Once retired, many once-active people fall prey to the lure of the couch. With newfound time on their hands and a new life stage before them, finding ways to occupy themselves can be challenging. Yet, making a point to stay active and engaged is important for retirees. In fact, retirement can increase people’s chance of developing chronic depression by about 40% and physical illness by about 60%. By stimulating your brain and moving your body, you can help overcome those statistics and enjoy a fruitful retirement.1
Here are some ways you can stay active in retirement and reasons the activities can help:
• Exercise regularly
Ongoing exercise is highly important as you age. In fact, research reveals that regular exercise—especially interval training—can help people reverse some of the aging effects that happen in our bodies’ mitochondria.2 And other research has found that moderate exercise as people age could potentially help increase the brain’s metabolism in areas related to learning and memory, which could reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s disease.3 To help retirees stay fit, the National Institute on Aging encourages people to focus on various exercises that promote endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.4 You can access their toolkit and more information on the importance of exercise on the NIA’s website.
• Volunteer in your community
For retirees who enjoy giving back, volunteering can be a great social outlet that also connects them to their community. And volunteering may do more than provide you with regular activity. According to a study by Senior Corps—a federal program that connects people 55 and older to volunteering opportunities—those that volunteer see significant improvements in their health. After just one year of service, 46% of active volunteers experienced better health and well-being and 63% reported that their feeling of isolation decreased.5
If you’re retired with extra time on your hands, consider engaging with local community centers, nonprofits, or other organizations. You may find that you have more energy and feel happier—all important elements of enjoying life in retirement.
• Start a small business
A trend is emerging among people who are 50 and older: They are starting businesses at higher rates than any other generation. As a result, they’re some of the most active entrepreneurs in the country. But most Baby Boomer business owners aren’t trying to replace corporate incomes or grow large companies. Instead, 80% of these small businesses are lifestyle driven and exist to help support retirement income and keep retirees engaged.6 Further, working longer isn’t just a way to fill your free time and have more income; it can also have helpful health benefits.
According to one study, people who continued to work past age 65 saw their chances of dying from any cause drop by 11%.7
Whether you want to work part- or full-time, have a lifestyle business or grow a franchise, choose the business vision that works best for you. Retirement is an opportunity to pursue lifelong dreams and enjoy new experiences in the ways that matter to you.
Overall, your unique financial goals and activity interests will help determine how to best spend your retirement. If you’d like to explore ways to stay active, we’re happy to help.
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