Today’s seniors are living longer and enjoying more active lifestyles than ever before. According to a report published by The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics in 2010, people that reach the age of 65 live another 18 years on average. Nearly 22% of those surveyed were regularly physically active, and 74% of people over 65 claimed to be in excellent health. These facts make retirees an important and growing sector of our country’s population. Additionally, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of seniors 65 and older working full-time jobs has doubled between 1995 and 2007. Maintaining an active lifestyle and positive community relationships are proven ways to enrich senior living.
With so much available free time, it’s easy for retirees to fall into a sedentary routine. Making exercise a part of one’s daily schedule is an easy way to stay healthy, especially for those suffering from arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Benefits of regular exercise include, but are not limited to, improvements in mood and increased levels of energy. However, doctors recommend a consultation before beginning an exercise routine, especially in the case of a preexisting condition. Aside from strenuous cardiovascular activity, there are plenty of other exercise options for seniors. Before engaging in any physical activity, remember to stretch the legs, arms, and back to help prevent injury.
– Walking, jogging, swimming and cycling are all acceptable forms of cardio. Doing at least 30 minutes of cardio daily will benefit the heart and lungs.
– Pilates and yoga are both good ways to increase muscular and postural strength.
– Strength training can increase stability in the torso and legs.
– Tai chi is a low-impact activity that can improve muscle strength, balance, and flexibility through a combination of slow-motion movements and meditation.
– Gardening offers both physical and edible benefits.
Many seniors, especially residents of Assisted Senior Living Centers, remain employed well into retirement for various reasons. Finding a suitable job may be difficult depending on an individual’s health and capabilities. Consider looking for employment that suits one’s hobbies or skills. Local colleges, universities, and libraries sometimes have employment centers or vocational counseling available. Employment Agencies offer a variety of temporary positions for those who like to experiment with different jobs. Craigslist, a website that features local postings for part-time jobs and freelance opportunities, can be an invaluable resource for job hunters.
Some seniors choose not to work, leaving them with a bit more free time than those that do. This doesn’t mean they must remain sedentary. Community outreach programs are another great way for retirees to stay active and social. Volunteer work is an educational and fulfilling outlet for those with lots of spare time. Local book clubs are perfect for avid readers looking to socialize. Mentoring programs can be rewarding for those without children and are often available through local churches and libraries.
Quality of life doesn’t have to deteriorate with age. With so many older people entering the workforce, the American senior living experience is undergoing a revitalizing change. Staying healthy and active is the only known way to beat back the clock.