5 Big Tips for Staying Active in Retirement

Senior couple taking a walk with their dog in the woods

A little while ago, we published a post here on the blog that introduced some of the fantastic activities that we enjoy as a community right here on our all-inclusive Calvary Homes campus in Lancaster, PA. Whether you enjoy exercising, arts and crafts, music and concerts, or Bible studies with friends, you will have ample opportunity to pursue your passions every day at Calvary Homes.

But what if you need a little help filling your time and keeping active once you’ve retired? It’s true that retirement presents a change of pace that not all individuals are ready for—even if they think they will be. Today, many seniors find the extensive free time suddenly available to them in retirement can be challenging to fill with meaningful or productive activities.

You’ve earned this time, and you should spend it how you want instead of having others constantly dictating your schedule. But how?

Today’s blog post offers a few ideas for the newly retired—or their loved ones looking out for them—on how to make sure the transition from “the daily grind” to “the golden years” is a happy one.

Make New Friends (But Keep the Old)

Before you retired, you probably felt that you never had enough time to see friends and extended family as often as you would have liked. Everyone was always so busy with work and household demands, and you were lucky to see your best friends from your school days or a favorite sibling a couple of times per year.

Although the USA’s pandemic situation is currently making reconnections more “virtual” in nature—with video chats or group gatherings over Zoom—retirement presents the perfect time to get back in touch. Your friends are retiring now, too, and they’re looking for ways to enjoy their time, just like you!

We recently talked about how worry-free senior living is still very much possible in these uncertain times, so look up an old friend, grab a coffee and chat about what’s new in your life, take a walk or jog together, or make plans to get together when life gets “back to normal.”

Or, if the prospect of driving all over the place to meet up with friends doesn’t sound like fun, retirement community living may be more your style. There are many benefits, including getting to know many new friends whose lives are similar to your own.

Explore Your Hometown

Taking time to travel and see new places is a top goal for many retirees, though you may not need to jet off to exotic destinations to enjoy yourself. (After all, long-distance travel isn’t recommended right now due to the pandemic situation.) That doesn’t mean you can’t get the benefits of travel much closer to home.

Check in with your local tourism bureau and pretend to be visiting your home area for the first time. Especially here in Lancaster County, PA, where tourism is a primary industry, there are likely lots of destinations that you’ve never explored. Now that you have the time to stroll through farmers’ markets, take a tour through Amish Country, or even experience a hot air balloon ride over beautiful farms and towns, get out there and enjoy yourself!

Keep Working or Volunteer Your Time and Talents

Volunteering has always been a way for people to give back to their communities and make a difference. Research is showing that older adults who volunteer actually enjoy better mental and physical fitness. Volunteering also helps retirees to be more active and engaged.

The first thing to decide when volunteering is what causes or issues interest you. Whether your heart is in helping children, fighting poverty, becoming politically active, supporting the arts, or aiding animals, you should pick a volunteer cause you are passionate about. Volunteering for an organization because your friend or spouse does, but that is not in pursuit of a cause dear to your heart, will not be fulfilling. So, think about the kinds of causes you like to support and see how you may be able to help.

Additionally, just because you retire from full-time work, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a part-time job! Our friends at Explore Retirement Living lay out some general ideas about new paths you might take as a worker in retirement. After all, there is no need only to pursue work related to your former profession—now is the time to try something new that you know you will enjoy!

Make the Most of Your Hobbies

On the subject of working for pay in retirement, you might also consider turning a beloved hobby, like sewing, woodworking, baking, or painting, into a profitable “side gig.” There are plenty of online marketplaces, such as Etsy.com and Facebook, that make selling handmade items easy and safe. You could also become a vendor at various in-person craft fairs (once those start up again).

Commit to Healthy Routines

Eating well, getting enough sleep, and waking at around the same time every day are essential habits to cultivate in retirement. It may go without saying that quitting severely unhealthy habits like smoking should also be goals as we age. But that’s not all.

Regular exercise is critical for wellness and can help us better recover from surgeries and injuries as we get older. No, you don’t have to turn yourself into a “gym rat” to get the benefits of regular exercise! (Unless that appeals to you!) Make a plan to get some regular movement into each day, even if you’re not able to get outdoors.

Commit to Sitting Less

When doing passive activities like watching TV or using the computer, stand up and stretch at least once every 30 minutes. If the weather is favorable, take a short walk around your neighborhood.

Exercise In Your Living Room

If you can’t get outside to walk and get your daily dose of vitamin D, there are plenty of ways to exercise inside, too. Check out Pilates, yoga, and Tai Chi videos through streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Your smartphone can also help you exercise—just download some strength training or other exercise apps!

Ready to Live Your Best Life in Retirement?

There is no doubt that staying active physically, mentally, and spiritually are all equally important in retirement. And all of this is easier and more fun at a full-service, faith-based retirement community like Calvary Homes, where all of your personal needs are met. If you’re considering retirement communities in the Lancaster, PA area, for you or someone you love, we invite you to contact us and discover what Calvary Homes has to offer.