5 Ways to Boost Your Energy in Retirement -- and Feel Like a Kid Again

Find ways to improve your physical and mental wellbeing in retirement so you can get busy living.

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Have you wondered how you’re going to spend your free time in retirement? At first, it might seem daunting trying to find ways to fill your free time. But, your golden years are an opportunity to do the fun things you’ve always wanted to do – or the things you used to love doing.

According to a December 2018 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey, four in 10 retirees surveyed indicated their enjoyment of life has increased. Those surveyed spend their time in a wide variety of activities, including spending more time with family and friends (61 percent), pursuing hobbies (44 percent) and traveling (39 percent). 1^Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies “A Precarious Existence: How Today’s Retirees Are Financially Faring in Retirement” December 2018

In addition to time spent in retirement, the top five favorite activities for older adults are walking/jogging, outdoor maintenance, playing sports, reading and other physical activities, according to a report in the Geriatric Nursing Journal. 2^Journal of Geriatric Nursing “Older adults’ favorite activities are resoundingly active: Findings from the NHATS study” 2015 If you’re looking for more options, here are five ways to boost your energy in retirement to feel like a kid again.

Revisit your favorite memories

Is there an activity you always wanted to do, but kept putting it off because of time constraints? Is there an activity you gave up in childhood, but want to start doing again?

Perhaps you took music lessons when you were young, and want to play the piano again. Or, you want to start taking art classes because pottery always interested you.

There are many ways to get creative with your activities in retirement. One way to stay active, as well as bond with grandchildren, is to take the family to a local amusement park or county fair. Many theme parks offer discounts on tickets for senior citizens, and country fairs offer food, fun and a trip down memory lane.

You don’t have to think too far outside of the box about how to spend your time wisely. A creative activity can be as simple as a bike ride to the local ice cream parlor. You can do it as a group, get some exercise and be outdoors.

Stay physically active

Physical activity for older adults doesn’t have to be strenuous to achieve health benefits, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Surgeon General Report. The report stated a daily moderate amount of physical activity can obtain significant health benefits. 3^Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “A Report of the Surgeon General: Physical Activity and Health – Older Adults”

It’s never too late for you to incorporate exercise into your regular routine. One way to start is by going on walks. You can begin with a short route and work your way up to longer walks.

Another exercise option for retirees is swimming or water aerobics classes. Swimming is beneficial for older adults because it is gentle on joints, improves heart health, increases flexibility and helps with muscle strength and tone.

Many gyms, wellness centers and YMCAs also offer exercise classes tailored to active older adults. This could help you gain physical health benefits from weight training and cardiovascular exercise. The CDC’s Surgeon General Report stated stronger muscles in older adults help reduce the risk of falling and improve the ability to perform daily tasks. 4^Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “A Report of the Surgeon General: Physical Activity and Health – Older Adults”

Exercise classes for older adults are also important for socialization and mental health benefits, which can help with alleviating stress.

Stress less

No matter your age, there are still ways to tap into the carefree days of your youth. It all depends on putting yourself in the right mindset.

Meditation can help reduce negative psychological stress in small to moderate amounts, according to a report from JAMA Internal Medicine Journal. 4^JAMA Internal Medicine “Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” March 2014

There are many types of meditation programs out there, including loving-kindness, body scan or progressive relaxation, mindfulness, breath awareness, Zen and Transcendental meditation. Many of these types focus on heightened awareness, breathing and positive thinking.

If you want to be more active with your meditative practices, yoga is a good option, too. As you enter into retirement age, yoga can help you focus on reducing anxiety, improving balance and flexibility and may even lower blood pressure. 5^Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research “Effect of Yoga on Oxidative Stress in Elderly with Grade-I Hypertension: A Randomized Controlled Study” July 2014

Enjoy the great outdoors

Exposure to forests and trees boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, improves moods, increases ability to focus, accelerates recovery from surgery or illness, increases energy levels and helps people sleep better, according to New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation. 6^New York State Department of Environmental Conservation “Immerse Yourself in a Forest for Better Health”

There are many ways you can enjoy nature, whether it’s hiking, biking on trails or gardening. Yard work and gardening are popular activities that provide physical benefits for adults age 65 and older, according to the CDC’s Surgeon General Report. 8^Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “A Report of the Surgeon General: Physical Activity and Health – Older Adults”

If there’s an outdoor activity or project you want to accomplish, retirement can give you the time to do it.

Set goals

You are probably accustomed to setting goals and meeting deadlines from your professional life. You can also apply that same thought process to the fun things you want to accomplish in retirement.

With a time management plan in place, you can make the most of your time and resources. You might also have a fixed income in retirement, so it can be beneficial to create a budget plan and prioritize the goals and activities you want to accomplish.

When you take care of yourself mentally, physically and financially, you’ll be more likely to worry less and start to feel like a kid again. Whether it’s exercising, relieving stress, finding new activities, traveling, exploring outdoors or accomplishing a long-term goal, there are many great ways you can boost your energy in retirement.

 Footnote

The content provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice. For specific details on how this may apply to your personal situation contact your personal financial advisor or insurance agent for more details. American Equity contracts are only sold through independent agents. Please contact your state insurance department to see if there is an independent insurance agent in your area appointed to sell American Equity annuity contracts.