How to stay fit during retirement

Stephen Trussell Stephen Trussell Wellbeing Personal Trainer
Following a light exercise regime in retirement is vital if you want to make the most of life and continue pursuing the things you enjoy.

During retirement it’s more important than ever to keep moving. But any activity you do must be done safely and take into account any medical issues you might have. A personal trainer (PT) can help tailor your exercise routine to your individual needs, enabling you to stay healthy and active long into retirement.

Independence

Working with a personal trainer can be your ticket to a more independent retirement.

A good PT can help active retirees try new activities, find a balanced programme and stave off injury. For those with a more sedentary lifestyle, PT can help ease you into an exercise routine safely, with low-intensity activities that gradually increase as your body adapts.

Getting started

Before you hit the gym, it’s essential to proceed in a safe, controlled manner. A health assessment, which considers your current condition, mobility, medications and goals can be helpful. This series of simple physical tests will give you a steer on your current level of fitness. A follow-up discussion with health experts and a PT will result in a realistic plan with achievable goals.

For all fitness levels, talking to a PT about weight-training is an excellent place to start. Lifting weights can help you improve posture, balance and stability. It can also help take preventative measures specific to your wellbeing and fight off illness.

By safely introducing weights into your exercise routine, a PT can help you feel stronger and fitter and more able to remain mobile and self-sufficient.

This has positive knock-on effects for your whole body: staying mobile is essential for your posture, flexibility, agility and balance. Functional mobility means you’re less likely to suffer injury and joint pain, and more likely to bounce back from problems.

Did you know, for example, weight training can help manage osteoarthritis – the “wear and tear” that affects your joints as you get older – without surgery?

This condition, along with osteoporosis, is often associated with advanced age. As our bodies age, our bones weaken. Weight training can help maintain bone health. Improved body strength is also associated with a decreased risk of cancer.

Benefits beyond the body

The benefits of exercise in retirement aren’t just physical. Exercise can boost your quality of life in many ways. A recent review of studies, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that individuals over 50 who take regular, moderate exercise showed improved thinking and memory skills.

Mixing with like-minded people in the gym and establishing a supportive relationship with a PT is an effective way to develop a new network when you’ve finished work. A study of over-50s in the UK found that those who maintained or grew their social circles after retirement experienced a beneficial effect on their quality of life. We’re social beings so socialising in groups can have a powerful impact on our emotional wellbeing and health.

Conclusion

A PT can help you hold back the ageing process, increase your independence, resist illness and enhance your emotional wellbeing so what are you waiting for? Why not make a Personal Training session part of your routine, alongside another beneficial exercise such as swimming?

Last updated Wednesday 21 August 2019