August is National Wellness Month, a time to think about your personal health and find ways to improve your overall wellness. Maybe you’re struggling with aches and pains, or loneliness, or stress; there are opportunities out there to improve your self-care efforts and build healthy habits.
Working out can is intimidating at any age, but the older we get, it can seem almost overwhelming. Fortunately, there are programs that are designed to specifically to help seniors start moving carefully and comfortably. Check with your doctor before starting any new fitness program. Here are a few suggestions to keep your body moving as you age:
- The simplest activity that is free and can be done almost anywhere, is walking. For older adults, experts recommend moderate activity for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. When the weather is nice, just take a nice stroll around your neighborhood. You can also find a local mall or large department store and walk around for 30 minutes to get the blood moving.
- Many gyms offer classes specifically geared towards seniors, where the goal is to keep you active without too much strain. Check out your local gyms to see what they have to offer! Also, many Medicare Advantage plans includes a fitness program called SilverSneakers. Membership includes access to every participating gym and fitness center in the network. Learn more here: www.silversneakers.com.
- Swimming is a popular way to exercise for seniors. It offers health benefits for your whole body while being gentle on your joints. Some gyms have pools that offer space and time for laps and/or group aquatic classes. But you can also get in some swim time at a local public pool or a beach, if you’re lucky enough to live near open water. There are also some hotels that offer membership access to their pools or open swim time for the public. Check you local gyms, pools, and hotels for swimming opportunities!
Mental wellness is just as important as physical wellness, and there are plenty of ways to keep your mind in tip-top shape. Whether you’re feeling lonely, stressed, or confused, there are ways to sooth some of those undesirable feelings. Here are a few ideas for ways to keep your mind active:
- Volunteering is a way to stay busy after retirement, and in many cases, it can build a new social network. Places like hospitals, animal shelters, local community programs/events, are always looking for a little extra help.
- Join a local club or organization that promotes one of your interests. Your library may have different book club options if you’re an avid reader. A local senior center or place of worship, most likely, provides classes on different types of crafts, hobbies, or interests. There is also a website dedicated to building groups of like-minded individuals for meet-ups and networking, called www.meetup.com. Simply type in your interest and location and find a group that interests you!
- Get a job. There are so many part-time opportunities out there and earning a paycheck never hurts, right? For some, the idea of working after retirement may sound appealing but when looking for extra work that you don’t necessarily need, you now have the choice to find something different and fun. This is your chance to find a job that you want and make the hours work for you.
- Relax! Find a spa near you and get yourself a massage or spend some free time in a hot tub or steam room. Spa offer so much these days including facials, body wraps, and hydrotherapy baths. All of these activities can be good for the body and the mind.
It’s National Wellness Month! Keep your body and mind active! Think about your personal health and wellness and find an activity that works for your body and your schedule.