Traveling the world, seeing all the exotic and far-flung countries you’ve always dreamed of is one of the most common dreams for retirement. You’ve got more time on your hands, have had a chance to save up your money, your kids have grown out of a desire to go to Disney World, and you really know what you want; there’s nothing holding you back – apart from maybe your health. Your body slows down and becomes more susceptible to problems as you age, but with a healthy diet and active lifestyle to keep you in shape, it’s still more than possible to travel later in life.
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Traveling can place great stress on your body, even for those who are young and fit. Things like jetlag, early starts, unusual motion on boats and planes, or changes in water and food can make you feel anything from off-color to downright stuck-in-bed sick. Making sure you’re healthy before your trip is a great way to ensure your body can cope more easily with any changes, and you can continue to have an enjoyable time away.
- Regular gentle exercise is really beneficial, and is proven to help reduce both common illnesses and the risk of long-term diseases. Try some low-impact and low-intensity sports like swimming, where your muscles and joints are supported by the water.
- Get a pedometer and try to gradually increase your daily step count by going for walks or taking the stairs instead of an elevator. It’s a good idea to set fitness goals to help motivate yourself, but remember to start slow and build up gradually to avoid injury.
- Review your diet and make sure you’re getting enough nutrients and vitamins by choosing lots of fruit and vegetables. This also helps reduce your calorie intake and keep you from becoming overweight; common in seniors as calorie needs decrease with age.
Decisions, decisions: choosing your trip
There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing your trip, from all-out luxury to wilderness getaways, all of which are suitable for seniors. Check out some options offered by companies dedicated to seniors, especially if you have any particular medical or accessibility requirements. Cruises might be a bit of a cliche, but they’re a really flexible and senior-friendly choice and there’s a range of activities to suit everyone on-board. From relaxing in the sun and sand in the Mediterranean or Caribbean, to hopping along the wild coast of northern Norway, you’re taken along for the ride with little effort and can be as active or relaxed as you choose. You can opt to join excursions or head off to seek out adventures on your own, away from the crowds. Often a slower pace is better for appreciating the scenery, so try cycling – another great low-impact exercise – or a steady canoe trip. Other trips with similar flexibility and variety include continental railway journeys – such as the Trans-Siberian from Moscow to Beijing, or any number of options across the USA and Canada. Even if you’re not a rail enthusiast, these grand journeys bring out the adventurer in anyone.
Staying Fit while on the road
While you’re away, ensure that you look after yourself. Eat well, drink plenty of water, and make sure to take medication at the right times – an app on your smartphone can help with this, especially if you’re hopping around time zones or getting caught up in the excitement of your trip. Many destinations also offer multiple opportunities to keep fit; you just have to search for them. For example, thousands of cyclists visit Andorra each year, which encourages you to cycle while on your trip here. There’s a multitude of other countries will be well known for some sport in one way or another, so get out there and try it! Get yourself prepared NOW for traveling later in life, and you’ll be able to make the most of every opportunity and create memories for years to come.
Today’s guest post comes to us from Sally Phillips, who is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.