Without a work schedule, surprisingly your days in retirement can get away from you, making it hard to stay on track with your goals. At its worst, it can even lead to rapid deterioration of health and fitness, making the simplest tasks like basic physical mobility become more difficult.
In this article, we explore a few handy tips to help you feel motivated and inspired during retirement. This is not a substitute for a professional health management plan that is something you should establish with your GP or healthcare team.
- Set clear goals
Saying you want to ‘be fitter’ or ‘eat healthier’ isn’t a measurable, actionable goal as it’s too vague. Making your goals objective is the key to achieving them.
Instead of “I want to be fitter”, try:
“I want to be able to walk up three flights of stairs at the golf club without stopping for a rest by April 30th.”
This goal is measurable and has a deadline, which makes it more likely you will achieve it. You can do it.
- Use a digital Calendar App on your smartphone
The biggest excuse for skipping healthy activities and exercise is that you’re too busy. Luckily in retirement, this excuse doesn’t work anymore.
When you’re retired, schedule your exercise workouts and healthy pursuits. If you want to go to the gym twice a week, schedule it into your digital calendar App. If you’re going to go for a walk three times a week, add each walking session to your calendar too. This tip doesn’t only apply to exercise; why not add something like visiting a farmer’s market to your calendar? You’ll get fresh fruit and vegetables to help you eat better, plus it’s a fun activity to do with a friend.
Research shows you’re more likely to stick to your wellness activities if you mark them in your diary. Plus, the best thing about most digital Calendar Apps is they can work across devices to send you a reminder to your smartphone or tablet just before the activity begins.
- Join a team
Letting people down by not showing up for a game is ample motivation to turn up for your fitness activity. Whether you play doubles tennis, you’re part of a bowling team, or you love Bridge, by joining a team with other people, you’re more likely to show up and stay active.
Your days in retirement can melt into each other if you’re not careful, leaving you less healthy and fit. Not only can it feel awful, for example getting out of breath easily, activities you love like gardening and playing with your grandchildren can become a struggle.
Instead of letting this transition happen, develop a health management plan and try the tips above to stay healthy and well in retirement.
Written by Caitlin R.
As a physiotherapist and personal trainer, Caitlin is passionate about health and fitness.
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.