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Keeping Fit in Retirement

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Keeping Fit In Retirement Staying Active

Maintaining an active physical lifestyle in addition to eating a nutritious balanced diet is something which we are all encouraged to do and this tends to become even more important the older we get. As we reach retirement age and enter our later years regular exercise keeps our body in good shape and our minds active.

Why is it Necessary to Take Regular Exercise After I Retire?

Many retirees are often grateful to be out of the routine which encompasses the world of work. So much so that they neglect to have any kind of routine once they retire and often find themselves stuck in front of the TV, slumped in a chair reading a book or newspaper or, at best, pottering about in the garden.

However, the danger is that if you don’t do anything to introduce more exercise into your weekly routine, you’re far more at risk of suffering from obesity, diabetes and heart disease and an almost purely sedentary lifestyle can lead to things like high blood pressure, osteoporosis and colon cancer and can also bring on symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Do I Need to Follow an Exercise Regime?

It’s not necessary to be regimented in your approach to keeping fit when you’re older but you should try to build some exercise into your routine for, perhaps, half an hour a day on 3 or 4 days each week. However, once you retire it’s also important to know your limitations as it can be just as damaging if you overdo things or undertake sports activities which you aren’t physically fit for as it is to do no exercise at all. Injuries also take longer to recover from when you’re older. However, in general, whether it’s gentle aerobics or a ‘full-on’ intense game of tennis, regular exercise is very beneficial for your overall health, even when you’re older.

What Constitutes the Right Form of Exercise?

That will all depend on the kinds of activities you prefer and also the general state of your health. Some elderly people are, for example, still playing tennis and other intense stamina sapping sports well into their 70s and even beyond but the general rule of thumb is that the exercise you choose should benefit your heart and lungs. Medical experts suggest around 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three times per week which raises your pulse rate and gets you breathing faster is appropriate. So, to all of you gardeners out there, whilst tending your garden can be a great way to spend your free time, it doesn’t really constitute exercise as such, unless you’re involved with intense digging or chopping down trees on a regular basis.

Swimming, a gym workout, jogging, cycling and even walking, as long as it’s brisk and gets your heart beating faster, are all ideal forms of exercise but, if you haven’t undertaken any exercise for quite some time and/or you’re unsure as to your overall fitness and general health, you should discuss matters with your GP firstly who will be able to advise you of what kinds of exercise you should and shouldn’t do.

Even if you haven’t taken exercise seriously before, it’s never too late to start providing you’re in reasonable shape. You’ll often find that, contrary to your belief that you’ll be worn out, your energy levels will increase as a result and it will give you a new lease of life, once you’ve been exercising regularly for a few weeks.

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