The Case in Favor of a Busy Retirement

A recent study found that 83% of retirees want to engage in activities that promote health and well-being. These folks are definitely on the right track because an active lifestyle is proven to reap physical, emotional, and social benefits. For example, regular physical exercise helps to improve your

  • cardiovascular health
  • weight management
  • cholesterol levels
  • blood pressure
  • bone density and strength
  • muscles and joints
  • immune system
  • memory
  • sleep

As well as your

  • overall mood and sense of well being
  • mental acuity

Plus, when you “get out there,” whether it is to the gym or simply for a stroll around the block, you can:

  • Create and nurture social connections – strangers, neighbors, the Amazon driver, maybe even the local dog walker.

It’s not just about exercise

The evidence in favor of a retirement filled with ample movement is irrefutable. But there is more to “busy” than exercise alone. Many retirees want to embrace the activities and experiences they didn’t have time for during their working years. That makes sense because when we follow our hearts, we are much more likely to land in a life that brings us contentment, happiness, and joy. And isn’t that really the point?

When a friend closed her small business after three decades at the helm, she decided to pursue a lifelong dream to work in fashion. Now, while working part-time for a high-end retailer, she is also traveling and redecorating her home to suit her current lifestyle. Her “busy” translates into feeling fully engaged with a life she loves.

But not everyone has a lifelong passion or dream to pull off the shelf, dust down, and embrace. In fact, a recent study found that while 92% of retirees prefer a less structured life, they also want to pursue activities and experiences that give them a sense of fulfillment. If that sounds like you, it may be time to embark on a process of discovery and possibilities you may not have considered.

Active pursuits

Whether it’s creating an active and fulfilling retirement, or adding something new and different to your already-active lifestyle, consider these possibilities:

  • Travel – which may simply mean taking the next several months to explore what’s in your own backyard. Day trips and weekends to small towns or “destinations” may be just enough to stimulate your senses and enrich your experience.
  • Arts and Crafts – why not? Tap into what your crafty friend knows how to do and learn from her. Who knows? That wreath you make may bring you a fresh sense of accomplishment and rekindled creativity.
  • Gardening – join a club or tag along with a green-thumbed neighbor who would love to introduce you to her passion.
  • Birding – put up a feeder, add a birdbath, and be faithful stewards of both. Then grab your binoculars and watch the magic in your own backyard. If that sounds like “too much commitment,” find a birding group in the area and sign on for a day trip.
  • Genealogy – now is the best time to find out more about who you are. You are likely to find some surprises and answers as you study your family tree.
  • Language – give your brain a workout as you study a new language.
  • Book Club – if you like to read, this one is a no-brainer!
  • Set up a stand – whether it’s at the Farmers’ Market or a Flea Market, you’ll meet interesting people while making some extra cash.
  • Take online surveys – another one that keeps your mind active while keeping you engaged in current topics.
  • Teach, tutor, mentor – give back what you know. The reward is priceless.
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