You might be wondering how do you stay fit after retirement. In this article, I’ll share 16 essential ways to stay fit after retirement.
Most people only think of sports activities to stay fit after retirement. Of course, sports are an easy way to stay fit. Luckily there are all kinds of sports you can do. However, there’s so much more you can do. I combined my research on staying fit and my knowledge about fun activities you can do to stay fit in this article. Ready to learn more? Let’s dig in and stay fit!
#1 Start With Exercise
Yes, it’s just that simple. It would be best if you started with weekly exercise so that you can stay fit after retirement. The easiest way to do this is by downloading the no.1 Fitness App Aaptiv.
Aaptiv is one of the most downloaded fitness applications in Apple’s Appstore. When you sign up for Aaptiv, you’ll get access to more than 1000 different audio and video workouts. They’re adding new workouts every week! Some of the categories you can choose are; Outdoor Running, Yoga, Strength Training, Total Body Training, etc.
It’s the perfect application if you want to start with an exercise to stay fit after retirement. You can choose a workout that you feel fits you the most or create a tailored made program to your fitness goals.
#2 Keep Learning New Things
Staying fit after retirement is not only related to physical activity. In general, being fit in general is a combination of different factors which we can scale under physical fitness and mental fitness.
When you focus on healthy aging and staying fit after retirement, you also need to focus on having a fit mind. Staying sharp is how many people refer to being mentally fit.
According to this article on Harvard Medical Publishing, you need to do different brain activities to keep your brain fit. When you do physical activity, you focus on muscle strength training and overall fitness to improve your health. The same goes for brain activity. To stay fit, you need to challenge your brain with new exercises. One of the best ways to do that is by learning new things.
Have you ever heard of the MasterClass platform? It’s an online course platform where you can follow video courses in all kinds of categories. The teachers of these courses happen to be the best and most famous people worldwide. I really love the MasterClass platform. I try to start a new course at least once a month.
Currently, there are over 100 courses available on MasterClass, and they’re adding new courses regularly. Some of the most popular courses on MasterClass are Serena Williams teaches Tennis, Stephen Curry teaches Basketball, Ron Finley Teaches Gardening, Kelly Wearstler teaches Interior Design, Jeff Koons teaches Art & Creativity.
#3 Monitor Your Health
If you want to stay fit after retirement, you also need to know how fit you currently are. It is, in general, a good idea to monitor your health. However, many health issues are age-related. Regarding this age factor, it is wise to monitor your health to stay fit after retirement.
One of the easiest and safe ways to measure your current fitness level is by doing a combo test via Life Extension. With the combo test, you’ll test the most important markers for healthy aging. You can find out your “true” age and become aware of potential areas for concern. Learn more about this test on Life Extension here.
#4 Work On Your Mental Fitness
When we talk about staying fit after retirement and staying fit in general, we often focus on physical fitness, which is very important, of course. Later in this article, I’ll share the guidelines of the CDC about physical activity. You’ll learn that physical activity is one of the most essential things you can do when it comes to healthy aging. However, we need to pay attention to our mental fitness as well.
Like we learned in “#2 Keep Learning New Things,” it’s important to do brain exercises so you can keep a ‘sharp mind.’ Mental Fitness is more than doing some brain exercises. The physical body and the mind are connected. Sometimes we forget that everything in our body interacts and is connected. We’re used to paying more attention to our physical fitness and often neglect our mental fitness. Both are equally important.
It’s important to find a form of exercise that helps you with your mental fitness. Meditation is perfect for this. There are many different ways to practice meditation. Most of them have the same purpose, to process feelings, emotions, and experiences. It’s just as simple as that.
Meditation helps you to find inner peace. To accept the things that are happening throughout the day, week, and in your life. When practicing meditation for a longer period, it’s getting part of your system and helps you get in your strength more and more. You can focus better on things that are truly important.
I’m practicing meditation, sometimes even several times a day. After I wake up, it helps me get a fresh mind and start the day with new energy. Before I go to sleep, at the end of the day, to process the day, which helps me fall asleep better.
If you want to learn more about meditation, a great way to start is by following the meditation course from Jon Kabat-Zinn on MasterClass. He teaches Mindfulness and Meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn is renowned for his knowledge about mindfulness and meditation and his work to connect mindfulness with western medical science. Learn more about this meditation course here.
#5 Have A Healthy Diet
So far, we covered exercise en mindfulness activity as essential factors to stay fit after retirement. But have you ever thought of your diet? It’s just as simple as eating fresh, healthy food, like different vegetables and fruit. According to this article on the CDC, 9 out of 10 Americans have an unhealthy diet! How they say it, and I quote, “Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.”
When you have a healthy diet, you decrease the risk of chronic diseases, like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and even certain types of cancer. So instead of eating fast food every day, you need to choose fresh food. It’s just that simple.
For me, a great inspiration to change to a healthy diet instead of the western standard (high in saturated fats and added sugars) was learning more about the lifestyle of people living in the blue zones. These are areas in the world with the highest number of centenarians, people living to 100 years or older, and often in a healthy way!
The lifestyle of these people is similar. They have an active lifestyle, even when they get older. They work but are low on stress factors. And they follow a healthy diet that contains a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes etcetera. Their diet is low on animal products. They almost don’t eat dairy products and meat. If you want to learn more about the Blue Zones, I recommend reading this book;
Another inspiring book is Superlife by Darin Olien. A must-read when you’re interested in changing to a healthy diet. Darin Olien explains five essential factors that help you improve your quality of life, and they’re all very easy to follow. Yes, nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness are three factors he explains thoroughly in his book. Get the Superlife book here.
GreenChef – Healthy Food Box Delivery
Changing your daily diet can be challenging. When you’re shopping for groceries, the temptation to buy unhealthy foods is big. Supermarkets know how to influence you so that you’ll buy more unhealthy foods. They focus on selling more to increase their profit. And let’s face it, a bag of potato chips or a bottle of Cola can be delicious!
If you want to change to a healthy diet, I recommend signing up for a food delivery box. GreenChef is perfect for that.
GreenChef is known as the #1 eating box for eating well. They offer a variety of meal delivery boxes for different kinds of diet programs, like only plant-based, keto diet, or simply vegetarian. You can choose a meal plan that fits you the most, and then it’s just sitting back and relax! Wait for the delivery, and you can cook fresh organic meals 3 or 4 times a week!
#6 Take Vitamin Supplements
So, we just learned that healthy eating is a major contributor to healthy living and staying fit after retirement. However, many people follow an unhealthy diet. Choosing a healthy option when it comes to eating is important, but it can be beneficial to take supplements as well. Vitamin supplements are never a full replacement for fresh, healthy food. Vitamin Supplements help to give your body a boost when you have a vitamin deficiency.
For example, many older adults have a vitamin B12 deficiency because they absorb less of this vitamin when it ages and because of unhealthy dietary choices. There is much research available about the risks of vitamin deficiency. For example, according to this article on Today’s Geriatric Medicine, long-term vitamin B12 deficiency is related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
So, time to take some supplements! I recommend signing up for Life Extension supplements. With Life Extension, you can test which supplements you lack to get the supplements you need. Get your supplements here.
#7 Keep Up With Social Contacts
Did you know that loneliness is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day?! So, of course, you already stopped smoking years ago! But better keep up with your social contacts as well. To stay fit after retirement, you must keep up with your social contacts.
There are many ways to keep up with your social contacts, like joining a sports club, attend activities in a community center or church, and many more. You can find some essential tips in my article How Do I Meet People After 60? | 20 Essential Tips.
When you’re looking to meet other people after retirement, one of the easiest ways is by signing up for Eharmony. A dating app that is specialized in matching the elderly. Eharmony is very popular among the elderly and retirees, mainly because it focuses not only on finding love but also on companionship.
#8 Start With Gardening
Staying active is essential to stay fit after retirement. You can, of course, start with different exercising programs. However, when you’re not keen on exercising but want to stay active, I recommend picking up gardening.
Gardening has many benefits, like stress reduction. It’s almost meditative. Also, when you’re busy gardening, you’re doing physical work. So you’ll train your body, and with gardening for, let’s say, three times a week, you’ll get to the minimum requirements of the CDC’s physical activity in no time!
Another benefit? Yes, there is! If you pick the right vegetables, herbs, etcetera, you can create your own healthy food! Gardening has it all. It helps you to stay physically and mentally fit and to make the right dietary choices.
If you want to improve your gardening skills, I recommend following the Gardening MasterClass of Ron Finley, known as the LA-based Urban Gardener.
#9 Go Outside Everyday
Do you love to go outside for a walk in the park or at the beach? Or maybe just in your garden. Being outside renews our energy. It’s a key element to stay fit after retirement.
According to Harvard Health Medical Publishing, being outside has many health benefits. It improves your Vitamin D levels, you’ll get more energy, and you’ll feel happier.
I love to be outside. When we’re traveling, we always try to stay close to nature as possible. When we’re not traveling, we try to go outside for a least two hours a day. Walking through the city park is one of our favorite things to do even when the weather isn’t that nice.
I recommend you do the same. Get up early, and go for a walk. And when it’s raining or cold? Just make sure to have the right hiking gear available so nothing can stop you!
#10 Start with Yoga
Many retirees feel that Yoga is something for younger people. However, it is an exercise that benefits both your physical and mental fitness. Yoga is the perfect combination of exercises that helps you to stay fit after retirement.
Practicing Yoga helps you with stability and flexibility. There are many different types of Yoga. It’s best to find a form of Yoga that you like doing, so it’s easy for you to do the exercises for a while.
A great way to test different Yoga exercises and training programs is by using the app Aaptiv. You can find different Yoga programs and try them all at your own pace.
#11 Start With Swimming
Swimming is one of the best exercises to stay fit after retirement. It’s a fun exercise and a great exercise to prevent injuries. One of the best benefits of swimming is that it improves your endurance.
You can go for a workout where you simply swim lanes and try to reach a longer distance every time you go. Or maybe you’re more of the aerobics lessons, and you can go for water aerobic in the swimming pool. It all depends on what you like most.
When looking for some help with finding a perfect swimming workout, I recommend using the fitness app Aaptiv.
#12 Set Goals
Having goals helps you to focus. It gives you energy. For some, it’s even the reason why they get up in the morning. Having a goal or goals is similar to having a purpose. It helps you stay fit in your mind, and to reach your goal, you often need to be active in some kind of way. Thus it benefits to staying fit after retirement.
A goal can be as simple as traveling the world with a backpack. As a retiree, you set your own goals, so you can decide what you like doing. A great way to set your goals in retirement is by creating a retirement bucket list. You’ll find the perfect bucket list inspiration to set goals and stay fit after retirement in my article 430 Ideas For Your Retirement Bucket List
#13 Do Daily Brain Exercise
Many retirees are afraid that they don’t use their brains as much as they were working. But why? There’s a lot you can do in retirement to keep up with your brain activity. It’s even essential for your memory and helps to keep your mind healthy. According to this article on Harvard Health Publishing, brain activities are beneficial to decline the risk of dementia. It’s not the only thing you can do, but still, when it helps and keeps you fit after retirement. Why not start playing chess, doing crossword puzzles, or learning new things like how magic works.
There’s a lot you can do. A great MasterClass course you can follow is Penn & Teller teaches the art of Magic. A fun learning experience!
#14 Do Something Fun Everyday
Laughing is good for health because it helps you relax. It reduces stress and gives you energy. And to be honest, it doesn’t have to be something serious all the time.
A quote we live by, Grow Old, Never Grow Up. We love doing the same things as when we were younger. We love to have fun with other people and just do fun things. Another famous saying is A Day Without Laughter, Is A Wasted Day. It says it all. Make sure to have fun!
#15 Limit Your Screen Time
We are all connected, almost 24/7. We touch our smartphones even more often than our spouses. Endless scrolling on the internet through your Facebook or Instagram timeline is exhausting. It just doesn’t give you energy. But it’s addictive as well. It’s the main reason why we deleted all the social media apps from our smartphones.
Limit your screen time. As a retiree, you probably remember how life was without having a smartphone. Less stress, right? It’s because every time you get a notification on your phone, it triggers a stress response in your brain, your cortisol (the stress hormone) levels rises. And having too much of this hormone is related to many health issues like you can read in this article on WebMD.
So, to avoid too much cortisol, switch off that phone. Don’t use the TV, your tablet, laptop. Limit your screen time. For example, when you’re gardening outside, don’t take your phone. Just be in the moment, enjoy your gardening. Those notifications on your phone will still be there when you’re getting back inside.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that phone screens, and screens in general, are related to sleeping disorders. As you can read in this article—blue light suppresses melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. Also, when having the phone constantly with you, you’re not able to relax. So for better health and a better sleep cycle, it’s best to put your phone away.
And if you want to do something before going to bed, read a book! For example, Superlife by Darin Olien. I recommended the book earlier in this article. It’s a great inspiration if you want to learn how to stay fit in general.
#16 Have Enough Sleep
Having enough sleep is one of the most important things we can do to stay fit. When I talk about sleep, I mean quality sleep. I feel it’s important to mention this because many people easily reach sleep hours between 6 – 8 hours a night. However, their sleep cycle is restless, which is as bad as sleeping less than 6 hours a night.
Some people need more, and some people need less than the average recommendation for minimum sleep hours. Either way, we all need high-quality sleep. According to this article on Harvard Medical Publishing, people who regularly get less than 6 hours of high-quality sleep have a higher risk of health issues, like Diabetes Type 2, Heart Disease, Cognitive Decline, and many other common issues. When combining this with restless sleep, things get even worse.
Dr. Manson, professor of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School, mentions in the article, “A lack of restful sleep also makes it more likely that a person will gain weight and have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It’s also been recently discovered that sleep is essential for avoiding or reducing the risk of cognitive decline.” You can read the full article here.
Tips For Quality Sleep
There’s a lot you can do to create more quality sleep for yourself. I mentioned many exercises and activities in this article that contribute in becoming more fit, and having less stress. Factors that are important to relax, and thus create high quality sleep. Start with Meditation, as I mentioned in tip #4, and limit your screen time, as mentioned in tip #15.
But there’s more you can do, here are two practical tips to create more high quality sleep.
Have A High Quality Mattress
We can do all the things we want, but when your mattress is of terrible quality, we’ll never find high-quality sleep. So treat yourself to a good night’s sleep with a high-quality mattress. One of the best-rated mattresses on the market is Puffy Mattress. Get yours here!
Avoid Snoring – Anti Snoring Mouthpiece
Snoring is, for many people, something that keeps them awake at night, or at least their spouses. When you have trouble with snoring, you might also have a restless sleep. So to avoid snoring, you can use the Anti Snoring Mouthpiece from VitalSleep. This mouthpiece helped over 400.000 people with their snoring problems so that they could get a restful night’s sleep.
#17 Create A Weekly Exercise Schedule
If you want to stay fit after retirement, you must create a weekly exercise schedule. When you plan your exercises throughout the week, it’s becoming part of your natural rhythm. And when something has become a natural thing to do, it’s much easier to keep up with the exercises, and thus easier to stay fit after retirement.
As a retiree, you might be struggling with finding a new daily rhythm or schedule. If you’re planning fixed moments in your week where you exercise helps you to create a new schedule in your retirement.
Suppose you plan exercise moments three times a week. On Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. You still need to know how long you need to block your schedule. The most important thing is that you do what feels right. However, when it comes to healthy aging and staying fit after retirement, you need to keep in mind a few minimum requirements.
Minimum Requirements For Physical Activity
According to the CDC, regular physical activity, thus exercise, is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to healthy aging. The CDC’s slogan for physical activity among older adults is; Move More and Sit Less.
The CDC’s minimum requirement for physical activity is at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and two times muscle strengthen training a week. You can spread out the exercises throughout the week.
This requirement is for people who are 65 years or older and generally fit, and no limiting health conditions.
When you do have a limiting health condition, always ask your doctor before applying the CDC’s advice about physical activity. You can find the complete CDC advice about physical activity for older adults here.