Healthy Living in Retirement Communities
Posted 14th November 2023
A healthy and long retirement
Considering the benefits of your health span in retirement communities. It’s estimated that a whopping 77% of UK adults work full time for all of their working age (16-64 year olds). It’s no wonder that living healthily in retirement is a key focus. We’ve worked hard to earn it!
Whilst work life balance is continually improving, working does take a large part of our waking time. Over the years, this adds up. In fact, it equates to around one third of our lives – as much as we spend asleep.
When retirement comes, it can leave a lot of free time on your hands that you’re not used to.
Keeping disciplined in retirement
One of the benefits that working brings, is a sense of structure and routine. Routine is great to ensure a feeling of healthy living in retirement. Whilst it’s always beneficial to take a break from routine for holidays, a long stretch of time without a focus can make time stand still.
Using the skills you’ve earned as a worker, you can apply similar parameters to your retired routine.
Pick a treat night
When you were working, you most likely had a ‘treat’ night. This could have been a couple of drinks at your local pub, a meal out or a takeaway.
Often, these little treats were something that kept us motivated during the week. Having a treat night when you’re retired is just as rewarding.
Why not treat yourself to cooking a favourite meal (batch cooking means that you can pop some in the freezer for another time!)? Or grab a DVD or stream a film and get a takeaway.
When we’re busy working, by default, we are moving around and getting our steps in. There are many benefits to both mental and physical health to enjoy a bit of activity.
Many areas have local volunteers that host walks in the area. Some will also do talks about the local nature and heritage.
Swimming is a great form of exercise and most locations will have a pool nearby. Being weightless in the water protects wear and tear on joints whilst giving you your required level of cardio workout.
If the weather is inclement, there are lots of fitness DVDs and online workouts that you can try. Stretching out the muscles keeps them supple and also helps to keep you warmer in the Winter months.
Maintain your hobbies
Many of us will have pastimes that we enjoy. It could be jigsaw puzzles, cooking or perhaps playing a musical instrument. It’s important to keep these moments of joy going, especially if you have enjoyed them for a long time.
A cognitive benefit would be to add in some puzzles, such as crosswords and word searches. Keeping the brain active is a great way to boost your mental well being.
Whilst living in a retirement community, why not form a pub quiz team? As we get older, our knowledge can be unrivaled!
Arts and crafts is also great. If you’re a knitter, knit! Everyone is so appreciative of handmade items from sustainable materials. You can also donate any items that you don’t need to deserving charities.
Another great way to keep active and busy when retired, is to volunteer. When you have worked throughout your life, it’s important to keep up the camaraderie and team spirit.
It always feels good to be wanted and needed and charities and organisations are so grateful for the time people can spend helping.
You can choose the charity and task that you’re happy to do and the frequency that you are willing to commit to. Many people form good friendships with like minded peers in these settings too.
Cleaning is a great way to get active and bring about a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Getting the windows open on a breezy Spring day and getting the dust out will make you relax and feel comfortable when relaxing later in the day.
Keeping your keepsakes and souveniers tidy allows the mind to relax.
A top tip is to use cleaning products that invigorate the senses for the purpose of that room. Bright citrus scents are great in the kitchen and bathroom where you are more alert. Floral tones are great for freshness in the living room and lavendar and chamomile are great to help get a good night’s sleep.
Living in the moment is something that is often denied to us when we’re busy working. Instead of saying ‘why?’, instead, try ‘why not?’. This is a key thing to influence healthy living in retirement communities – the social element.
The worst thing for anyone organising something (as you will know), is that people don’t turn up! Trying something once doesn’t commit you – if you don’t like it, you don’t have to try it again.
We all hear of things going on in the community. They’re on notice boards, emails and in flyers through the letterbox. If something piques your interest, go for it.
Make your retirement count
Millions of people are striving to be in your position. Enjoy the luxury and privilege of the freedom and make new memories. Live your best life doing things that you enjoy.
And that is how you can have healthy living in retirement communities.