If you are in retirement or are counting down to when you plan to retire, you're in an awesome place. This is your time to shine, to do things you've never done before, to go places you've never gone, and to embark upon new ventures.
In fact, the word retirement is sort of a misnomer, is it not? It has a lot of negative connotations to aging, health problems, etc. You read articles about "bucket lists" for retired people, as if death were just a stone's throw away.
Let's be clear: We think this kind of thinking is ridiculous. You're not on the verge of death more than anyone else is. Retirement is a time to take life into your own hands. It's a time to start over, do something new, build your own business, or take up a new awesome hobby.
Being retired will help you get in better shape, because now you have more time to exercise. But just because you have more time on your hands doesn't mean you should waste it doing exercises that are boring or just feel like work.
Exercise is supposed to be fun. So let's look at the four main types of exercises according to the National Institute on Aging — endurance, strength, balance and flexibility — and see how we can make them fun. For each type, there are a host of hobbies you could potentially take up.
Endurance exercise - Take up ballroom dancing
The Waltz, the Tango, the East Coast Swing — ballroom dancing is a great hobby to learn many kinds of dancing and is a fun social experience. It's a great new hobby you and your spouse can do together. Look for teachers and trainers in your local area, and who knows? You might find yourself in regional contests before you know it!
Strength exercise - Take up water yoga
Any type of exercise performed in water offers great resistance strengthening but with low impact, which prevents exercise-related injuries. If you're going to do water exercise, though, why not make it more than simple laps back and forth. Water yoga offers flexibility, mind and relaxation training, all while getting in a passive workout!
Balance exercise - Take up martial arts
News flash: Martial arts isn't just for kids anymore. Baby boomers and those entering retirement are picking up this hobby in droves. Popular forms include tai chi and karate. Chances are, there's a group of people your age doing this close to your neighborhood.
Flexibility exercise - Take up yoga
While water yoga, as mentioned above, is good for flexibility, yoga on land has it's own benefits. Yoga uses gravity and stretching techniques to help you relax and even meditate. Flexibility exercises help stretch your muscles, which reduces risk for cramping and injury during other activities.
These are just a few of the new things you could be doing. Think about other ideas. What could you be doing to make exercise fun in your own life?
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