7 tips for staying active during retirement

Why walking is beneficial to your health.

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When you retire, you’ll want to stay active in a variety of ways rather than falling into the habit of relaxing every day. It’s important for your physical and mental well-being to keep your mind, body and social life active, but it often takes a deliberate plan and intention to do so.

The following seven tips will help you stay active during retirement:

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Take a daily walk.

Brisk walking can be a great way to exercise since The American Heart Associates recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise a week, aarp.org explains. So if you walk briskly for 30 minutes five times a week, you can reach your goal. You can also expand your workouts by choosing a hilly route or swapping out your walk for a swim once a week.

Get your strength training by adding resistance to your movements.

Don’t neglect strength training, since it can prevent osteoporosis and frailty by stimulating the growth of bone and muscle, according to cdc.gov. Strength training doesn’t have to mean pumping iron at the gym, says aarp.org. Instead, you can add resistance to your movements or work against gravity by using stretch bands at home or carrying full gallon jugs to the end of the driveway and back.

Become a student again.

Taking an online course that interests you or going back to college to pursue a degree or certificate can help you stay mentally active during retirement. Online courses can be quite affordable, according to forbes.com, and many colleges offer discounts or specialized payment plans for older students. Georgia residents 62 and older can also sign up for free tuition at colleges and universities in the state system.

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Stay in touch with friends and reach out to meet new ones.

Retirement takes away day-to-day social interactions with co-workers, but you can still keep in touch with them by making a conscious effort to do so, according to regions.com. You can also make new friends who have similar interests to your own by joining groups that focus on a hobby, volunteering, exercise or faith.

Adopt a pet.

Webmd.com says that having a pet can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels, so it can have a strong effect on your overall wellbeing. And if you adopt a dog, you’ll get some cardiovascular exercise as your walk Fido.

Get regular checkups.

Regular medical care can help identify issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol before they can cause emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes webmd.com advises. You should also make sure to get vaccines and screenings – such as those for certain types of cancer — as your doctor recommends. By catching any problems as early as possible, you can help ensure that you remain as active as possible.

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Establish a routine.

Especially when you first retire, you may find yourself enjoying the freedom you have and may just want to relax, but it’s important to set up a routine, regions.com says. Keep a schedule with daily activities such as exercising and spending time on hobbies so you continue to have a sense of purpose.