Sunday, March 22, 2009

Be fit in retirement

One benefit of escaping the 40-hour-per-week grind is having more time to attend to physical fitness. Haven't you often looked at those trim, sprightly people streaming in and out of the gym and wistfully said to yourself, "If only I had more time to work out..." Well, now that you're enjoying retirement, you do have the time!

That's the good news. The bad news is, you're feeling guilty that you are wasting these "golden years" of retirement. Those lengthy aerobic workouts and the washboard abs are not spontaneously just happening.

How do you develop a fitness program that becomes part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth? For most folks, it means joining some kind of health club or spa, like Gold's Gym (, 24-Hour Fitness (, or Curves (

Two very popular clubs who specialize in programs for Ashland, Oregon retirees are Baxter's and the YMCA. Of course, before embarking upon a new exercise program, you should probably check with your physician or physical therapist to screen for any medical conditions that would make an exercise program contraindicated. You might also want to hire a personal trainer to help you set up your program and give your workout a structure.

One advantage of "The Y" is the great variety of programs and classes that cater to seniors. To To name a few: Best-Bones (to help guard against osteoporosis), water exercise, Tai Chi for Better Balance, and Senior Circuit as well as Low Impact Aerobics, spinning (and I don't mean something you do with wool!), and Yoga which can be wonderful for older adults.

In addition to the many benefits a regular exercise program bestows upon our physical bodies, it can also be a social outlet, and a fertile source of new friends. Retirement can mean a new type of social isolation when we no longer have our daily work contacts, so joining an exercise class can meet that need as well. Plus, it's just a lot more fun to work out with other people.

In short, find something that you can do every day, and above all - Have Fun!

Let me know your favorite technique for keeping your exercise routine fresh and fun.

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