Retirement has a way of sneaking up on us—one moment, we’re fresh out of college, ready to conquer our careers and climb the ladder. The next moment, we’re looking at our retirement options to optimize the next phase of life.
While planning your retirement, you have surely taken in the financials and logistics into consideration. These considerations are very important, but there’s one factor that needs to be ranked just as high on the list in terms of importance to achieving a happy & healthy life in retirement: your physical health.
The Importance of Staying in Shape
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), physical activity can help prevent and delay several chronic illnesses that increase as we age (such as diabetes, high blood pressure and muscular deficiencies). That means staying active is paramount to living a long and healthy life. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, more than 80% of adults do not meet the federal guidelines established to define minimal levels of aerobic and muscular-strengthening activity and 28% of Americans over the age of six define themselves as physically inactive. Research also shows that only 16.3% of seniors aged 65 to 75 and 9.9% of seniors aged 75 and older meet this threshold.
It’s not just physical—a healthy amount of exercise is also shown to stave off mental issues and keep cognitive function stronger for longer. In 2018, 15 observational studies all found a positive correlation between physical activity and happiness. In addition, multiple studies display a link between regular moderate exercise and decreased mortality rate among seniors.
The Challenge of Getting Enough Exercise
As we age, it becomes more difficult to complete physical activity due to myriad factors. We no longer have the energy we did in our youth, and our bodies are more fragile. It also can be difficult to stay active if you live along, after all, it’s easier to motivate yourself and have fun staying active when you have people to stay accountable to and enjoy yourself with.
In addition, the possibilities for physical activity and exercise change as we get older. If you practiced more high-impact exercise in your younger days, it can be difficult to make the switch to a more effective plan. Even if you still love to run, the best running program for you—including the necessary stretching—will change as you age. Fortunately, if you are a resident of Southgate at Shrewsbury, you can have a personalized fitness program made for you, and you can tailor it as your needs and desires change.
Steps in the Right Direction
Although it may seem daunting, taking a step (pun intended) in the right direction is much easier than you think! First, simply speak with your doctor. Be sure to get check-ups regularly and stay proactive in protecting your health. Secondly, consider a move to an independent living facility. Being surrounded by your peers helps keep things in perspective, makes it easy to be an active member of the community and help you stay motivated.
When you choose to enter a retirement community like Southgate at Shrewsbury, you’ll find a community that is catered to your age group and lifestyle. At Southgate, we not only provide a robust program of activities, we encourage our residents to be creative and create new avenues of socialization and exercise for themselves and each other.
The bottom line is that prioritizing your physical health can help you make the most of this new phase of your life. And it’s well worth finding a great community that helps you achieve this.