7 Ideas For A Healthy Retirement

Ida Keeling is 103 years old and a fitness buff. She holds the world record for the 100-meter dash with a time of 1 minute and 17 seconds for the age category of 100 to 104. She started running at age 67 after one of her sons passed away and said, “Running to me is like medicine.”[1]

You don’t have to run like Miss Ida but staying physically fit during your golden years can generate multiple benefits like controlling your weight, fighting diseases, improving your mood, boosting your energy, and helping you sleep. Health is wealth.[2]

Remaining active in retirement is vital, especially if you want to be mobile later in life.

Here are a few ideas to keep you moving.

Walking or Running. Walking, and running, is an easy activity. All you need to do is put on your running shoes, open your front door, and put one foot in front of the other. Walking is a low impact activity that can keep you moving for decades. If you have good bones, then running allows you to increase your heart rate and cover more territory. You can also participate in races like 5ks or marathons. The Centers for Disease Control recommends 2.5 hours per week, or 30 minutes a day.[3] Walking 10,000 steps daily is the new normal. You can track your progress with a Fitbit or Apple Watch.

Hiking. A hike in the mountains is good for the soul and the heart. A good trail with varying terrain and endless vistas is hard to beat. Hiking in Yosemite, Yellowstone, or Rocky Mountain National Park is both challenging and exhilarating.  National parks, state parks, or local municipalities have miles of trails that you can explore while hiking.

Cycling.  Cyclists have several opportunities to log miles. Gear heads can ride a road or mountain bike if they live in area that’s safe for cyclists. However, SoulCycle® and Peloton® give you access to the road, and community, in a controlled environment. If you own a Peloton®, you don’t even have to leave your house!

Swimming. Is swimming the ultimate full body workout? Swimmers would probably say yes, and I’d agree. Like walking, swimming is a low impact sport.  Most cities offer a masters swimming program giving you exposure to coaches, pools and fellow swimmers. In fact, April is adult learn to swim month. You can find a club near you at www.usms.org.

Lifting Weights. Do you remember Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live? Their skit was called “Pumping Up with Hans & Franz.” Lifting weights builds muscle and muscle fights fat and osteoporosis. It also lowers your risk of diabetes, prevents back pain, and improves your balance.[4] Joining your local gym will give you access to trainers and community.

Yoga. Yoga enhances your flexibility, improves your balance and builds muscle. It’s a low impact sport that can be mastered at any age. You can join a class, watch a video, or do it on your own. Yoga can also help you manage your stress level. Yoga pants are in fashion – an added bonus!

Community. Harvard has been conducting an eight decades study on adult development. They found social connections (not social media) to be good for your health while loneliness to be toxic.  A community can also improve your memory.[5] You may also learn new skills, meet new people, and live longer.

In my neighborhood, there’s a group of about 15 senior women who walk a few times per week and they’re usually laughing and talking while walking at a pretty good clip. They’re enjoying the outdoors, exercising and staying in community. A good mix for longevity.

So, get off the couch, get outside and find an activity that brings you joy. Your life may depend on it!

We want to pump you up! ~ Hans and Franz. 

April 5, 2019

Bill Parrott, CFP®, CKA® is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose.

In 2011 he finished the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:22. He currently hikes, bikes, and lifts weights.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ than those posted in this blog.



[1] https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a20866241/102-year-old-track-star/, Cindy Kuzma, 3/14/2018

[2] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389, Mayo Clinic Staff, 12/14/2018

[3] https://www.livestrong.com/article/513495-how-much-walking-to-get-in-shape/, Dani Arbuckle, website accessed 4/5/2019

[4] https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1008208-13-benefits-weightlifting-one-tells/?slide=11, Jody Braverman, 3/1/2018

[5] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mental-health/can-relationships-boost-longevity-and-well-being, Published June 2017, website accessed 4/5/2019.