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Active Ageing: Rewire After You Retire

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You have looked forward to this day. Finally, you are free to wake up at any time you want and spend your day as you wish. It’s your retirement day!

 

Now that work is out of your life, it’s time to reorganise your priorities and do stuff you’ve never had time to do. In fact, you can be more active now that you are in your golden years and enjoy a healthy retirement lifestyle.

 

10 Fun Things to Do in Retirement

 

1. Go on that trip with your old pals. Have you always wished to relive the good old days with your former classmates or army pals? Why not gather them and plan a holiday together? You can go on a relaxing fishing trip at a kelong, book a golf holiday in a neighbouring country or go on a road trip up north. Spending time with friends is a great way to create new memories as you revisit old ones.

 

2. Pretend to be a tourist in Singapore. Draw up an itinerary to visit museums, parks or other places of interest. Join a heritage tour or take the MRT and stop at random stations to explore its vicinity. You may discover gems or interesting shops and buildings you have never known before. If you’re a nature lover, you absolutely must check out all the national parks in Singapore. With a packed calendar of events in Singapore throughout the year, there is no lack of fun and activity.

 

3. Get in shape! Now that you have no more excuses, it’s time to realise your exercise goals. You could also learn to play a new sport! If you are unsure of your fitness level or which sport may suit you, you can get an assessment from the Fit for FUNction fitness test conducted by Active SG, or start with these 7 easy exercises. Gather your workout buddies for regular exercise or join the National Steps Challenge™.

 

4. Rekindle the romance. It’s time to strengthen your relationship with your spouse by spending time together and plan on ageing well, together. After all, retirement planning shouldn’t be a solo activity when you’re married. You can help each other stay active by going for daily walks in the neighbourhood after meals, running errands or shopping for groceries together. Use activity trackers or smartphone apps to monitor your daily step count and spur each other on to meet the goal of 10,000 steps daily.

 

5. Time for DIY. Have you been wanting to do some home improvement projects but work kept getting in the way? Now’s the perfect time to spruce up the house ahead of the festivities. For example, you can give one of your rooms a new coat of paint and change the arrangement of your furniture. Even helping out with the housework can be a good way to sweat it out.

 

6. Discover a new side of you. Try your hands at something new such as photography, Zumba, opera singing, learning a new language or ballroom dancing. Don’t be shy and assume that certain activities such as rollerblading or hip-hop are only for young people. Sign up for courses, meet fellow enthusiasts and indulge in new experiences and activities. If you have been neglecting your hobbies, now’s the time to brush off the dust and start on them again. Learning new things is also good for your mental health.

 

7. Try urban farming. You can grow edible plants on your balcony or corridor, or join community gardeners around your neighbourhood. If you aren’t sure of your skills to make things grow, start with easy plants such as basil, mint, pandan or spring onion. The satisfaction of eating your own harvest will spur you to keep them growing.

 

You can also look out for community partners if you feel that you need some guidance in your farming journey. For example, Edible Garden City—an urban farming social enterprise—aims to bring people together through farming, by building community farms and sharing its knowledge on urban farming.

 

8. Be a sporting grandparent. Make time to reconnect with your adult children and grandchildren. Offer to take the kids on trips to the zoo or parks which will also keep you energised. While you are out, you can share stories with them, teach them new stuff and get to know them better. It’s family bonding time!

 

9. Revisit your memories. Start a special project to revisit and document all the important places in your life. These can include places you have stayed in, old schools and locations which hold special memories for you. Take photos and pen down your thoughts in photo journals or online blogs. Your creation will become a treasured life story which you can share with your family and friends.

 

10. Make time for others. There are many organisations with volunteer opportunities waiting for an extra pair of hands. Find one which suits your personality and values and volunteer to help out. It’s a good way to stay socially active and make meaningful contributions to the community.

 

Active Ageing in Singapore

 

There are many Active Ageing Programmes (AAPs) across our island organised by the Ministry of Health to encourage seniors in their golden years to stay active, healthy and socially engaged. You can join any of these programmes that are located in your neighbourhood.

 

There are currently two senior care centres and active ageing hubs—located in Ghim Moh and Telok Blangah—that operate seven days a week as well as on public holidays. The elderly can look forward to mass exercises and workshops at the active ageing hubs, and caregivers can find support groups to give advice or assistance for respite care services. There are currently six active ageing hubs islandwide.

 

Retirement Village in Singapore

 

Are retirement communities up your alley? Admiralty is home to the country’s first “retirement kampung”, where two blocks of Housing Board flats meant for the elderly form an informal retirement community. It is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore to feature elderly-friendly features for seniors, as well as a medical centre offering specialist consultations, endoscopy and day surgery procedures.

 

When Traditional Retirement Isn’t For You

 

Some of us may not like the idea of traditional retirement. We love putting the skills and knowledge we’ve learnt over the years to good use and we want to continue contributing to the society in our own way. Working full time might be too tiring in the long term so why not look for a part-time job that allows us to stay active while we earn an income? Or you might want to start a business offering your consultancy services. As the boss of a small business, you decide your own hours so you can free up some time to do the 10 things mentioned above. That’s a great win-win situation!

 

Stay Healthy After Retirement

 

Picture yourself glowing with health after you retire. You are physically active, free from major illnesses and living independently. Family and friends surround you, filling your days with activities and cheer. You are enjoying what you love to do and feel mentally alert to take on new skills and hobbies.

 

Such a scenario is not far-fetched. With a little retirement planning, everyone can age successfully and be physically active after your retirement. Staying active keeps you healthy and lowers your risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases. It strengthens your muscles, improves your balance and reduces your risk of falling.

 

Now that you have retired, it is time to rewire your life for better health!

 

“Active Ageing: Rewire After You Retire” by Health Promotion Board © HealthHub

 

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