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Retirement Recreation: How to Stay Sharp and Active in Your Golden Years

How to stay sharp & active in your golden years  - Great Eastern Life Malaysia

Retirement marks a new chapter of life that offers ample opportunities to pursue long-forgotten passions, travel to exotic destinations, and spend more time with loved ones. However, while it’s essential to enjoy your golden years to the fullest, it’s also crucial to keep your mind sharp and body strong by engaging in fulfilling activities that will keep you feeling and looking great throughout this much-awaited life stage. From fitness to travel, or even learning a new skill, there's something for everyone, so let’s explore the plethora of retirement recreation activities you can try out!

Mental Engagement

Recreational activities that are mentally stimulating are essential for retirees because it helps to keep the mind sharp and engaged. Mental processes such as attention span and memory deteriorate with age, and although it is a normal part of life, the onset of it may be slowed down by frequently exercising the brain.

a) Try out traditional games and activities

If you aren’t confident about using a computer, fret not because there are many other ways to keep your brain busy, even if you’re not the most technologically savvy person. Reading, be it books, journals, or even the newspapers, is still one of the most popular forms of passing time. After all, it’s mentally stimulating and keeps the brain active with new knowledge while simultaneously providing entertainment. However, if reading isn’t your cup of tea, here are some great examples of traditional games and activities that stimulate the mind:

  • Sudoku
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Chess
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Memory card games
  • Bingo

These games can not only help relieve boredom but also keep the brain sharp and alert, improving short-term memory, perception, working memory, information processing speed, and reasoning. As for where to find them, there are plenty of mobile apps these days that offer these games. But if you’re more comfortable with a printed copy, most physical bookstores will have a ready supply of sudoku and crossword puzzle books alongside games like chess, jigsaw puzzles, and memory cards.

b) Keep your hands busy and mind engaged

If games are not your cup of tea, you can also choose to try new hobbies that challenge the mind. You don’t have to be an expert to try these out as the goal is to keep your brain active and learning while simultaneously giving you the enjoyment of a new hobby. Here are a list of hobbies you can consider pursuing:

  • Painting or drawing
  • Writing short stories and poems, or keeping a journal
  • Learning a musical instrument
  • Knitting
  • Model building

These hobbies are just some of the ways of how you can help your brain to create new neural connections. This process can help keep the brain sharp and prevent age-related cognitive decline. Aside from helping your mind stay sharp, these hobbies will also keep your hands busy and help you retain their dexterity.

c) Go digital and learn

Staying mentally active during your retirement means constantly challenging your brain by learning new things, so why not opt to go the digital route? Here are several online activities you can try out once you go digital:

  • Learning a new language:
    Consider using senior-friendly language learning apps like Duolingo, Memrise or Drops, known for their ease of use and gentle learning curve. To foster a sense of community, you can also join online language learning groups or forums tailored to older learners, where you can share your language-learning journey with peers.
  • Exploring podcasts or audiobooks:
    Along with the enjoyment of sitting down with a book, you can also listen to narrative audiobooks for a different and equally delightful reading experience. Discover the pleasure of narrative audiobooks, from fiction to biographies. To feed your curiosity, delve into educational podcasts like "The History of Our World" or "Senior Moments" that cater to your interests in history, science or life experiences.
  • Learning a new skill:
    You might have heard about it, but it warrants repeating that the internet is an invaluable resource for acquiring new skills — be it learning how to cook dishes from different countries, exploring your budding interest in plants, or harnessing the power of painting — there are loads of courses, guides and content online that can help you get started. You can start with websites such as Skillshare, Udemy, Masterclass, or even YouTube which has made it convenient to expand your skills, and more importantly, allows you to learn on your own schedule!

Staying mentally active during your retirement by diving into the digital world not only opens doors to new knowledge but also provides hours of entertainment and mental stimulation. Embracing technology in your senior years ensures that you continue to challenge your brain, learn and have a great time doing so!

Physical Fitness

While retirement is a time for relaxation, you should still keep your body fit and flexible with regular exercise. Not only will an active lifestyle reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes – it will also help improve your mood, sleep quality, and energy levels.
Walking, swimming, jogging, yoga, and tai chi with your neighbourhood community are great ways to maintain flexibility and strength, while sports like tennis, badminton, and cycling keep you physically and socially engaged. If you prefer indoor activities, enrolling in fitness classes designed for seniors or taking up dancing might be a good idea.

General Well-Being

Ensuring your overall well-being during retirement is vital for a healthy and fulfilling life in your golden years. In addition to maintaining a nutritious diet, staying socially busy is an effective way to prevent feelings of isolation after retiring. Cultivate an active social life by joining clubs, volunteering, or engaging in community organisations. If you have the means, fulfil your wanderlust by travelling to the destinations on your checklist — just remember to purchase travel insurance before your journey begins.

Social and Emotional Well-Being

While taking care of yourself physically and mentally is the priority, don’t forget to tend to your social and emotional needs as well. Staying busy socially is also a great way to avoid feelings of isolation after retiring. Cultivate an active social life by joining clubs, volunteering, or participating in community organisations. And if you have the means, fulfil your wanderlust dreams by travelling to all the places on your checklist — don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you jet off. Travelling reduces stress and anxiety. In fact, research proves that it has been shown to calm the mind and promote positive feelings! During your retirement, making mental and physical activity a priority is essential for preserving sharpness and enjoying a rewarding retirement, but staying social will also greatly help enhance your quality of life throughout this exciting time.

You've dedicated years to your career and family, and now, in retirement, it's your time to prioritise self-care and embrace long-awaited adventures. With a GREAT Treasure Gift protection plan, you can embark on these new experiences with confidence and peace of mind. It combines essential life protection with guaranteed returns at maturity, and the application process is simple with no health questions asked, so you can focus on what truly matters: cherishing the moments that make life GREAT.

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Great Eastern Holdings Ltd | The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited | Great Eastern General Insurance Ltd
Great Eastern Holdings Ltd | The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited | Great Eastern General Insurance Ltd