5 Reasons to exercise regularly if you're retired
Many people who are age 65 and over spend 10+ hours sitting or lying down every day. However, as we get older it becomes even more important to remain active. Without regular exercise, doing things we took for granted in our younger years may progressively become more difficult.
Maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be all about vigorous exercise though. Walking, swimming, dancing and even chair exercise are all viable ways to keep fit and enjoy the benefits. Here are 5 benefits of exercising in your golden years.
Regular aerobic and anaerobic exercise keeps you alive for longer. These forms of exercise involve getting the heart beating faster and limbs moving. They reduce the risk of developing various cancers, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and many other medical issues. There is growing evidence that it can help prevent dementia in older people too. Exercise also improves mobility and it’ll help keep an older person maintain their independence for longer.
Regular exercise releases endorphins. This is the human body’s natural happy chemical. It helps you stay smiling, positive and ready to seize the day. Unsurprisingly, this feel good factor also helps you stay motivated to pursue the things you’re passionate about.
Speaking of which…
Being healthy gives you extra energy throughout the day. You’ve retired now. You worked hard for years and you owe it to yourself to do the things you love at this stage of your life. Staying fit and active will make most activities more enjoyable whether it’s playing with the grandkids or enjoying lifelong and new hobbies. Without that extra energy from exercise, these things might get more difficult as you age.
People can become lonely for a number of reasons and at present, there is an epidemic of chronic loneliness amongst the aged community in Northern Ireland. According to Age NI, loneliness can be as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. However, exercising can help combat loneliness by becoming a social event. There are many activity groups across NI that range from walking clubs to bowling clubs. Many fitness centres and leisure centres have older members with similar lived experiences and a workout or swim can quickly become a social activity that’s looked forward to all week. As the kids say, #FitFam!
You’re entitled to free or reduced cost facilities
Many leisure facilities, both private and council run, offer discounted rates or altogether free use of gyms, swimming pools and saunas. There are also many free or reduced cost events in local communities across NI run by a variety of charities and non-profit organisations. Chances are, there’s some out there tailored to your specific needs.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you want to get more active here is a list of local organisations that can help you take the first steps.
Sport NI is a great resource to find out what is available to you.
Age NI have a selection of exercise DVDs available.
Your local council can advise on leisure centre senior rates.
The Belfast Trust works with local communities to promote physical activity.
Disability Sport NI can help if you are old and have a recent disability.
Do you know of any great resources for older people wishing to get active that are not on our list above? Let us know by email, email@example.com.