One of the myths people think about retiring is that they are going to get to relax. That is a bit of a myth because although you won’t be working at a full-time job with an employer, your full-time job now is maintaining mobility in retirement, including muscle strength, and balance through exercise.

Schedule Time for Exercise to Maintain Mobility in Retirement

So, it is going to take some work in retirement to maintain your fitness level because you have to combat the normal aging of the muscles and loss of strength that is normal with aging. What I always suggest to people for maintaining mobility in retirement is to make your schedule around your exercise program. That may be a group class, an online class, individual training, or physical therapy.

Whatever you are doing for exercise, make that the foundation of your schedule in retirement. Otherwise, you may end up making doctor’s appointments the foundation of your schedule, if you lose your fitness and your health.

While maintaining mobility in retirement, try to have a variety of physical activities, including some cardiovascular, some balance, some strengthening, some flexibility, and endurance. Overall, just stay active even if it’s gardening or cleaning your house.

When I was doing a talk at a local library a few years ago, a woman came up to me afterward and said “I clean my house from top to bottom every single day. Does that count as exercise?”

I said “Yes it does! If you’re up, you’re down, you’re sweeping, you’re mopping, you’re dusting, you’re picking things up, walking around, yes that counts as physical activity.”

If you are maintaining mobility in retirement, that will help reduce the risk of falling as you get older.

Wear Proper Shoes

For maintaining mobility in retirement is important, footwear is a key factor. Make sure you have the right shoes.

When we look at footwear to reduce the risk of falling, what we found in the research is that footwear that securely fastens to your feet and has a thin nonskid sole is the best.

For example, shoes such as high heels or men’s dress shoes tend to be slick on the bottom. Boots many times have soles that are too thick, which will prevent the person wearing them from being able to feel the floor.

Being able to feel the floor is important because the pressure on the floor coming up through the sole of your foot allows you to feel what we call the “ground reaction force.” This pressure on the bottom of your feet tells you where you are.

If the sole of the shoe is too thick, you won’t feel the floor through your shoe and that will affect your balance. So, I encourage you to select footwear that securely fastens to your feet and that has a thin nonskid sole so you can feel the pressure from the floor.

If you’re not sure how to exercise, you want to get a referral to Physical Therapy to get started. You can get a Physical Therapist to come to your home or you can go to a clinic to get some professional advice on appropriate exercise for you.

Following these tips of maintaining mobility in retirement will help you live a healthier life!


This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.

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