If you're like many baby boomers, your conversations often include how to keep fit, stay fit and ensure you're financially fit. For those creeping toward retirement age, physical fitness may make all the difference in your long-term quality of life.
No one wants to finally reach the finish line of their career only to find they didn't stay fit and are, therefore, sidelined due to a lack of flexibility, balance issues or other health concerns. The dollars-and-cents costs of poor health — from health care and dental care to medication and more — can quickly send retirees into financial trouble.
But here's the good news: No matter your physical (or financial) condition, there are many ways to stay in tip-top shape in your 50s, 60s and beyond.
Visit the Doctor
It's no secret that many people avoid physicals and other routine care because they're afraid of uncovering a significant health issue. Ignorance is bliss, as the old phrase goes — until they discover a disease or illness has progressed to a life-threatening stage.
If you want to stay physically fit in retirement, start by finding and addressing any health concerns with a simple visit to the doctor. Staying healthy could also help you qualify for a lower premium on things like life insurance or long-term care insurance.
Find a New Exercise
Do you think exercise is just not for you? Well, maybe you've given up on exercise because you haven't found the right one. Think back to life as a kid, when we all ran, jumped, swam and biked. No one had to force us into activity. But as we aged, many of us decided there was one exercise that would work, and limited ourselves to that.
Don't limit your options! Try new activities exercises like swimming, weight lifting, cycling, Zumba, volleyball, dance and more. Check out fitness websites for inspiration and information about new exercises, which could help you make fitness fun.
There are many medical benefits that meditation practitioners enjoy, including stress reduction and lower blood pressure, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. But meditation isn't your way out of regular medical care, cardio exercise and strength training. It's simply a supplement for those working to keep fit and improve their overall physical and emotional health.
Not sure how to start? Look at courses offered in your community, such as through adult education centers, health care centers and hospitals. You can also find an array of free videos online that will guide you through the basics.
Consider a New Hobby
You may think hobbies will have to wait until you retire. After all, you're busy with family, work and everyday living. But consider trying something new (and active) to keep things interesting. According to a 2015 study published in the Oxford University Press, leisure activities could improve your health and overall well-being.
From snowshoeing and hiking to kayaking and salsa dancing, many hobbies could help you develop new skills and keep fit well into your golden years.
Team Up With a Fitness Buddy
Those working to stay fit often team up with a fitness buddy. It's great to have someone who can become your fitness buddy. Look to friends, family or even colleagues. Keeping fit together could also help you strengthen your relationship with whatever buddy you choose.
Whether you're planning a long hike to Macchu Picchu or are simply interested in keeping up with your grandkids, everyone wants to enter retirement physically — and financially — fit. Following these tips could help you learn how to get fit and potentially keep health care costs down in your 50s, 60s and beyond.