Your kids have long moved out and they might even be starting their own families soon. There’s a lot less to worry about now that they’re on their own, and that feeling that you’ve got more time on your hands will only grow as you approach retirement age.
Keeping active with your new-found time can help you stay fit, both physically and mentally. There are three cornerstones of an active life: regular exercise, a social life, and community involvement. Getting out and engaging in activities that involve any of these three things will help keep you healthy, energized, and feeling young.
How Your Community Impacts Your Health
How easy it will be to engage in these things may all depend on where you live. Some communities, especially suburban neighborhoods with no central, walkable downtown, can be bad for your health, as they provide few opportunities for exercise and socializing.
Where can you live that will benefit your health? Life out in the country can be a lot quieter, with cleaner air and fewer stressors like noise and traffic. Finding a community near a small town has some surprising benefits too. You’ll find yourself parking the car and getting out to walk around a lot more often, even if you’re just running daily errands.
There are also active adult lifestyle communities that target empty nesters and make it easier to socialize in the neighborhood. You know how hard it was to find time for friends when you were busy raising small kids and balancing it with work. Neighborhoods can feel a lot more interconnected when everyone has passed that hectic stage in life.
#1 Exercise as You Age
Exercise is one of the best ways you can stay fit and healthy as you get older. Regular exercise counteracts muscle loss, which can have long-term impacts later on in life. Even things like stretching (can you touch your toes?) make a huge difference and can help with your posture if you’re used to working at a desk all day long.
Living out in the country or close to natural amenities will have huge health benefits. When you just step outside and go for a bike ride or head to a nearby golf course, you’ll naturally be more active.
#2 Staying Social
Life is better when you have something to look forward to. Wherever you live, it’s important to have a robust social network of people who share interests, with whom you can talk and confide. If you’ve just moved into a new community, it can be a bit daunting to make new friends. One of the easiest ways to start is by looking for activities that revolve around shared interests.
#3 Community Engagement
Volunteering is an excellent way to give back to your community and meet new people. Whether you’re joining a run for charity, orchestrating a holiday food drive, or volunteering at a local animal shelter, there are tons of ways you can give your time to the local community. The benefits of community engagement include:
- Developing deeper roots in the neighborhood;
- A feeling of accomplishment;
- Doing something good for others.
With more time on your hands, you’re free to do more. Staying healthy and social will keep you feeling as young as ever.