OK, so you might not be a student anymore and if you’re approaching retirement age, you have more reason than most to stay fit. Apart from anything else, you should be looking forward to having much more time on your hands, so what better opportunity to start some positive ways of spending all that free time?
By engaging in some regular physical activity, you can boost not only how you look and feel physically, but also your sense of wellbeing. There are so many wonderful benefits to finally being able to reduce your working hours, but all the extra time and lack of routine can also become a burden. So be sure to give yourself plenty of fun ways to pass the time, keep yourself healthy, and looking forward to many active years ahead. Plus, you may end up looking like a teenager again!
See our ideas on getting fit for the over-60s here:
1. Take a dip
One of the issues that many of us have to unfortunately confront as we get older is that as much as the heart is willing, there remains some stiff resistance elsewhere in the body. If you’ve neglected doing any physical activity for an extended period of time, you’ll probably have some stiff joints. Perhaps you suffer from arthritis and this puts you off enjoying exercise that you would otherwise absolutely love. It may also be the case that when you do do exercise, you find that specific areas quickly become sore and then you can’t go out again until the following week.
Well swimming is a brilliant way to combat the resistance. The water at your local swimming pool is warm and supportive. No need to deal with all the thuds and knocks of a jog or walk – swimming is as gentle an exercise as you wish it to be. Find your local swimming pool and take full advantage of all those empty swimming lanes in the mornings and afternoons and you’ll soon find that you are stronger and more agile than you have been in years!
2. Get on yer bike
Is there any better way to engage with your local environment than to get peddling? Whether it’s a few laps around your local park, an inner-city off-piste tour, or an afternoon out in the countryside, there are few more beneficial ways of staying fit and slapping a big healthy grin across your face. Better still, it’s a fantastic way to socialise, too. There’s plenty of information by hobbyist cyclers on places to go and things to do while on your bike, so check out some nearby spots, perhaps even pack a (light) picnic, and hop on your bike for one of the very best, most accessible and pleasurable ways to keep active.
3. Step it up
Walking is something that we should all do more of. They say that 10,000 steps a day is the minimal ideal amount, but let’s not worry about the numbers for now. What’s more important is that you simply recognise that instead of taking the lift, you can take the stairs. Instead of jumping in your car to pop up the road, you can put on your walking shoes. Instead of spending the afternoon indoors, you can head out and take a leisurely stroll for a couple of hours. Regular walking, especially out of town, will get fresh air into your lungs, kick into action some much-needed circulation, and have you gently exercising your whole body – great for stiff necks and backs, superb for creaky ankles and out-of-use joints.
Exercise is about more than looking good. By taking the time to partake in regular sport, or simply regular walks or bicycle rides, you can start feeling stronger and brighter than ever before!