By Patrice Horner, CFP, MBA,
Have you checked your pedometer lately, or your BitFit? Next it might be an Apple Watch. These are all devices to display our level of activity. I don’t know about you, but a typical day might only include 600 steps, versus the 10,000 suggested. Guess that’s why I stopped wearing it. How in the world do you reach 10 Thousand steps, take very little ones? And with the Apple Watch, it will remind you that you have been sitting too long. You need to get up to walkabout for 10 minutes about every 90 minutes or so. Some of the devices also report on whether you had a restful sleep, as if you need to be told.
It may not seem natural to get into motion, when so much time has been spent sitting at a desk or at luncheon meetings. But it cannot be stressed enough that staying active will improve the quality of live. So, it’s important to work it into your day to day habits. Take a walk around town whilst going to check the mail. In Bermuda, a walk on the railway trail during the busy period of 4-7pm is save and sociable. Not many gyms cater to the not-so-young. I have found that the CORE gym of the Bermuda Heart Foundation is a well-spring of conversation and activity for those less likely to go to a gym.
Limber up the limbs daily. Do some weight training three times a week. This is where you use moderate weights or your body weight to build some muscles, which helps to protect your bones. It is not the first thing that comes to mind to those 60+, but weight training is an important contributor to your well-being. Maybe have some 3-10 lbs. weights at home to lift whilst watching television. Three sets of 20 repetition is good. Have a session with a trainer to be sure you have a balanced work-out. It doesn’t have to be often, just work out on your own or with a group.
Next, you need to exercise that muscle above the shoulders. I don’t mean running your mouth, although staying sociable and in-touch is important. I mean exercising your brain. Taking another language and playing music are excellent ways to stay lucid. There is the Luminosity website and software which has specific exercises to keep the synapses snapping. Then, there is a game of bingo or of bridge. Bowling or a tennis foursome are enjoyable active activities that use body and mind. A variety of sketching and painting are good for your mind and soul. If you are any good at artwork, in Bermuda you could display at the Dockyard Centre or the Bermuda Society of Arts (BSoA). That would be fun.
Patrice Horner holds an MBA in Finance and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP-US). She covers issues concerning the financial planning industry and profession. Horner is a director of Senior Solutions Ltd. and previously the VP of North Atlantic Management Ltd, a pension investment advisory firm.