In my last post I talked about how entering retirement debt free was probably the best pre-retirement decision I made. Or more accurately, the best decision my husband and I made together. But after we both retired and settled in Maine near the state’s flagship university, we made what just might be our best post-retirement decision. We took advantage of a special membership offer for the new student recreation and fitness center that was being built on campus. For less than the cost of one nice dinner out a month we gained unlimited access to one of the best facilities of it’s kind. It has an indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, a one tenth of a mile indoor track, close to 50 treadmills, elliptical and climbing machines, stationary bikes, and rowing machines for cardio workouts. There are several area for weight training and classrooms for yoga, pilates, spinning and etc. There are basketball, racquetball and squash courts.
Now I know what you are thinking. It is one thing to have access to a great gym, it is another to find the time to take advantage of it. I think the mistake that a lot of people make is in not making working-out a priority. And it definitely should be a priority. Pharmaceutical companies are getting rich as people look for quick fixes for physical ailments that can often be managed through diet and exercise. And it doesn’t take as much time as you might think. Studies show that as little as 2 1/2 hours a week can have a positive effect on your overall health.
I have the advantage of having studied physical education and exercise physiology in college so I have long been a believer in staying active. In a way it was easier for me because I loved the outdoors and most any sport. When I was young, I never had to find time to be physically active it was just something that I did naturally. When I ended up with a desk job in an unrelated field, I made a conscious effort to find ways to make exercise a part of my weekly routine. It wasn’t always easy but it certainly has made a difference in my quality of life.
Being retired it can be easy to put things off. But that doesn’t mean that you should, especially when it comes to taking care of yourself. My husband and I make workouts a regular part of our weekly schedule. We go to the gym three times a week when we are in town and workout for 1 1/2 to 2 hours each time. Sometimes, especially when the weather is nice, we skip the gym workout and take a hike or ride our bikes. The important thing is we stay active and are rewarded with a level of fitness that allows us to enjoy all that retired life has to offer.