3 Tips for Staying Physically Active in Retirement

Your retirement years can be some of the best years of your life. Your time is finally your own and the world is yours to enjoy. If you've created a strong retirement plan, you should be set financially to rest, relax, and have all kinds of fun!

However, there's another area of life that will still need your focus in order for you to have the retirement you've always wanted: physical fitness. Your plan to stay physically fit will be vitally important to your enjoyment of retirement. However, this plan doesn't need to be complicated.

As nutritionist and gym owner, Nick Fiorilli, stated during an interview we held in September, there are three simple areas you can focus on in order to maximize your physical health.

First, prioritize good nutrition.

This doesn't have to be a complex diet plan with every meal prepared in advance, unless that appeals to you. This can be as simple as making sure you incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal.

The reality is, most people don't stick to diets and rigid diets can actually detract from the full scope of nutrition that your body needs. However, that truth doesn't negate the importance of proper nutrition. One of the best ways to keep prioritizing good nutrition is to stay curious about what makes you feel great.

What makes you feel amazing after you eat it?

I'm not referring to the "good feeling" that comes from the high of emotional eating, fades quickly, and leaves you feeling worse than you did before you ate. I'm referring to the "good" that comes from a body that feels nourished and energized. Try eating different types of meals that incorporate different fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein sources. And don't forget the herbs and spices! See how you feel immediately after eating, a few hours after, and the following day.

Make a habit of being curious about what different foods are doing to your body. You can keep a journal or just make a mental note, but keep asking questions about how foods affect you. If you realize something is consistently causing discomfort, cut it out for a while and see if that makes your body feel more alive. Then, decide if that is worth giving up? Each person will answer these questions differently. Is there anything that gives you bloating, gas, or heart burn? Take a set break from it and the add it back into your diet slowly.

Stay curious about and focused on high quality produce and protein rather than any specific "fad" diet.

Second, Move.

You don't need to have a super-focused exercise routine, but it's important to get up and move regularly. Simple movement can have a lot more benefit than many people think. In America, our work and our leisure have become more and more sedentary. As Nick stated so clearly, "The more we sit, the more we want to keep sitting."

Remember to move by setting an alarm and standing up to move at least once an hour. Many people set an alarm but push right through it and continue with what they were doing. Your health is worth the pause, even if it's just five minutes long, and this will add so much more energy to your day.

Third, be strong.

The weaker we are, the more likely it will be for us to get injured. Find ways to incorporate some resistance work into your routine. Bodyweight exercises like squats or wall-pushups are simple and easy to do anywhere. Most exercises like lifting weights, using equipment at a gym, or using resistance bands for a more focused workout can be done with your own physical limitations in mind. Don't do exercise that hurts, but do add some strength training to your week.

As we walk into 2022, it's easy to set goals for a new year and then forget about them after a couple of months. Rather than planning to start in January, why not start today! Take small steps to incorporate one or all of these simple tips into each and every day so that you may find health and wholeness this year.

At Merit Advisors, we want you to enjoy every second of retirement with full financial as well as physical health. Stay curious and keep moving!

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