Are you coming up to retirement? Unsure what you might do with all your extra time? Or maybe you are already retired and noticing yourself using the classic ‘I’m just getting old’ excuse?
Muscle atrophy (decreased muscle size and strength) and decreasing bone density are common aspects of the human aging process, however research shows that this can be significantly reduced with regular activity and movement!
Need some ideas on how to keep active, healthy and revitalise yourself to make the most of your retirement? Then read on!
- Walking; gets you outside in the fresh air, loads your bones and muscles, is low intensity and low to moderate impact on your joints. Walking on various surfaces like grass, dirt and concrete help to vary the loads and increase shock absorption through your ankles, knees and hips. You can go out for a walk with a family member, group of friends, dog or for some piece, quiet and you time head out by yourself! Also, its FREE!
- Gardening; getting outside has so many benefits for the mind, body and soul! There are often many projects in the back yard that get put off when we are busy working, so now you’ve got some time, get digging! Plant that vege garden you’ve always wanted to have time to do, put in a flower bed, or simply mowing the lawn and weeding are all great forms of physical activity! Gardening is great for working out your arms, legs and trunk muscles. However, make sure you bend those knees! We don’t need another sore back!
- Hobbies; these are so important for lifestyle, keeping in touch with friends and doing something you enjoy! It can be a bit of an adjustment going from working full-time to retired living, so pick up a new hobby or two! Spend some time figuring out what YOU enjoy doing and go do it! This is also a great way to learn some new skills! For example; wood working, car restoration, fishing, bowls, golf, dancing, painting. There are endless options and many hours in a day, try and do something that involves some activity and standing!
- Grandchildren; if you have grandchildren then they are an excellent reason to stay active! Not only are they at their most active they are great motivator for you to keep up!
- Exercise groups/classes; Check out your local health centres, gyms, community halls and see what kind of group classes are being run that you could join! It is a great way to do exercise while having fun and socialising! There are so many options out there depending on what your interests are! For example, at Embrace Life we have Yoga classes run several days during the week!
The common saying of “if you don’t use it you lose it” is very true! So, get on using that body of yours!
A few tips on how to stay healthy and injury free while being active:
- If you are going out to try a new hobby, sport or exercise class, remember to WARM-UP before and STRETCH after!
- If you suffer from any aches, pains or stiffness it is advisable to seek professional advice before commencing any new physical activity. Book in to see a Physiotherapist at Embrace Life today to help you get on your way!
- Start of slowly, remembering that if you have not done any exercise/physical activity in a while your body will need some time to adapt and build its strength up! It is normal to experience some soreness afterwards for 1-2 days, this is called DOMS (Delayed onset of muscle soreness). Keeping your body moving while going through this is important, stretching, magnesium, heat and plenty of fluids can also
- Motion is Lotion; despite having aches and pains movement will help! It’s all about finding out what kind of movement and activity is best for you! Again, this is where a Physiotherapist can really help you to find what will work best!
Nicole Hitchman (BPhty, APAM, SEPA) Physiotherapist
Cartee, G. D., Hepple, R. T., Bamman, M. M., & Zierath, J. R. (2016). Exercise promotes healthy aging of skeletal muscle. Cell metabolism, 23(6), 1034-1047.
Zampieri, S., Mammucari, C., Romanello, V., Barberi, L., Pietrangelo, L., Fusella, A., … & Sarabon, N. (2016). Physical exercise in aging human skeletal muscle increases mitochondrial calcium uniporter expression levels and affects mitochondria dynamics. Physiological reports, 4(24).