Ways to Stay Active in Retirement
While some people see retirement as a time of slowing down, Willow Valley Communities sees it as a new chapter of life and purpose. Our vision is to positively transform the way aging is viewed and experienced in our world, and what better way to do that than to offer ideas for staying active in retirement?
What is an Active Retirement?
Gone are the days that retirement meant sitting in a “home” somewhere quietly by yourself. Today, retirees are healthier, more active, and vibrant athletes, teachers, consultants, volunteers, and more ready to embark on a dynamic stage of life full of adventures with their newfound free time.
Active retirement and active senior living communities like Willow Valley Communities not only offer amenities to support physical wellbeing, but mental and spiritual too. Continue reading to discover active retirement ideas and ways that Willow Valley Communities keeps you engaged.
If you live in a senior living community, joining a club is a surefire way to meet new people and make friends. From hobbies that you’ve practiced your whole life to a new skill you’re looking to pick up, there’s probably a club and some new friends willing to share in that interest with you. In addition to clubs and groups, mealtimes are a great way to meet your neighbors. Willow Valley Communities’ 12 dining venues offer a range of socializing options, from casual one-on-one conversation over coffee to sharing a dinner table with residents you haven’t met before. Willow Valley Communities also hosts New Resident Mixers, where residents who are new to the community are invited to get to know other new neighbors in a casual and fun setting.
Whether or not you live in a senior living community, meeting new friends isn’t as hard as you think. By attending a grandchild’s play, sporting event, or academic competition, you may find other grandparents who are just as proud of their grandchild as you are. Signing up for community classes is another great way to meet someone new as well. With the increased amount of time you have at home instead of working, learning a new skill at a local college or community organization might bring you more than just new knowledge.
Pursue Your Passion
Without a 9-5 job, you’re finally able to pursue the passions you’ve been looking forward to indulging in. However, finding and pursuing your passion in retirement is less about choosing something to occupy your time and more about searching for something meaningful. What did you love when you were growing up, and what makes you happy? Have you always wanted to learn how to play guitar? Write a memoir? Take an art class? Be sure to share your passions with family and friends as well.
Traveling, whether by a plane, train, or automobile, is a favorite pastime of many newly-retired Americans. In fact, according to the 18th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, 70% of American workers share the common dream of traveling the world in retirement. Traveling doesn’t have to be a tourist destination; some of the best trips are to see family or friends.
At Willow Valley Communities, our residents often set up trips and excursions together. Some go to different countries like Cuba, Iceland, and Ireland or others venture one or two towns over to visit a museum. Our convenient location to popular cities, train stations, and airports give you the serenity of living in a small town while having access to see the world. At Willow Valley Communities, just lock the door behind you and off you go – worry-free.
Not surprisingly, physical exercise is a great way to stay active during retirement. However, exercising doesn’t have to mean running a marathon (though if you feel up to doing that, we’re cheering you on!). Here are some great ways to get out and stay active:
You don’t need a gym membership for most of the above ways to exercise; most can be done in your living room or outside. Willow Valley Communities has over 20 miles of walking paths right outside your door. Studies continue to show that as life expectancy continues to rise, the more important it is to be physically active and eat a healthy diet.
Willow Valley Communities provides several fitness centers, walking trails, fitness clubs, and more to residents who look to enhance their active lifestyle. In addition, we’re very proud of our team of senior athletes who compete, and win, in the Local and National Senior Games.
Work on Your Mind
Your body isn’t all you can keep active in retirement; you mind’s health is important too! After all, 10% of America’s 65+ population lives with Alzheimer’s dementia, and a pillar of combating cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s is mental stimulation.
Great ways to keep your mind active include working through a book of Sudoku, putting puzzles together, or learning something new, whether it be a language, an instrument, or something else entirely.
Willow Valley Communities’ residents find a variety of different ways to keep their mind active from Lunch and Learn Seminars to academic and philosophical clubs to actual classes. We also foster partnerships with local colleges and universities so our residents can enjoy lunch and a lecture monthly on a college campus.
By volunteering, you’re able to stay active and give back to a cause that’s close to your heart. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released information that showed Americans 55 and older are most likely to volunteer the most time out of every age demographic. Volunteering can take the form of many activities, from working with an overwhelmed non-profit office, to mentoring young students in music or academics, to caring for animals at local shelters.
If you’re interested in volunteering but don’t know where to get started, websites like ExtraGive or VolunteerMatch help you to find causes close to your heart, and close to home. Just type in the city you want to volunteer in and choose a cause that’s close to your heart, and then VolunteerMatch will serve you a custom list of volunteer opportunities.
Just because regular work slows down doesn’t mean you have to. Keeping active during retirement has shown to improve life and wellbeing, and it doesn’t take much to make it happen.
Willow Valley Communities is committed to creating an innovative, engaged culture full of possibilities and inspiring each person to embrace the possibilities of a Life Lived Forward.
Are you interested in learning more about how our residents keep an active mind, body, and soul? Feel free to ask us a question, come for a visit, or continue reading our blog for more great stories about life in retirement.