No matter what we do in our work lives, it’s an intense drag on our downtime. You get up, you get dressed, you’re out the door for your drive, bus, train or bike commute to the office, there’s lots to do, there are meetings, you’re pounding coffee all day. At the end of the day the couch looks irresistible.
So is retirement really the time of life when we put our feet up and measure out time with coffee spoons?
No, says the Home Care Assistance blog. “The dangers of a sedentary lifestyle are even more significant for seniors because they are already at risk for developing serious health conditions,” the blog warns. Physical activity gets “the blood pumping through the body,” the blog notes, but inactivity leads to slower circulation, “which can have a devastating impact on the heart.”
If you are developing arthritis, the worst thing to do is to take it easy, the blog reports. “Seniors with arthritis must keep their bodies moving to prevent joints and ligaments from becoming too tight,” the blog advises.
Physical activity helps prevent other conditions, such as memory lapses, depression, and the likelihood of falls, the blog reports. It all adds up to a shortened lifespan, the blog concludes.
The Dr. Axe blog expands on some of these points. Being sedentary is a huge problem in the U.S., the blog notes. “It’s startling to discover that Americans spend 93 per cent of our lifetimes indoors — and 70 per cent of each day sitting,” the blog reveals.
As a species, humans are supposed to spend each day moving around – our ancestors had to rustle up food, seek shelter, and find warmth, the blog explains.
“How does not moving regularly take a toll on our health? The World Health Organization estimates that a lack of physical activity is associated with 3.2 million deaths a year,” the blog notes. The blog lists diabetes, heart disease, poor circulation, “fuzzy thinking,” and even loss of muscle mass and bone strength as by-products of a sedentary lifestyle.
So what do we do to combat these risks?
The Wisdom Times blog sets out some ideas to help you avoid the negative effects of couch occupancy.
“Walk every day, have a sport, and go to the gym,” the blog suggests. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, the blog notes, and consider parking in a “faraway spot” if you’re driving places.
“If you are one of the blessed lot to have your office within 4-5 kms from home, you could consider cycling to work. You will also contribute to the social conscience by saving on the pollution,” the blog recommends. Other easy ways to combat the sedentary lifestyle including playing with kids and grandkids, dancing, and in the kitchen, avoiding the use of powered appliances, and instead “get your pounding stone or your grinding stone out.”
Let’s face it – if we’ve gone to all the trouble to squirrel away savings for retirement, why not go to a little more trouble, through being active, to make it a long retirement?
If you have taken a sedentary approach to getting out there and saving for retirement, a helpful tool is at hand. The Saskatchewan Pension Plan offers you an end-to-end approach to turning your savings into retirement income. Take action, and check them out today!
|Written by Martin Biefer
|Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock. He and his wife live with their Shelties, Duncan and Phoebe, and cat, Toobins. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22|