Healthy Retirement

Do you need some help making the transition from busy worker bee to busy retiree? The journey from working to retiring is one of life’s great transitions – even if you’ve planned for it and are really looking forward to it. A time of delicate decisions and scary new possibilities, retirement can feel both exhilarating and confusing. Choices made now will reverberate through the rest of you life. Choices about fitness and nutrition may be most important of all.

How will you spend your time, and what do you want to do on a typical day? What do you want to learn, and what do you want to teach? Where and how do you want to live? Is it possible now to resurrect some of the dreams and goals you’ve deferred? As you plan the rest of your life, incorporating your beliefs, values and commitments, be sure to give proper attention to your physical well-being. If you’re in good shape, great! You’ll want to maintain that valuable condition. If not, there’s no better time to make healthy changes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Physical activity is more important than ever.

• If you’re not interested in joining a gym or fitness center, you can stay physically active in other ways: bowling, fishing, gardening, biking, walking, or community projects.
• If you are interested in joining a gym or fitness center, find out if they offer classes and activities for seniors, especially since they may also offer discounts.
• Partner up with a fitness buddy – someone who is as serious as you about health and fitness.
• Consider making strength training a part of your exercise regime – it offers numerous benefits for seniors such as increasing energy, reducing stress and anxiety, delaying or preventing age-related disorders, and enhancing sleep, balance, endurance, and flexibility.
• Remember to stretch. Take 5 to 10 minutes a day to stretch your muscles; any time of the day is the right time.

Eat, drink and be healthy.

• Eat a variety of healthy foods.
• Avoid high-cholesterol foods and limit your total fat and saturated fat.
• Increase fiber intake, and especially if you are a woman, calcium.
• Limit your use of sugar, salt, and sodium compounds.
• Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
• Get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Set out on new adventures!

• Schedule at least part of your time according to the goals you set for yourself – it’s a perverse axiom of human nature that the more time you have, the more you waste.
• Learn something new. Make a list of all the things you’ve wanted to learn or try, then go ahead a do it – no excuses, you have the time now.
• Take up a fitness activity that you can do with your better half – tennis, ballroom dancing, cooking classes. You can cook new, healthy foods together.
• Travel together and experience new adventures, walk and see the world, embrace all the beauty it holds within. Make a conscious effort to build both exercise and healthy eating into your travels. When planning an itinerary, look for ways to be active, like swimming, boating, golfing etc.
• Volunteer for worthwhile activities, particularly those closest to your heart. When you have purpose in your life, getting and staying fit becomes easier.

Clearly, it doesn’t take a lot of money or major planning to make the most of your golden years. You too can turn your retirement into a renaissance!

Mixing and Moving it UP!

Circuit training is a workout routine that combines fitness and resistance training. The purpose of circuit training is to keep you moving by only allowing you to take minimal breaks in between exercises. Since you are constantly progressing through the workout, you will keep your heart rate up, therefore reaping the benefits of burning calories and burning off that unwanted body fat.

What are the benefits of circuit training?

• Injury Prevention. By combining different exercises, you prevent the same bones, muscle groups and joints from getting overstressed. As a result, circuit training tends to reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries caused by exercising too much.

• Exercise plan adherence. Circuit training has also been shown in a number of studies to increase an individual’s long-term adherence to exercise programs. Because circuit training relieves some of the monotony of exercise, a person won’t become bored with his or her program as quickly, and circuit training provides an efficient way to reap the benefits in half the time.

• Rehabilitation. When an injury does occur, circuit training comes to the rescue in two ways. First, it helps you maintain fitness despite being forced to forgo your normal exercise plan. Second, it corrects the cause of the injury. For example, if you injure your shoulder, you probably can’t go swimming, but you could continue your cardiovascular training by using a hands-free elliptical, treadmill or leg machine.

When developing a circuit training routine, a wide variety of exercises and fitness equipment can be utilized. Much of the equipment is relatively inexpensive. Examples include jump rope, dumbbells, medicine balls, body bands, weight training machines, or even your own body weight. A circuit can consist of as few as five stations to as many as 15 stations based on the goals and training levels of the participant.

The key to lifetime fitness is FUN!

Partners in Fitness

They say the couple who plays together, stays together. Working out with your spouse or partner can promote a healthier lifestyle overall. Couples spend most of their time apart due to careers and other responsibilities. One-on-one time is important to any relationship, so what are you waiting for? Workouts can be a new way to share time together and connect.

Before you embark on your new fitness regime together, take some time to consider these questions:

• Are you both willing to make this commitment? If both partners aren’t ready to commit to fitness, then workouts will soon become a sore spot in the relationship. You cannot drag someone into fitness; they have to go willingly. You both have to want it; otherwise, one person is bound to miss workouts, and the other person is bound to feel resentful.

• What are your individual goals? Each person must determine what his or her goals are and then design a mutual workout routine around them. A couple can do cardio and strength training together, even if their exercise goals differ. For instance, she may want to focus on toning her lower body while he wants to bulk up his upper body. In this case, they might start with cardio, then work on their trouble spots individually, and finally reunite for the rest of their strength training.

• How do you motivate one another? Are you a couple that offers praise and encouragement, or do you thrive on a spirit of healthy competition? To stay on track without nagging, you need to know what makes each other tick. Maybe encourage each other by setting goals and then competing to see who can reach their goal faster.

Remember that you may be in the gym together, but you still have different ways of working things out. Each person has their own way of learning things and different ways of processing information, and couples just have to be aware of that and set boundaries. Listening to your partner and keeping the lines of communication open are the keys to a successful workout partnership.