7 reasons Why It’s Important to Keep Fit in Retirement

As we enter the new phase of life called retirement, this transition can bring different meanings to different folks.

Some may expect to use this period of life as a reason for traveling and seeing new places; others may find this time to relax and enjoy their life at home or even try new hobbies. All these reasons are means of finding an enjoyable lifestyle; however, maintaining physical fitness can sometimes become overlooked in this new phase of life.

With the transition to Medicare, which often comes alongside retirement, many individuals may find that Medicare and gym memberships can offer accessibility to fitness resources supporting health and wellbeing. In this article, you’ll read about seven reasons why maintaining a healthy fitness routine is beneficial and important. From promoting a healthy quality of life to fostering social connections, the benefits of having a workout routine can lead to a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling retirement.

Keeping fit can promote a quality of life that can be very beneficial in retirement. Regular exercise has always been linked to a longer lifespan by contributing to a reduction of chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Along with physical benefits, working out has also been found to promote better mental health. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported that seniors who participated in strength training exercises experienced improvements in functional abilities and mobility, leading to a better overall quality of and longer life.

Prevents Chronic Health Conditions

Aside from a longer and healthier life, studies have also shown that regularly engaging in physical fitness can keep certain chronic health issues away, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and dementia. The strengthening of bones, regulation of blood sugar levels, and cardiovascular health are all linked to the effects of regular exercise, which leads to the body’s defense against chronic health conditions. Not only can these conditions lead to a poorer quality of life, but they can also contribute to higher medical bills.

When you have a health condition that needs to be monitored, you can expect to have a copay or cost responsibility for each doctor visit and ordered test. Physical fitness can lead to less worry about potentially dishing out thousands of dollars for doctor visits and prescription medication.

Enhances Mental Health

Mental health is every bit as important as physical health! With keeping a physical fitness routine comes beneficial factors such as stress reduction and improved cognitive function. Exercise causes your brain to release certain chemicals like endorphins, and serotonin can help improve your mood. Endorphins are peptides produced in the brain that boost the feelings of wellbeing and block pain perception. Serotonin is a chemical that helps with many functions, such as growth, emotions, metabolism, and even sleep! A study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that walking for an hour or running for just 15 minutes a day can reduce the risk of depression by 26%.

Provides Opportunities for Social Interaction

While mental health and a longer quality of life are important benefits of regular exercise, so are social interaction and engaging in group settings. Whether walking with your partner or family member or joining a gym, you’ll find that a fitness routine can create great opportunities to continue social connections or even create new ones! Some popular fitness programs many seniors benefit from are Renew Active and Silver Sneakers. These types of gym membership benefits are most often associated with Medicare Advantage plans and some Medicare Supplement plans.

These ancillary benefits are usually included at no cost and offer a highly robust standard gym membership for any gym in the network. It’s important to note that companionship and support networks are linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety and higher self-esteem. Social connection directly influences your body and mind, which can increase your health and life expectancy.

Maintains Independence and Mobility

As they age, a common concern in retirees is the ability to maintain independence and mobility. Regular exercise can help with these factors in many ways! If you continue to move your body regularly, you’ll continue to be able to maintain a certain physical strength and flexibility, ensuring that you can continue to tackle typical daily activities. By keeping that strength and flexibility, you can also prevent falls and injuries, a common concern of aging retirees. Light walking or short stretches can contribute to long-term mobility and maintained independence.

Sets a Positive Example for Others

Another significant aspect of life that continuing physical activity after retirement is being able to influence your family, friends, and the community you belong to. Demonstrating a healthier lifestyle to even the younger generations can lead to them fostering the same good habits. It would eventually lead to a culture of wellness that could debunk the stigma of how people usually stereotype seniors. Not only can you promote wellbeing in yourself, you can promote it for future generations!

Promotes Active Aging and Lifelong Learning

Staying fit after retirement can also lead to the benefit of lifelong learning. Many seniors find themselves somewhat bored after spending most of their lives learning and using their skills in the workplace. Have you ever considered joining that new cycling class or Pilates at your local gym? Now would be the chance to maximize your Silver Sneakers or Renew active benefit to learn a new activity for free, leading to a fulfilling retirement.


Whether you’re into bird watching with a friend or spouse, going on a light walk around the lake with friends, or taking advantage of senior gym membership benefits at your local gym, you can find that staying fit after retirement has multiple benefits that feed and play into each other, that eventually lead to a higher quality of life.

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Freddie Gethin

Freddie Gethin, a Health and Wellness Specialist with a Doctorate in Medicine, focuses on medical research, public health trends, and wellness advice. His clinical experience and research background provide a foundation for his practical and scientifically backed health guidance, benefiting healthcare professionals and the general public.
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