Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential in all stages of life. But in retirement, a healthy lifestyle becomes all the more important as it helps delay the onset of age-related diseases, which, in turn, helps increase one’s longevity and quality of life.
When it comes to living a healthy life, most of us already know the drill: eat healthy, avoid junk food, and exercise. However, many retirees forget to include one important thing: socializing and spending time with the people you love the most. Luckily, there are many ways you can practice a healthy lifestyle while spending time with family.
1) Go on a Picnic
Walking around the park is a low-impact exercise that also allows you and your family to enjoy the nice weather outside. The park gives your grandchildren plenty of space to run around and play and provides the opportunity to socialize with other families. Pack some healthy snacks (fruit, yogurt, mini-sandwiches, whole-grain granola bars, etc.) in a basket and set out to enjoy the afternoon with your grandchildren. Not only will you get to engage in mild physical activity, but you also spend time in nature, which is vital to maintaining a healthy state of mind.
2) Find a Sport to Play with Your Grandchildren
You may no longer be able to play high-impact sports like basketball or baseball with your grandchildren, but there are plenty of other sports that you can still enjoy with your family. Swimming, walking, cycling, and golf are just a few examples of senior-friendly sports. Find a sport that you and your grandchildren like playing, and then set aside some time to enjoy it as a family.
3) Pass Down Healthy Family Recipes
Break out your cookbook and teach your grandchildren some of your prized recipes. For this activity, focus on healthy meals that you and your grandchildren can both eat.
If you’re stumped on ideas, here are some recipe ideas for nutrient-dense, heart-friendly meals specially designed for older adults. If any of your family members have specific flavor preferences (as can be the case for young children and older adults), set aside their portions and season the rest of the dish for the rest of the family’s palate.
Even if you’re not much of a cook, the act of cooking with your grandchildren makes for a fun–although messy–bonding activity.
4) Engage in Stress-Relieving Activities
Although you may not have a job to worry about or a family to take care of every day, stress can still be a real problem for retirees. That said, learning how to manage stress is imperative to leading a healthy lifestyle in retirement, especially if you live alone.
Stress relief can look different for everyone. Maybe you watch TV to calm down. Or perhaps picking up a paintbrush helps you relax. But why not include your grandchildren in these activities, too? Spending time with your grandkids can be a stress relieving activity in and of itself, but you can also take it as an opportunity to teach them how to manage their own stress.
Take a walk around the block with your dog. Go to the nearest mall for ice cream. Watch your grandchildren’s favorite TV show with them. It doesn’t matter what activity you choose, as long as it helps decrease your cortisol levels.
5) Study Something New
Learning never stops–no matter how old you are. Join your grandchild in their quest of new knowledge, even if it is something obscure to you. You can also learn about something that you’ve always been interested in, but never had the time to delve into until now. Study something new to continue working your brain–it will help you stay mentally active for as long as possible, and it’s a great way to bond with your family.
There are so many more healthy practices to engage in with your grandchildren as a retiree, so use the ideas above as a starting point. Now that you have all the time in the world to do whatever you want, spend it with those you love while also improving your health and the health of your family.