Keeping Busy in Retirement: Activities and Interests
Congratulations on your retirement! Now, you can spend your days at your own pace, however you want. Yet as you ease into a calmer, less hectic season of life, it is essential to keep your mind and body moving—not with the same pressures as before, but to stay active.
Staying active in retirement means that you keep pursuing movement, learning, and engaging with the community at your wonderfully experienced age. This does not just keep you occupied; getting into activities that suit your new lifestyle will also bring you many health benefits.
Importance of staying active during retirement
Your mind and body were used to withstanding pressures at work. There was rush hour, the demands of deadlines, and working overtime. And then, you had to come home and face the challenges of rearing young children. The regular boost of adrenaline, paired with your courage and ability, saw you through those challenging moments.
However, when you retire and your kids have come of age to live independently, your mind and body slow down, like a vehicle braking. These mind-stimulating activities are lost. Indeed, it is necessary to pause. Yet it is equally essential to maintain an active mind and body.
Keeping busy in retirement does not have to mean going back to strenuous activities. You can keep your mind and body fit by challenging yourself and learning a new skill or maintaining regular time for exercise.
Here are some activities you can devote your free time to:
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, “regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.” The goal is simple: move more, sit less. Any form of physical activity contributes to your health, but it’s best to keep movement intentional.
The CDC states that adults aged 65 and older need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to intense activity. This could be biking, brisk walking, a gentle run on the treadmill, or swimming. Choose 75 minutes of vigorous activities, which include jogging, hiking, or playing mid- to intense-level sports such as tennis or pickleball. Running for 20 minutes daily, three days a week, will help boost cardiovascular health.
Seniors are also advised to do strength training exercises at least twice weekly to support muscle mass and bone density. Activities to improve balance, such as walking in reverse or standing on one foot briefly, can also help at regular intervals.
Creative and Cultural Pursuits
As seniors, it is vital to keep your body in tip-top shape. But it is also equally important to keep the mind and the heart purposeful and fulfilled. Staying in touch with your creative zone can improve your emotional, spiritual, and mental well-being. How do you inspire that artist within you? Ask your retirement community about tours to art galleries and museums—it is always best when excellent company joins you!
You can also get back to your old hobbies. Did you love fashion? Get a sewing machine and start redesigning clothes. Are you an artist at heart? Invest in the medium of your choice and start painting portraits and landscapes. Are you a book lover? Here’s the chance to create a book club and discuss the merits of the newest bestseller. Are you into music? How about investing in a new instrument and learning how to play it?
With a lot of precious free time on your hands, there is always a chance to learn, discover, and express yourself.
Volunteer and Community Involvement
Another way to keep busy in retirement is to volunteer. Studies show volunteerism promises many benefits, including better psychosocial outcomes, increased amounts of physical activity, and less risk of physical functioning limitations. You can devote your time to organizations with the same interests as you. Some of them are:
- The Senior Corps – visit other older adults and offer companionship and mentoring
- Habitat for Humanity – a women-centered organization that offers homebuilding opportunities to assist in the charity’s retail stores
- Food banks – help with administrative duties and nutritional selection
- Animal shelters – provide direct care by fostering pets before they are adopted, advocate for their campaign, or offer phone support
- Community gardens – help in planting, maintaining, and harvesting crops
Travel and Adventure
Last but not least, one of the best ways to keep busy in retirement is not to stay at home. Free from work concerns, you can now explore the incredible world and see your favorite destinations with your own eyes. Why not head out for a winter break holiday to the other side of the world—perhaps a friendly trip to the Caribbean or the tropical beaches of Southeast Asia? Visit the grandiose castles and cobblestone towns in Europe, or be amazed at the breathtaking paradises in Africa.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to go far. You can visit your favorite city and tour its many itineraries. You can travel with your family and friends, too! This makes the journey all the more enjoyable.
The Benefits of Staying Active in Retirement
Being retired doesn’t mean that you don’t have to stay active. Adopting a physically and mentally active lifestyle after your 50s offers many benefits, including a boost in your immunity, lowering risks of chronic diseases, fewer bodily limitations, and a more positive outlook in life. It stimulates your cognitive functions and gives you clarity and better memory. An active lifestyle also nurtures better emotions and feelings of well-being, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Discovering a new role in your community gives you a strong sense of purpose and a more profound feeling of belongingness with the people around you.
Keeping busy in retirement helps in healthy and happy aging. There is no such thing as a dull moment, even with all of your free time. You get to have new goals, achieve them, and continually feel a sense of success.
Crestwood Senior Living is your perfect transition into retirement. With a progressive plan and a tailor-made wellness program, we’ll help you achieve a lifestyle that keeps you in your best shape. Experience the joys of active senior life. Visit our website to learn more.