It’s never too late to start living your best life. Whether you’re newly retired or have been for a while, the New Year can be the perfect time to redefine your retirement lifestyle to make it one that exudes activity and health. By adopting a more active lifestyle, you can change your retirement for the better.
“Staying active is vital for healthy aging,” says Michael Rambarose, President and CEO of Whitney Center, a Life Care Community in Hamden, CT, “but it can be easy for new retirees to slip into more sedentary habits. When we’re suddenly given more free time than we know how to use, poor habits such as sluggishness or laziness can creep into our lifestyle if we aren’t careful. Keeping an active life requires intention and effort.
If you’re looking to create a healthier, happier retirement in 2021 by adopting an active lifestyle, the team at Whitney Center can help you get started on building good habits into your daily routine.
Active Lifestyles and Longevity
One of the reasons why it is so important for older adults to stay active is because it can lead to a longer lifespan. For many years, researchers have studied the difference in life expectancy between the United States and Japan. One difference they found is that in Japan, seniors do not retire. Instead, they carry on their work for the sake of ikigai, a word which means feeling the sense of life worth living. We can define ikigai in our culture as purpose, fulfillment, and ultimately the reason why we get up in the morning.
When we aren’t experiencing a life worth truly living, and instead just go through the motions of chores, meals, obligations and meaningless occupation, we can begin to develop feelings of apathy, low self-esteem and depression. It can be hard to find value in our daily lives if they aren’t building on any we see as purposeful. Feeling this way not only affects the mind, but it can affect our physical health, too, leading to health complications or hastening the effects of aging.
To combat such a spiral into inactivity, we can take a page from Japan’s book and discover the types of things that make us feel like each day is worthwhile.
Inspiration for an Active Retirement
If you’re looking to redefine your retirement this year, it can be hard knowing how to start. Staying active does not have to mean immersing yourself in exercise and athletics. While physical activity is certain a necessary component to a healthy, active lifestyle, you can do many other things and still be active. Anything that gets you up and moving, out of the house and working towards a goal can help you create an active lifestyle. Here are some ideas to inspire your definition of active living:
- Enjoy Your Exercise – Exercising isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, but we know how important it is for our overall health and well-being. If you’re not an enthusiastic exerciser, try finding a type of workout that you really enjoy. Try yoga or pilates or even a new sport. Perhaps you would enjoy exercising more if you did it as a group. Lots of places offer exercise classes or walking groups to add a social element to exercising. If you really don’t like to work out, try combining it with something you do love, like music or a good TV show. Jump on a treadmill and get your heart rate up while you listen to upbeat music or watch an episode of your favorite show on your smartphone or tablet.
- One Move a Day – Try to schedule at least one activity each day where you get up and moving. If you have to run errands, walking through the grocery store could count, or up your game and run your errands on foot if you can. Consider things like yard work or gardening, walking the dog or meeting up with friends. If it’s getting close to the end of the day and you realize you haven’t moved much, go work a walk around your neighborhood before it gets dark. Commit to completing at least one active move a day.
- Make Your Hobbies Active – Some of us already enjoy hobbies that get us moving, such as gardening or golfing. Others may love to do things that (unfortunately) require us to be seated, such as reading or knitting. If you enjoy sedentary hobbies, try adding an active element to them. For example, if you love to read, start a book club that meets at the park and walk around while you chat about a book. Or, for every 30 minutes you spend knitting or doing the crossword, get up and move for 10 minutes by doing a chore or walking around the house to get some air.
- Amp Up Your Social Life – Chances are, the fewer social opportunities we have, the more likely we are to stay home and take it easy. Keep yourself active by involving other people in your active lifestyle goals. Go out and meet friends or find a friend who wants to exercise with you, which can help you stay accountable. Not only will this help you commit to your activity goals, but socializing with others has been proven to promote better emotional health as well.
- Contribute to Your Community – If you have found something that brings you joy and meaning, you can share it with others. Consider teaching a class, leading a local interest group or using your talents to give back to others. If you play an instrument, consider visiting a local nursing facility and playing for the residents. If you love art and know some local artists, organize a local art gallery at your local community center. Think about all the ways your passions can benefit others, and you’re sure to think of something that can improve your community and keep you on the go.
Retirement Lifestyles at Whitney Center
If you’re stumped on how to create the retirement lifestyle you’ve always wanted, it might be time to consider the benefits of moving to a senior living community like Whitney Center. Here, our resident lead active lifestyles defined by the things they love and enjoy. Our community offers plenty of opportunities to get involved in on campus and throughout the surrounding area. Plus, with excellent amenities on site, residents don’t have to go far to enjoy fun programming and events.
You’ve worked hard your whole life, and retirement should be a time to experience the best lifestyle possible. If you would like to learn more about redefining your retirement for greater health and happiness, contact the Whitney Center team. We’d be happy to help you find resources and discuss the opportunities available at our community.
Discover Excellence in Senior Living.
At Whitney Center, you’ll find a distinguished senior living community where residents do what they love. Located in Hamden, Connecticut, Whitney Center combines all the cultural, educational and historical charms of the Greater New Haven area with the intricate details of daily life for active seniors. Whitney Center is a Life Care community, offering not just an unparalleled independent living lifestyle, but a full continuum of care services as well, including assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing care and memory care. Whitney Center even offers a home-based long-term care program, Thrive at Home, which connects seniors to the services they need to live well in their own home.
Choice. Freedom. Opportunity.
We believe that remaining engaged and striving for excellence builds a more meaningful life. That’s why residents experience a host of services and amenities, events and cultural opportunities and wellness programs designed to foster endless growth and personalized living. Backed by our first-rate hospitality and philosophy of continuous improvement, our residents are free to travel, learn, volunteer, set new goals and create the life they want to live.
Come Here to Thrive.
At Whitney Center, residents live in the midst of cultural arts and education and dignified connections to the greater community. Seniors thrive in pursuit of what brings them joy, with unlimited opportunities to create and contribute. And, with the confidence in quality care services available on site if health needs ever change, Whitney Center makes it possible for seniors to continue enjoying the freedom to embrace life at its fullest.