Staying Active

Five keys to keep moving post-retirement

By Tina Kissavos

In my teenage years, the word retirement conjured images of lying in a hammock, cocktail in hand, by the beach. I wondered if every hard-earned workday would lead me to pure relaxation. Retirement means different things for different people: freedom to travel, to take on more social activities, or to spend time with the family. The stories I love to hear are from people who retire from a life of sitting behind a desk and create a new life whereby they get up, move, and exercise more.

Retiring from bad habits and an unhealthy lifestyle is the best thing anyone at any age can do for their health. If you find yourself with more time on your hands, consider these five simple ways you can move toward a healthier lifestyle during your professional retirement.

Set a goal
Goals don’t have to be complex or farfetched. Something as simple as committing to walk 30 minutes every other day or cooking up new, healthy recipes every week can keep you stimulated and focussed.

Connect with likeminded people
Get inspired with those who share similar interests. Teaming up with a friend or two, creating a neighbourhood group, or joining a fit-centric community are sure bets to keep you on track. Bonus: plenty of social interaction.

Think simple
Not everyone wants to be an Olympic athlete, ripped power lifter or bikini model. Anyone around retirement age just wants to bend down to lift heavy objects and not twinge their back. We associate exercise with a gym or fitness class, but there are hundreds of ways to get active in the comfort of your own home. Think of the various movements made on a daily basis like climbing stairs and pushing doors open. Just because it’s basic movement doesn’t mean it’s not exercise. Functional fitness trains muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks. Try squats on a low chair, climb steps with barbells in hand, and balance exercises from one leg to the other. All it takes is 20 minutes a day.

Think inside the box
As we age, our strength, flexibility, balance, and cardio need special attention. You can get all of these benefits from a little black box. Exercise- infused video games available via consoles provide entertainment and mental and physical stimulation. They also improve handeye coordination, whether you prefer boxing, soccer, skiing, golf, dancing or yoga. These virtual activities are perfect for anyone at any stage of life to enjoy.

Hire a qualified personal trainer
A skilled professional can customize your exercise routine with your goals in mind while keeping an eye on your form. They will regularly assess your progress and keep you motivated. Moreover, you can remove the responsibility of program planning and put it into the hands of someone with your best health interest at heart.

Once you reach retirement your list of priorities will inevitably change but heath should always be at the top of the list.

CanFitPro-certified trainer and wellness specialist Tina ’Toner’ Kissavos is co-founder of the fastest growing bootcamp in Quebec, Better Body Bootcamp. With more than a decade of experience, Tina and her team of trainers continue to help people change their lifestyles for the better and for the fitter.


Winter 2016, Vol 8 N°1

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