Staying Fit After 55: Don’t Be a Couch-Potato

by Mary on May 16th, 2017

The stereotypical vision of a retiree sitting in the plush recliner, vegging out in front of the television is not only unhealthy, it’s inaccurate. More and more folks at retirement age are getting their heart rates up and getting staying fit.

Ideas for Staying Fit

It’s obvious that exercise and eating right is important at any age, but it becomes essential when you retire. Since you’re naturally doing less, danger of inaction lurks under the surface. Everyone enjoys a good nap on the couch once-in-a-while, but it should be just that: once-in-a-while. It’s important to keep a balance between flaking out and flexing your muscles.

For some, the gym and its many extras are the secret to staying healthy. In most 55+ communities, gyms and fitness classes are offered as amenities. Take advantage of these! Hire a personal trainer (most of them offer the first session for free) and let them help you nail down a fitness regimen that is best for your specific body type and age, taking your general health and any special conditions into consideration. Group fitness classes are always a great alternative to going alone in the jungle of gym machines. Take a dance-based class or move down to the pool area for swim aerobics. The sky (or sea, as it were) is the limit when it comes to methods of exercise.

If you don’t have access to a gym in your community, or simply prefer alternative ways to get moving, there’s always the great outdoors. Golf, tennis, squash and shuffleboard are just some of the outdoor activities offered at 55+ communities. Many locations offer a wonderful network of walking and hiking trails for the more adventurous. Take a pet, grab a friend, or simply enjoy the relaxing solitude of nature – exercise has never been this fun.

Let’s slow it down for a minute – moving and shaking isn’t the only way to get your muscles working. Relaxing fitness activities have long been a staple of communities for 55 and better. Yoga, Tai chi, and chair exercises are low-impact, highly modifiable fitness options that offer the added bonus of stress relief. You don’t have to sweat profusely or wear yourself out to be fit. Just get up and get moving!

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