Retired, but Not Retired from Exercising

“You need to exercise!”  I heard it loudly and clearly from my normally friendly doctor.

So what do I do now? I have become somewhat sedentary in my daily routine since retirement. My focus has been on relaxation and catching up on reading. Exercising was not part of my plan.

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For me, joining a gym was unappealing. I have done this in the past without much success. After some thought, I chose walking. Although it isn’t something I’ve done much in my life, as far as exercise, I created a realistic plan to make this new regimen more manageable:

  • Schedule the Time: One way to effectively begin a new exercise program is to schedule it into your life. My plan was to start on a Monday so that I would have the weekend to enjoy myself exercise-free.
  • Set a Goal: I found that setting an attainable goal gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. I decided 2 miles was a good measure to start and I would build from there. Research shows it takes 21 days to form a habit so I included this in my goal setting.
  • Create a Reward: After I achieve my daily walking goal, I go to Dunkin Donuts for a cup of coffee. That’s my reward and it helps keep me focused and motivated.
  • Buy the Right Equipment: I found buying the best walking sneakers and exercise clothes made me actually want to exercise. I also bought an Apple Watch to monitor progress and celebrate success. Tip: Apple watches are great but pricey. For an alternative, here are some good, less expensive options.
  • Choose the Best Route: I am fortunate to live by the ocean so I am able to walk along the beach and enjoy the activity. Choosing a beautiful exercise route will help inspire you and make the activity fun.

I am now beginning my 4th month of walking and have not missed a day! I look forward to putting on my sneakers (I’m on my 2nd pair!) and starting my Apple Watch to track my time. I can now complete two miles in 17 to 18 minutes and even added on another mile or two to my daily goal. I am still enjoying my coffee reward and I am actually looking forward to my doctor’s visit next month! I have lost several pounds and decreased my blood pressure. Who knew exercise could be so rewarding during retirement?

What do you enjoy for exercise? Please share in the comments below!

 

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