As you approach (or are in) retirement, you may take time to make sure your finances are in good shape. But are you making sure your health and fitness is too? With the average life expectancy in Australia being 81.2 years for males and 85.3 years for females*, you may have quite a considerable time in retirement.

The government website HealthDirect outlines a number of benefits that physical activity provides. This includes a reduction of risk to certain health conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also improve your sleep and mood, give you move energy and reduce stress levels and anxiety. Ultimately, and if possible, HealthDirect recommends that you should aim for about 30 minutes of a moderate intensity of physical exercise daily. This type of exercise should raise your heart rate and make you feel a little breathless, but still able to talk comfortably**. Importantly, for anyone starting exercise it should be a gradual build-up.

Staying active may help you live longer with a better quality of life in your retirement years! What are the best types of exercise? The ones you enjoy! Here are some suggestions to get you started! (Make sure you take care and consult your doctor before embarking on any new exercise program.)

1. Walking

This may be with your partner, mate, family member, furry friend or simply putting on your headphones and listening to your favourite music! It’s a great way to get active and can be done at your own pace. Walking is one of the easiest ways to boost your fitness!

2. Get into the garden

Is there a workout waiting for you in your own back yard? Whether this is mowing the lawn, raking leaves, digging holes to re-pot plants there are a number of ways in the garden to get your blood pumping. If you are after a more vigorous session (that’s also environmentally friendly) you could even go old-school with a manual reel mower!

3. Jump on in

A dip in the pool can include lap swimming, water walking/running or something more strenuous such as water aerobics. You could even get in the surf if you live near the coast. You can make the workouts as challenging as you want and the good thing about exercising in water is that it is easy on your joints. Plus it is also good for your mental health – just lie back have a float and relax.

4. Dance like no one is watching

Dancing is an excellent way to keep active. From ballroom to line dancing or even playing a game of Just Dance in your lounge room with your grandkids, there is a style for everyone! Dancing has many physical and mental benefits - not only can it get your heart rate up and improve your fitness, but it is also a lot of fun, which is a great stress reliever.

5. Yoga

Yoga has a variety of positive benefits for your mind, body, and soul. It can improve balance and flexibly, which can reduce this risk of falls later in life plus the many mental health benefits such as; reducing anxiety, stress and learning to be mindful. The best part about yoga is that it can be done anywhere, all you need is a yoga mat and any props to help with your balance. If you are not sure where to start, there are many online yoga classes, or you can take a class at a local yoga studio.

6. Reach out to your local Church

A good way to stay connected to your community is through a local church. They may offer activities that can help you stay active like indoor bowls, volunteering or for the more adventurous an overseas mission. Attending regular church meetups like a parish morning tea club are great for your routine and an opportunity to incorporate some activity into your day by leaving the car at home to walk or ride your bike there instead.

The ideal retirement may look different to everyone but make sure you look past the financials and ensure you are making the most of every day! If you have any concerns or questions about your pension or retirement options, simply get in touch.

Any advice contained in this document is of a general nature only, and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Prior to acting on any information in this document, you need to take into account your own financial circumstances, consider the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination for any product you are considering, and seek independent financial advice if you are unsure of what action to take. The material contained in this document is based on information received in good faith from sources within the market and on our understanding of the legislation at this time. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

*ABS, 2021, Life Tables, Accessed 22/2/2022.
**HealthDirect, 2021, Physical activity guidelines for older people. Accessed 21/2/2022.