As we grow older, one of the biggest milestones left to reach is that of retirement. For a lot of people, it draws a line under a significant chapter in your life – decades spent at work earning an income to care for your family (and enjoy your spare time). While you may be looking forward to the day where you can live a life of leisure, the transition to retirement can be emotionally challenging with the prospect of endless free time more daunting than idyllic.
One useful way to make the move to retired living easier is to take up a new activity or hobby. Of course, there are plenty of pursuits to choose from. This in itself can be a blessing or curse – depending on how hard you find it to decide! But why limit yourself to one? Having plenty of things to do is the perfect way to structure your days and retain a sense of purpose. Savour your newly found free time after retirement with these four great outdoor activities that have the added advantage of keeping you fit and boosting your mood.
A walking group can be an effective way of ticking several boxes in one go. An obvious benefit is that walking can keep you fit and active. It might be a low intensity activity but there are a number of health benefits attached to it. Not only that, but you also have the chance to get to know like-minded people and explore beautiful landscapes at leisure.
You don't really need much to join a walking group either. It can be an advantage to invest in some warm clothes – not least in winter. Some walking poles may also help you get around.
If terra firma isn't enough for you, there's always the option to take to the water – whether at sea or on one of the UK's many inland waterways. But operating a boat isn't without its risks. Novice sailors, or those feeling a bit rusty, should take a refresher course with an instructor to gen up on key skills. If you are able to purchase your own vessel, you may wish to look into appropriate boat insurance cover tailored to your needs to help safeguard this long-desired investment. Once you have taken steps to ensure safety, you can embrace the freedom of the open water with confidence.
The garden can be an oasis of calm right on your doorstep. You don't have to travel, it is your personal project, and it can be enjoyed the whole year-round. In recent years it has been shown that tending a garden can really enhance your mental wellbeing, encouraging nurturing and connecting you with nature and wildlife.
Your garden can be as high or low maintenance as you see fit. Is it an explosion of colour and greenery you'd like? Or a quiet, calming place to read a book or stream a film? You could even go down the rewilding route and watch as insects and critters flock to your own wilderness.
In later life, it's not unusual for our bodies to become less mobile than they once were. But that should never be a barrier to captivating outdoor activities. Indeed, there are some pursuits that demand little-to-no movement from you at all. So, sit back and look to the skies – either by day to catch birds in flight or by night to watch the stars put on a cosmic display.