Retirees just want to have fun, too.
You now have the time to do what you always wanted to do. What was that again? Hiking the Appalachian Trail? Volunteering at the Humane Society? Working part-time at a ski resort? Mentoring a child?
With more seniors living longer and more active lives than ever before, how you choose to spend your retirement really is up to you. There are limitless ways to fill your days. Do what you want to do. A more active life means a better quality of life. And more fun. About time, huh?
Active Living Options
First things first: if you’re healthy and active, you may just choose to live in the home you retired in—until it becomes more than you want or are able to handle. It’s a tough decision to leave the home you raised your family in, the neighborhood you’re used to and familiar with.
But maybe your home is just too big and requires too much upkeep. You can always downsize to a smaller home, apartment or condo. Many folks just aren’t ready for senior living and want to live on their own. If you’re up to it, go for it. But, maybe you’d rather live with other active seniors. Maybe you just want a change. If so, you have plenty of options.
Independent living communities are designed for the active and healthy senior who is able to live on their own. You can live in a home, condo, townhouse, apartment complex, motor home or mobile home. It’s totally your call.
They are the same as a traditional neighborhood but with age restrictions—usually 55 and older. And they provide amenities like clubhouses, gyms, yard maintenance, housekeeping and security. Most communities also typically offer transportation, laundry service, group meals, and social and cultural activities.
You’re healthy and don’t want to sit around and watch TV. Now what? For starters, in order to stay healthy, you should make regular exercise part of your day. You’ll have more energy; your mood will improve; and daily activities will become easier.
Plus, exercise benefits people with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. Consult a doctor before starting any new activity. Here are some options:
· Walking, jogging
· Swimming, aqua aerobics
· Yoga, Pilates
· Strength training
· Cross country skiing
· Tai Chi
· Line dancing, square dancing, ballroom dancing
· Golf, tennis
To help balance your physical activities, here are some leisure activity suggestions:
· Become a volunteer. What are your interests? People? Animals? Art? History? The environment? For every interest there is an organization that needs your help.
· Join a book reader’s group. This is a great way to meet new people, socialize, and keep your mind engaged.
· Put that wisdom to good use: Mentor a child. These programs are often run through libraries, churches and organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
· Work in a community (co-op) garden. You’ll get your hands into the soil. Meet new people. And get to eat the fruits (and veggies) of your labor.
· Get involved in civic activities like voter registration, campaigning, etc.
· Take enrichment classes at your local college. Learn to paint, photograph, write, program computers—there are subjects for every interest.
· Keep working in the job you retired from, either on a continuing full time basis, or in a reduced part time capacity. Or look for something new to keep you busy, open new avenues for learning or for a little extra income.
This list of ways for active seniors to spend their days is just the tip of the iceberg. Try an Internet search for activities in your area and you’ll find hundreds more. The important thing is to make regular activities—both physical and leisure—a part of your day.
You’ll age healthier in your limbs, heart and mind. And you’ll have a lot more fun.
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