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How to stay active and healthy in retirement

General Interest

Making the most out of your retirement means staying healthy, active, and happy. This article helps identify some of the key areas you may want to focus on in order to make the most out of your retirement years.

The Benefits of Staying Active

Use it or lose it, as the saying goes. If you don’t maintain your fitness, you can slowly lose mobility over time. It can creep up on you, so it’s important to constantly work to keep your body in good condition. 

With increased physical mobility comes a wide range of health benefits. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, type II diabetes, depression, and rheumatism are all linked to a less active lifestyle. By keeping your body fit, you can help prevent illnesses which might impair your ability to do the things you love. 

Types of Physical Activities

For most seniors, the goal of exercise isn’t to win a marathon or look good in a bikini, it's to keep their body healthy. Here are a few key areas to consider:


If you want to enter a bodybuilding contest at 70, do it! But you don’t need to be a bodybuilder to benefit from increased muscle mass, as even activities like shopping and cooking are easier when you have more strength. 


One of the most frustrating issues seniors can face is the increased risk of injury from falling. That’s why it’s important to do activities such as balance board workouts, gentle yoga, and other low impact balance exercises.

Cardiovascular Exercise (Cardio)

Keeping the heart healthy is a growing concern for many seniors. Cardio is exercise which exercises your heart but doesn’t work your muscles too hard. Swimming, Pilates, and walking are all great ways to keep your heart healthy. 

The Importance of Good Nutrition

As we age, our bodies become less efficient at absorbing nutrients from food. This makes it more important than ever to eat a healthy, nutrient rich diet. Diets high in fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, olive oil, and leafy greens are associated with longer, healthier lives. 

For some people, it can be a little difficult to keep weight on if your appetite or sense of taste decreases. Talk to your doctor about maintaining healthy nutrient levels, and don’t be afraid to treat yourself.

Mental Health

It turns out, “taking a concrete pill” and ignoring feelings of loneliness, sadness, or plain boredom isn’t actually very good for you. Monitoring and caring for your emotional state is just as important as looking after your body. You deserve to be happy!

Exercise and company are two ways to keep yourself in a good state of mind. Group crafts, sport, and movie nights are all great for keeping the mood up and the mind healthy. It’s also good to have a project to work on such as crochet, restoring a car, or gardening. 

If you do find yourself feeling listless, talk to your doctor. It could be a warning sign of other health issues and early treatment is best. 

Tips for Staying Active and Healthy

Find a fitness buddy

Taking a daily walk is much easier if you have someone to do it with, and just taking a walk is better with a friend. If occasionally neither of you feel like doing your exercise, taking a sneaky trip to the cafe together is good for your mental health too. 

Join a group

It’s easy to say “find a friend”, but for some people, it can be a challenge getting started. If you live in a community like our Fendalton retirement village, you’ll find there are often a variety of group activities available. Even if you’re not skilled at the group topic, clubs are a great way to meet new people. 

If you live by yourself or your retirement home doesn’t offer group activities, it’s worth asking at your local library if there are any community groups which meet regularly. The internet is a useful place to find out what the community is doing, and librarians are usually available to help you with the library computers if required. 

See your doctor

Regular checkups with your doctor are important, even if you’re fit and healthy. When your doctor knows what your body is like when it’s healthy, it’s easier to see developing health problems before they become an issue. 

Depending on your health, you might want to have a checkup anywhere from once a month, to once every six months. Senior communities such as our retirement home in Christchurch make it easy to keep up to date with your checkups by having on-site care available. 

The Short Version 

When it comes down to it, we all want the freedom to do the things we love. Stay active, eat healthily, keep good company, and see your doctor regularly. These all help both your mind and body stay sharp, so you can keep enjoying your retirement.


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