11 ways to get (and stay) active in a retirement community

Here’s why you’ll never be stuck for something to do at Renaissance!

You’ve probably heard the message many times: as you move into retirement, it’s so important to keep active and stay healthy! Studies show that retirees can benefit from physical exercise more than any other segment of the population. 

If you’ve led an active life, it’s easy to adapt your activities to suit as you grow older. But what if you’ve led a sedentary life? Where do you begin getting active?

If the most exercise you get is walking to and from the letterbox, pushing the shopping trolley around, or pegging out the washing, it’s understandable if you find it difficult to get active and stay active.

In this news post, the Renaissance team offer some suggestions on how you can get active – and stay active – in retirement, no matter your current fitness level. Just remember to seek medical advice before you undertake any new physical activity.

What can exercise do for you in retirement?

As you grow older, you’ll naturally start to lose muscle and bone mass. As a result you may develop problems such as back pain, osteoarthritis, or osteoporosis. Regular exercise can slow down this loss of muscle mass, help strengthen bones, and reduce joint and muscle pain. And as an added bonus your balance and mobility should improve, which reduces your risk of falling. 

Regular exercise can improve your strength, lower your blood pressure and risk of heart disease or heart attack, control diabetes, and help you maintain a healthy weight. By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish your skin cells, keeping them vital.

Want more? As you exercise, your body releases natural endorphins that help relieve stress and help you feel more positive and happy. Why wouldn’t you exercise! 

How much exercise should you do, and for how long?

You’ll be pleased to know that you don't you need to exercise long and hard to gain these benefits. Research suggests just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a brisk walk, will provide you with most of the health benefits. 

New Call-to-action

Even starting with a slow stroll around beautiful Victoria Point is better than not moving at all.  The key is to find things you enjoy doing, and do them regularly. Have a think about:

1) Walking

This is number one for a reason. Walking is easy, you don’t need any special equipment, you can enjoy it with friends (or your dog), and keep it up when you travel. 

You’ll save petrol money when you walk instead of drive to the shops, and walking regularly is a great way to explore your community and get to know your neighbours. So take the first step today!

2) Keeping up with your grandchildren!

Doing something active with your grandchildren (whatever age they are) can not only create special memories, but also help you to work on your fitness.

Playing chase through a playground, pushing them on a swing, or turning a skipping rope will all increase your heart rate and your connection with your loved ones. Older grandchildren might enjoy throwing or kicking a ball around. Even pushing the pram around the park to give mum a break is great for your health.

Find out what the grandkids like to do and what’s available in your area. Just make sure they ease you into it!

3) Yoga or Tai Chi

Two excellent ways to improve your flexibility and balance while relieving stress, yoga and Tai Chi can make mobility easier and less painful for you. You’ll notice little things like putting on your shoes become easier too.

Look for classes created specifically for seniors through your retirement village, local community centre, or seniors’ groups.

4) Water aerobics

Exercising in water is a great idea as we get older. It’s gentle on your body, will build your cardiovascular stamina, improve your strength and flexibility, and help burn body fat, making it an all-round great body workout.

Water aerobics also increases circulation and can help you rehabilitate any muscle or joint damage. Done in a group it’s also a fun, social exercise that always brings a few laughs!

5) Bike riding

They say you never forget how to ride a bike – and as long as you still have good balance, you can still have fun riding a bike as a retiree.

Riding is also a wonderful activity to do with your grandchildren. Find some safe bikeways and start with short distances to build up your strength. If you have a gym or exercise centre close by, you can start slow by using a stationary bike.

Before you know it, you’ll be out and about with the wind in your hair… under your helmet of course!

6) Lawn bowls

If you haven’t taken up lawn bowls already, it’s never too late to start. It’s a fun, social sport you can begin at any age or stage in life. Who knows, you may have a talent for the sport and end up surprising yourself and everyone else!

Lawn bowls will improve your flexibility and balance while giving your memory and coordination a boost. At the very least you’ll be out in the sunshine and fresh air – and that’s always good for your health.

7) Stretching

Gentle stretches are easy to do first thing in the morning as soon as you get up. Your muscles will warm up ready for your day and with every stretch, you’ll be increasing your flexibility.

Even when you’re out and about, there are always places you can stretch – a little neck roll while waiting at the bank, some knee lifts in the park or toe touches... well, maybe you’d better do those at home while you’re waiting for the toast! 

Yoga and Pilates exercises also incorporate stretching. Your physiotherapist can suggest exercises for you, as can any exercise therapist or qualified gym instructor.

8) Dancing

Today you can find dance classes teaching everything from boot scootin’ to ballroom – and many have classes dedicated to seniors. All teachers welcome beginners and won’t mind if you start slow. Re-learn a style you enjoyed in your youth, or try something different like tap dancing, line dancing or Scottish country dancing – och aye! 

9) Trade in your car for your legs!

There are many ways to increase your activity by taking your legs out for a walk rather than relying on cars, lifts, escalators or golf buggies. 

When you’re out and about, trying parking a little further away from your destination to increase the number of steps you walk. If you have the choice and it’s safe to do so, take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.

Walk the golf course instead of opting for the buggy, and if you catch public transport, hop off a stop or two before yours and walk from there!

10) Walk and talk

If a friend is coming over for afternoon tea, why not suggest taking a walk together first? If they don’t live in the area, you could show them through a local park or community garden or take them on a short bush walk.

If they’re your neighbours, turn it into a weekly walk and talk. You can catch up with all the news as you go and then relax afterwards. You’ll also be burning off some of those calories to make room for cake!

11) Exercise at home

If you’re more of a homebody, or for when the weather is less than perfect, invest in a treadmill or exercise bike. You can keep your body moving while you watch your favourite TV show or listen to music.

You can even attach a book stand so you can read while you move. Don’t let it gather dust in the corner though... make the time to keep moving!

Most of all... don’t forget to have fun!

The secret to ensuring regular exercise is to choose activities you look forward to, that bring a smile, and involve others as much as possible. You’ll soon see (and feel) the benefits!

Any time you spend moving your body is time that will add to your health, vitality and emotional wellbeing so you can continue to enjoy an independent retirement lifestyle.

Find out why Renaissance is the ideal place to stay active 

At Renaissance you’ll find a great range of activities for residents, such as swimming, bowling, croquet, a fully equipped exercise room, aerobics, aqua aerobics and yoga, with bush walks and cycle tracks close by.

Why not visit us and see our facilities for yourself? We invite you to visit us for your own personal tour of the village. Just click the button below for all the details:

New Call-to-action 

Call Renaissance today on (07) 3820 7700 to find out more about our outstanding Victoria Point retirement living.


Topics: Living in a retirement village, Healthy living

Posted by Renaissance Retirement Living on 10-Jul-2018 12:32:51
New call-to-action

Share this post with your family & friends: