Many of my clients began training with me several times a week when they were working full time. I used to teach several evening classes and when I gave those up for a daytime position, a few students asked me to start an early morning class at 6:45am. I taught that class for twelve years and because I have been around for so long, I have watched them transition into retirement. As a result, I have had a front row seat to seeing how differently people choose to retire. Most people downsize their living quarters and start travelling regularly to see family and friends. Many people take up new hobbies and sports and quite a few join the gym for the first time in their lives, to take better care of themselves.
Younger people often dream about retirement in a positive light. Better sleep. More time for sitting and reading and self care. While all of that is important I would argue that slowing down is the last thing that we want to do, especially after the age of 65.
Our bodies are designed to move and when we stop articulating each joint and muscle, in the way in which it was designed to move, the body interprets this as us saying that we no longer need those muscles. If we stop performing certain physcial movements, such as getting down on the floor or touching our toes, we will lose this ability because of muscular weakness and tightness and these imbalances will lead to a misaligned spine and eventual pain in our knees, hips and back. As Miranda Esmonde-White explains in her latest book, Fast Track To Aging Backwards-6 Ways and 30 Days to Look and Feel Younger, “over time the body will stop making those movements available to us” (Esmonde-White, 2019, p. 15). A sedentary lifestyle is the quickest track to premature aging.
I now tell my students that we need to move every joint and every muscle daily, to keep those cells alive, refreshed and young. If we consider how bad it is to let a car sit for extended periods of time, without letting the engine run or the wheels turn, the same can be said of our body. In order to stay vital and be able to live our lives to the fullest, we need to become more active when we retire.
The good news is that once people stop working, they have more time to dedicate to physical fitness. Our goal should be to move more than we sit each day. I recommend a balanced program that includes weight bearing exercises and stretching.
Contact me if you would like a personalized program.
See you soon,