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How to Maintain an Independent Lifestyle into Retirement

How to Maintain an Independent Lifestyle into Retirement

As you enter retirement, maintaining an active lifestyle will allow you to stay happy and healthy for decades to come. Your hobbies, where you choose to live, and what you choose to put into your body will all impact your ability to live your life to the fullest, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re making the right decisions when it comes to your health. Here are a couple of tips to get you started.

1. Active Hobbies

The National Institute on Aging considers regular exercise and physical activity “a cornerstone of almost every healthy aging program.” Physical activity increases your quality of life by making sure you can still physically do the things you enjoy. Active hobbies such as golfing and hiking reduce instances of breathlessness, decrease fall risk, and help you to maintain your flexibility.

While you may not be regularly hitting the gym (although doing so certainly helps), you can still find an active hobby that you enjoy. Power-walking through the neighborhood, walking your dog, and yoga are fun hobbies that are easy to pick up, can be done with friends or neighbors, and can be adjusted according to your physical capabilities.

2. Living in the Right Communities

As you age, living in the right community will impact your ability to stay active and to enjoy your hobbies. It’s easier to maintain an independent lifestyle once you make the choice to leave the city and move into a custom bungalow or townhome in a smaller community. These communities will often be just close enough to amenities like restaurants and shopping to make the trip there short, but not so close that the neighborhood becomes too noisy or congested by traffic.

Living in an active adult lifestyle community of fellow empty nesters or retirees makes it easier to invite a friend along when you go hiking along a nearby trail. If you enjoy wine-tasting, look for communities that are located near wineries to make the most of your excursions into nature.

3. Maintain a Healthy Diet

As you age, it can be easy to let your diet slide. Cooking regularly may become harder for you, making it very tempting to order in. There are some issues with ordering in, however. You won’t be able to control the amount of oils, fats, and sugars going into your food, and you’ll likely be spending more money, as well. Not only does your physical health end up taking a hit due to unhealthy eating, but your wallet will take a hit as well.

To reduce the chances of resorting to takeout, try preparing meals in advance that can be quickly heated up in the oven or microwave. Although some go so far as to prepare a week’s worth of meals in advance, you don’t need to be quite so ambitious. Even preparing just two or three days worth of meals in advance can greatly cut down on the temptation to order in, and save you some money in the long run.

Lastly, keep some healthy snack foods within reach as well. Fruits, such as strawberries, bananas, and oranges, are loaded with vitamins, and require very little preparation. Nuts, like lightly salted peanuts or cashews, are also easy-to-grab snacks, and may even reduce inflammation, helping to relieve achy joints and reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Just pack a few in your pack as you head out for that hike down the trail!

Hopefully, these tips will help you hold on to your active lifestyle as you become an empty nester or retiree. It’s easier than you think!