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Physical Wellbeing

Written by Marianne Heron with Paul Britton


Exercise maintains muscle tone, benefits brain fitness, raises endorphins (feel-good chemicals), and oxygenates the brain. Things which involve co-ordination like dancing, playing games, aqua aerobics help to strengthen the synaptic connections used to work muscles.

The trick is to make exercise something you WANT to do rather than OUGHT TO DO. Find something you enjoy doing. Aerobic exercise raises the pulse rate and helps maintain cardiovascular fitness, 20-30 minute 3-5 times a week is an effective level.

Stretch exercise and strengthening exercises also help.

Moderate exercise such as walking is especially good for the brain since it increases circulation and the flow of oxygen and also produces endorphins.


Before starting any diet or exercise routine, please first get medical advice.

Get out and about

Travel really does broaden the mind, so you have a perfectly good excuse to go slack packing. And there are endless ways to get out and about from a home environment too, whether it is something as simple as a walk with friends, joining a class, or going to events. It’s much easier to do things that you really want to do because they are fun and sociable, rather than feeling that you HAVE to do them, so pick ways of exercising that float your boat.

physical wellbeing - fishing

Do new things

Social contact and mental challenge are two of the things that people miss most after they leave work. Finding ways to replace these by making new friends and contacts, networking, volunteering or re-skilling is vital. There are endless things that you can do to provide stimulation from acquiring a new skill, exploring your creative side or joining an organisation like ARI (Active Retirement Ireland).

You could volunteer at home with one of the dozens of organizations like Combat Poverty, Concern, Barnardos and Focus Ireland or overseas through organisations like VSO or Global Volunteers. Often careers involve left-brained rational analytical stuff, now you have an opportunity to use the right side of the brain which specialises in creative and intuitive thinking and in seeing the holistic, big picture.

This excerpt was taken from Rewire Don’t Retire, sponsored by Irish Life and Active Retirement Ireland. You can download the full guide HERE.