or joint damage, water aerobics is ideal. What’s more, it’s a fun and social exercise that’s great to do with a group of friends!
6) Give lawn bowls a go
Perennial retiree favourite lawn bowls is popular for very good reasons. It’s an enjoyable, social sport that can help improve your balance, flexibility, coordination and memory – and a great way to get out in the fresh air while you keep active.
7) Discover the benefits of stretching
Another easy and very beneficial exercise is moderate stretching. Try and get into the habit of doing some gentle stretches first thing in the morning when you get up. Your muscles will be warmed up ready to get stuck into your day, and with every stretch your flexibility will improve.
Stretching isn’t just a “once a day” activity either. You can do stretches throughout your day, such as a little neck roll when queuing at the bank, some knee lifts in the park, and some toe touches... well, maybe you’d better save them for when you’re at home!
8) Socialise on-the-go
One way to ‘incentivise’ your regular exercise is to associate it with social visits from your friends and neighbours.
For example, if you’ve invited a friend over for morning tea, why not begin the visit with a gentle stroll around the neighbourhood first? Show them the highlights of where you live such as the local parks or gardens, or take them on a short bush walk.
You could also set up a regular ‘walk and talk’ catch-up with your neighbours, where you share all the community news first and then head home to relax afterwards. That way, you’ve already burnt off some calories before tea and biscuits!
9) Try burning up the dance floor
Whether you enjoy ballroom, tap or salsa, dancing is a fantastic way to get your body moving and have a great time doing it!
You’re sure to find dance classes available in your area in a multitude of different styles. Beginners are usually most welcome, and many have classes dedicated to seniors.
So get out there and re-visit a dance style you learned in your youth – or try something new! You’ll be up and “stayin’ alive” before you know it.
Find out why Kensington Gardens is the ideal place to keep your body moving
The secret to making sure you get regular exercise is to choose activities you look forward to and will want to do. The great news is that any time you spend moving your body is time that will add to your health, vitality and emotional wellbeing, so you can continue to enjoy an independent lifestyle in retirement.
With so many facilities available to residents – and an active and welcoming social scene – Kensington Gardens offers you the perfect retirement lifestyle to stay active and healthy.
We invite you to come and see it for yourself. To arrange your personal tour, call Kensington Gardens today or get in touch online to book a time to come in and visit us.