Retirement isn’t often associated with boosting your activity and fitness levels. But remaining in good health is important and can help you get far more out of life. We’ve got nine tips for embracing an active lifestyle after you’ve given up work.

When you think of retirement, it’s probably relaxation and kicking back that first comes to mind. However, with more free time on your hands, you’re in a position to get active and improve both your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s not just the general benefits of exercise the make keeping active a good idea, it might also help you tick off things on your bucket list or meet new people.

But, even with the best intentions, it can be easy to slip into a more sedate way of life. These tips can keep you on track for a happy, healthy retirement.

1. Find a new activity that you’re interested in

With more free time on your hands, retirement is perfect for turning your hand to new hobbies. Perhaps you’ve always thought about going to a yoga class or have a challenge that’s been in the back on your mind. Dipping your toes into numerous activities means you can find something you’re passionate about.

2. Revisit old hobbies

Whilst trying something new in retirement is a great idea, it’s also an opportunity to revisit the old. Did you enjoy playing a sport in your younger days before work and family became a priority, for example? Getting active through a hobby you’re interested in makes it far less of a chore and something you look forward to.

3. Get dog walking

Dogs are the perfect companion for those that want to increase their activity level. Long walks are great for getting your blood pumping without it feeling too overwhelming. If you don’t have a dog, you probably have family, friends or neighbours that do and are busy working during the day. Offering to walk a pup now and again can be great for both you and the dog.

4. Spend time with young family members

Younger family members are often full of energy and can keep you on your toes. From simply playing in your own home and garden to taking a trip out somewhere, this option can mean spending quality time with grandchildren whilst boosting activity levels too.

5. Sign up to a class

There’s a huge range of exercises available to choose from these days. If you find you struggle to stick to exercise plans, a class can help. Plus, there’s a chance to meet new people and build friendships with those around you. From gentle yoga classes to those that are high energy, a quick online search should bring up something that catches your eye. Many gyms and other facilities also run classes dedicated to retirees too.

6. Try a walking group

Getting active outdoors delivers an excellent boost to mental wellbeing as well as improving physical health. But walks can feel dull if you’re alone and you may lack inspiration on where to head. Luckily, there are hundreds of walking groups around the country. It’s a great way to explore new locations and meet people along the way. Be sure to check how long the walks are and level of difficulty, many groups will offer a range of different options to cater to everyone.

7. Spend time working on your garden

If you’ve got green fingers, spending time in your garden can boost your activity levels too. It might not feel like it if you enjoy pottering around, but it can count towards your daily exercise. It can be easy to lose a few hours in your garden if being out there is something you like to do anyway. If you’ve never been a horticulturist before, perhaps retirement is an opportunity to give it a go.

8. Volunteer for a good cause

There are plenty of charities and organisations out there that would welcome some extra support. Donating your time to a worthy cause can help you maintain some of the routines you had whilst working and provide activity too. Whether you’re working in a shop representing a charity or maintaining local areas, there are lots of opportunities for finding something that reflects your personal outlook and the lifestyle you want to achieve.

9. Make it part of your routine

When you don’t have to do something, it’s easy to put it off. Making activity part of your routine can mean it quickly becomes a habit. Whatever activity you want to pursue, make time for it each week and try not to let other plans get in the way. It’s advised you get 20 minutes of moderate activity each day.