Post by Amol Kotkar
As you age, one of the most important keys to staying healthy is to keep active, both physically and mentally. Not only is it important to exercise your body to remain limber and strong but it is also critical that you keep your mind engaged and sharp. With a focus on maintaining harmony between body and mind, you can be better prepared to move into retirement and live a quality second act. If on the other hand you choose to do nothing to further your health you could find yourself deteriorating at a quicker pace and unable to enjoy the freedom you have worked so hard to experience.
Here are a few simple but effective ways to stay active and on top of your game:
Gardening is a great way to keep fit and gives you a fantastic sense of pride and responsibility as you grow your own plants and vegetables. While working in your garden, you’ll enjoy fresh air and sunshine. You are able to decide how physically involved you want to become perhaps leaving the heavy lifting to a friend or family member. Should you decide to grow vegetables, you have the added bonus of being able to eat them afterwards knowing exactly what has gone into their growth as far as pesticides and fertilizers. And you creatively engage your mind as you choose what to grow and construct the lay out for the perfect garden plan to fit your space and preferences.
For those who love keeping fit, swimming is an excellent choice. While allowing you keep active, it is far less impactful than other cardio activities such as running. Your knees and hips will be much happier as you cruise through the pool improving your stamina with every stroke. Swimming is also a good option if you have recently had surgery as it may well be a part of your rehabilitation. And you never know who you might meet poolside.
As well as keeping physically active, it’s also important to keep mentally sharp. This is particularly important for physically disabled people who may be limited in their abilities. Puzzles offer a challenge while holding out the tantalizing promise of satisfaction should you successfully complete the task at hand. The varieties are many including Sudoku and crosswords or you may want to try ‘physical’ puzzles, such as Rubik’s Cubes, which help with physical as well as mental dexterity. Games of chess or checkers that require strategizing and seeing multiple steps ahead are also excellent. Even the lowly tic-tac-toe can get your mental juices flowing should you be so inclined.
This one may sound a little obvious but just going for a walk can be a great way to keep active. Again the exercise is low-impact and just a 15 minute walk a day can work wonders. Take the time to wander your neighborhood and visit nearby attractions. Having a regularly scheduled walk time such as after dinner or first thing in the morning can help to stay on track. Many places have local parks and hiking trails for the more adventurous. Even just a trip down the local shops or restaurants to can assist in your efforts to keep joints and muscles loose yet strong. The key is to get out and get to it.
The thought of doing something like yoga might make your blood run cold, but it’s actually a fantastic way of keeping supple and flexible. And you don’t have to be able to bend your legs behind your head, either; there are some simple stretches that most people should be able to do. Take your time and don’t overdo it to avoid possible injury. Listen to the trained instructor who can guide you to assure you do the poses correctly for the most benefit. There are other types of exercise similar to yoga, such as Pilates, which may also be of interest and benefit.
All elderly people can keep active in some way or another. Retirement living should not mean an end to being physically or mentally active. Even those in retirement homes can still lead active lifestyles, and companies such as Extra Care can ensure you find a home that can help your retirement living stay active, no matter how old you are.