One of the greatest things about retiring is that you have lots of free time to do the things you've always wanted to do. Many retirees take advantage of their open schedules to commit themselves to becoming healthier. There's no better time than the present to start thinking about your physical health - after all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and a number of other health concerns that go hand-in-hand with aging. Working out can also improve joint health and make you stronger, which can help you prevent loss of mobility later on. Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine to get a strong understanding of where to start, and how quickly to advance. If you're looking for somewhere to start, here are five workouts that you can add to your schedule:
Weightlifting will help you build strength and muscle. It will also make it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight, since muscle burns more calories than fat. Even if you've never lifted weights before, you can still start now. However, it's a good idea to use light weights at the beginning and to have your form checked by a trainer. If you're lifting the wrong way, you could end up hurting yourself: Make sure you know what you're doing, and add weight at a conservative rate.
2. Walking and jogging
Walking and jogging are excellent exercise options because they don't require a gym membership or pricey equipment. Walking, in particular, is easy to do anywhere, any time of year - when it's warm out, you can walk around your neighbourhood or in a local park. If it's too cold to head outside, you can go to a local mall or public museum and walk around there. If you're comfortable picking up the pace and you can do so safely, you can start jogging as well. Build up your speed and distance slowly to avoid injury.
Swimming is the perfect activity for anyone with joint or mobility issues. The water holds up some of your body weight, which takes pressure off of your joints. If you want to swim solo, head to your local lap pool and swim with or without a kick board. If you'd rather workout with others, see if there are any water aerobics classes in your area. These are fun classes which give you the chance to follow the lead of an instructor and exercise with friends.
Yoga, like walking, doesn't require any equipment and can be done at home, at the gym, in a park - anywhere you have space to stretch! If you've never done yoga before, however, it's best to take at least a couple of yoga classes to make sure you're doing the poses correctly. The odds are good there will be some poses you can't do as a beginner. Your instructor will be able to tell you how to safely modify the poses to make them easier and help you progress to the full pose. You'll also be able to learn new poses, and build a relationship with other yogis.
If you're not a fan of workouts that are too exercise-y, consider taking a dance class. Not only will dancing give you the change to get your body moving and heart pumping, it's also a ton of fun! If you take a ballroom dance class, you'll be able to meet new people as you switch partners to learn new forms. Dance aerobics classes also give you the benefit of socialization and let you get in a fast-paced workout you can modify to your skill level. Pick a form of dance you've always admired to get the most out of this activity.