Here’s a cheek smacker for all of us in or approaching retirement who want to stay at home through the end of this rodeo:
Start dancing… Now!
I’m not kidding.
The numbers from the Administration on Aging indicate 90% of us want to live at home; we don’t want to end up in a long-term care setting.
And, in most cases, avoiding a convalescent home is a function of three factors:
- Social network
- Exercise and physical activity
- Challenging ourselves mentally.
Every study I have ever read about a successful retirement talks about all three of these factors – and addressing them as early as possible.
If your idea of retirement is sitting on the couch watching TV between trips to the “early bird special” buffet, pack your bags now. You’re halfway to a rest home.[ad#Google Adsense 336×280-IA]Isolation breeds depression, and that leads to all kinds of disease.
As our friends and family pass, we have fewer of our old contacts.
Having a diverse personal network – not just our old friends – is key, and it doesn’t just have to be friends.
Acquaintances work too.
Exercising and staying active reduce heart problems, diabetes and a ton of other issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
That one has been beaten to death.
And staying mentally active is one of the few ways to beat or delay dementia. And dementia is one of the most common reasons for entering a long-term care facility.
A study out of the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas at Dallas found two activities, photography and quilting, improved subjects’ performance on memory tests more than doing crossword puzzles.
But dancing addresses all three of the factors I mentioned above:
- It involves meeting and being with people. Dancing alone isn’t for most of us. This isn’t about being John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
- It provides ample exercise that really gets your heart pumping.
- And learning complicated steps to dances like the tango, samba and even the waltz is mentally challenging beyond belief.
So you’re learning new things, meeting new people, expanding your network and moving…
And, the best part, there are dance groups already up and running. Just walk in, sign up and pick a partner. You don’t need a group of friends or even one.
(And, guys, these groups are screaming for men.)
Heck, if nothing else you’ll be the center of attention at the next wedding you attend.
Oh, and last: At this point in our lives, no one cares what we look like out there. It’s about fun.
So get off the couch and go trip the light fantastic.
But please tell me this will not result in the rebirth of disco! God, I hated disco!
Source: Wealthy Retirement