As of June 30, Colorado ordered bars and nightclubs to close again for 30 days in response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. At the same time, the Governor says parts of the state will begin relaxing restrictions from Level 2 to Level 3.
Basically, anything’s possible at this point. While the situation keeps evolving, what seems clear is, the pandemic is far from over and social distancing is here to stay.
We definitely encourage staying “safe at home” for the time being, but that doesn’t have to be a bummer. The first few months of quarantine may have been relaxing, but many retirees are looking to get back to their social and exercise routines.
Don’t Let COVID-19 Hand You a Sedentary Lifestyle
Staying at home means sitting more, and that can take a toll. Our lives have become more sedentary in recent decades due to suburbanization, technology, globalization, etc.
Too much sitting is the epitome of a sedentary lifestyle, which has effects on our physical and mental health. At Wealth Legacy Institute, we’re firm believers that exercise and movement are key to a successful retirement (not to mention strongly tied to happiness in general).
Exercise can play a role in:
- Relieving chronic pain & reducing the chance for injury
- Increased happiness & better mood
- Better sleep
- Improving and extending healthy mental function
If you’re thinking “I know all this. But how am I supposed to keep active in 2020 - the year the world stayed home?” We get it. And yes, you have your work cut out for you. But here are some tips to help you re-envision what an active lifestyle means in pandemic times.
Challenge Yourself to Explore
We’ve all been taking more walks lately, and even the most avid hikers can get tired of the same old routes. Turn your daily walk into a challenge to find new and unvisited places to explore. You don’t have to visit every national park in the Denver area—just venture down the funny little side path that you always notice, but never take. Turn down a street in your neighborhood you’ve never been on. Who knows where it may lead!
Take it Slow if You Need To
We know everyone has different levels of mobility. If you have physical limitations, it’s ok to start slow—just be sure you start! Yoga can actually be great for relieving pain from arthritis, stiffness, and old injuries. You might try five minutes of chair yoga (or another activity like tai chi or brisk walking). Then the following week, increase to seven minutes a day.
Do Your Chores
Even small activities can help prevent physical decay. You may not have thought about it, but chores like scrubbing the bathtub or mopping are great calorie burners. Moving things around in the garage, painting, and gardening are also good home tasks that could help you work up a sweat. Choose one “active” chore per day and you’ll have toned arms (and a clean house) in no time!
Set a Stretch Alarm
If you work at home (or spend a lot of time reading or looking at a screen), make sure to schedule a five-minute stretch break every thirty minutes. Stand up and raise your arms over your head, turn your neck to each side a few times, or touch your toes. Walk around the house and back to your desk. Go outside for 5 minutes and breathe in the fresh air. This little routine is super important for getting your blood flowing and building a little bit of movement into your day.
The Pomodoro Technique is a popular method that uses a system of work sprints with scheduled breaks throughout the day to boost productivity.
Consider a Dog
Have you ever had that friend who gets a dog and ends up losing 40 pounds within the first 6 months of having it? It turns out, those puppy-dog eyes are a great motivator to get out of the house more often and play safely in the great outdoors. Having a pet is not for everyone, but if you enjoy unconditional love and don’t mind fur on your furniture, now could be a great time to get a pup.
Pets have long-term benefits for retirees too: being around animals can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase physical activity over time. A dog is, of course, a long-term commitment, so make sure you’re ready to care for the animal now and post-pandemic.
Get a Fitness Tracker
Fitness trackers like Fitbit, Apple Watch, and others are designed to help you move more, sleep better, and keep a pulse on your health (pun intended). More than just counting steps, these devices monitor your heart rate and can also track distance, pace, and lap time for various sports. A fitness tracker helps you set and track goals—and what’s better than gamification for helping you to achieve yours?
If you want to try fitness tracking without investing in a device, try an app! You can map your workouts and count steps without going wearable. Charity Miles donates to charity for every mile you run, walk, or bicycle.
At Wealth Legacy Institute, we care about more than just your financial portfolio, because retirement is about more than just finances. It’s about designing a retirement lifestyle that you’ll love, and then finding a way to make it happen! We work with our clients to set goals for personal, as well as financial well-being.
Want to learn more secrets for a successful retirement, and read stories of how others have done it? Get Retirement Secrets, the new book from Wealth Legacy Institute founder, Kim Curtis.