Time for hobbies, travel, and family may be what you imagine when you think of retirement. What you may not imagine is that your health can spiral once you leave the day-to-day 9 to 5.
Recent research shows older adults who work past typical retirement ages tend to be healthier than those who don’t. And perhaps unsurprisingly, those in active jobs tend to have the fewest health issues of all.
Work’s healthy benefits go beyond physical activity. Being social and having a sense of purpose also promote well-being. But when you’re ready to leave the working world, here are a few post-retirement ideas that can help you stay vital:
- Exercise. Move every day. Exercise helps improve your physical strength, ward off depression, maintain your weight, improve your sense of balance, and help manage conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. As a bonus, an exercise partner or group adds social contact to the mix.
- Volunteer. Find a local organization that supports a cause close to your heart and help it achieve its goals. You gain meaningful activity and can make friends who share your interests.
- Work part time. Working fewer hours at your current job or a brand new one can keep you engaged while allowing time for other pursuits. It can also help relieve the stress of overspending that can occur when you retire without a strong plan for next steps.
- Learn something new. The time may be right to learn a new skill. Whether you study the violin, learn Italian, or dust off your bowling shoes, set achievable goals and have fun.
- Stay accountable. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you don’t quit before you get started. Involve friends who share your interests in healthy living. They’ll help you keep going and growing—while you do the same for them
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