Anti aging guide

Regaining Physical Fitness and Maintaining It During Retirement



Why is it necessary to maintain your physical fitness or regaining it during retirement

Fitness is a luxury for the young but an essential for the old! The fitter you are, the less likely you are to become ill and the more likely to make a quick and full recovery should your health break down. It is the elderly who are the most likely to suffer from illness in developed countries – and those illnesses are more likely to be due to degenerative changes in our bodies. Therefore invest in time and effort to become and stay fit as you get older. Pay attention to both physical and mental fitness – to ignore either is to invite disaster.

Physical fitness can be regained and maintained during retirement. Muscles waste due to lack of use during a sedentary life – but they do not disappear and they can be redeveloped. How you do this hardly matters – but it is essential that you choose an activity which you enjoy and which gives you pleasure. This self-gratification is important because you will have to persist with your activity on a regular basis – year in and year out. If the activity you choose bores you, you are more likely to give it up. It is not essential to participate in macho and dangerous sports to ensure fitness (but please do so if they appeal to you). Activities such as walking the dog, ballroom-dancing, or cultivating an allotment or garden will all suffice if done regularly and with enthusiasm.

If you are attracted to more vigorous activities, do not be put off by inappropriate attitudes. For example, do not refrain from swimming because you look different in swimming gear to how you looked at 18 years of age. Do not assume that everybody else learned to swim as a child – there are adult classes.

Exercising during retirement

People often assume that taking up exercise in later life will be dangerous. However, that is only the case if you tackle the problem unwisely. Training is needed for any new activity, so start gently and gradually work up to your peak. Whether it takes you weeks, months, or years does not matter so long as you practice regularly and enjoy yourself. Remember that exertion causes even the young to sweat, get breathless, and have palpitations. Only worry if you get these problems earlier or more severely than your contemporaries. Comparisons with the latter are easier if you share exertion with others; for example, in team or group activities. If you are in doubt about your ability to take up or continue a physical activity, then consult your general practitioner.

Mental Exercise

Mental exercise must not be forgotten – brains may behave like muscles as we grow old, so use it or lose it! You should therefore plan to take up new mental activities in order to develop as well as to maintain your mind. The nature of the subject does not matter – so long as it gives you pleasure. You may wish to learn, re-learn, or improve a foreign language to assist your travel plans or reading. You may join a drama group and participate in amateur productions. You may learn a new subject.

Adult Education

There should be no real problems with access to adult education. If you live centrally in a well-populated area, you should be within easy reach of classes provided by your local education authority, Workers Education Association, University of the Third Age, or other groups and clubs. Even if you live in an isolated area or are restricted in your mobility, you should not be cut off from learning experiences. Distance teaching techniques as developed by the Open University will enable you to participate. The fact that university programs are screened late at night is not a deterrent as you can always record the programs on video and view them at a more convenient time.

Always remember that you are never to old to learn. Using your mind may be the best method of keeping it agile and nimble and may offer some protection from dementia.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - March 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm