You’ve retired from your job, your pension is coming in and now it is time to sit back with your pipe and slippers, right? Wrong. Pensioners are now more active than they ever have been and many people aged over 60 are finding unusual ways to keep fit.
The NHS recommends that people over 60 should do two types of exercise each week in order to stay fit and healthy. But exercise isn’t just about staying fit - it also has wonderful mental and social benefits, so you will look and feel good for it.
In order to stick to an exercise regime, you have to really love it and many people find it hard to love going to the gym. So we have been out and about finding some of the more unusual and fun forms of exercise that you can take up in your sixties and throughout your retirement.
Have you always wanted to run away to the circus? Well now is your chance. Circus skills encompass a huge variety of different disciplines that will help with your core strength and flexibility. Adventurous types can try aerial skills – Chinese pole, silks, rope, aerial hoop and trapeze. All of these do wonders for your core and upper body strength. However, if you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, hula hooping is a surprisingly energetic work out. You can also improve your reactions and learn to juggle.
There are many places across the South East that will teach you circus skills, such as Sweet Circus based in Eastbourne.
Cold water swimming
Cold water swimming is all the rage and don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. You can do this at any age, especially if you're in your sixties and looking to stay healthy as you retire. Join a club or group and head out into the sea, rivers or lakes all winter long. Not only is it a fantastic calorie burner, but it is also proven to help people who suffer from anxiety or depression. For an added bonus, tea and cake to warm up is a major factor for all serious cold water swimmers.
If you want to improve your technique or you are new to open water swimming, you can attend some specialist classes, such as those run by Pool To Pier in Brighton.
Lotte Berk classes
If you were always a keen dancer in your youth and yearning for that slim yet strong figure, find a Lotte Berk class that combines dance, yoga and pilates as a way to keep strong, flexible and fit. You can find out more about the Lotte Berk method here.
Stand up paddle boarding
If you are a fan of watersports or board sports, try stand up paddle boarding. It can be as extreme or gentle as you like. Head out and explore your local waterways and coastline while working your thighs and core. If you want some tuition and to start in a safe environment, take a look at Action Watersports until you find your balance.
If you have some pent up energy, then why not take up boxing? You don’t have to fight in order to fit in at a boxing gym and learn some skills. You can work on the bags or with a trainer and build your strength, stamina and focus as you pound away your worries. Although most gyms offer some form of 'boxercise', find your local boxing gym for more specialist training, such as the Horsham Boxing Club.
All these exercises will not only help keep you fit in your retirement, but they are also fantastic social sports where you will meet a variety of people who will soon become good friends.
Did you know your brain needs stimulation and exercise to stay healthy too? Read 5 ways you can exercise your brain and keep your mind sharp in your retirement.