Every June, Canada celebrates Seniors Month and the contributions those over 55 make to communities across the country. This year’s theme is Stay Active, Connected, and Safe.
We believe that all three of these goals play a key role in a happy and healthy retirement. Staying active is often considered the golden bullet when it comes to your health. Research shows that getting 150 minutes (5 x 30 minute sessions) of moderate intensity exercise throughout the week can reduce your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and osteoarthritis. And those are just the physical benefits. Mental health advantages include lower risk of depression, anxiety, stress, and even dementia.
Staying connected with those around you also does wonders for your health. Loneliness has been connected to several health conditions, including high blood pressure, obesity, a weakened immune system, and cognitive decline.
Finally, staying – and feeling – safe is something we all deserve. Living in a safe environment means you’re less at risk of accidents and injuries at home, which also has a positive effect on your mental health.
Most of us know we should be focusing on these pillars of health, however a lot of us don’t know where to start. It may have been a long time since you were last physically active. Or perhaps you’ve lost contact with friends and don’t know where to make new ones.
So, we’ve put together a range of resources that can help you get started. What’s more, they’re all organizations who partner with HomeEquity Bank.
1. Find an online community with The Bright Spot
The Bright Spot is an online community provided free of charge by the YMCA of Greater Toronto. It offers a wide range of live activities aimed at older adults that you can join from the comfort of your home via Zoom.
You can get active with virtual exercise classes including yoga, weights, and tai chi. Meet new people while learning a new skill with language courses or technology basics. Or simply have fun at the virtual book club or trivia night. Explore the activities and try them out.
2. Explore advocacy for older Canadians with CARP
CARP is the country’s longest-running advocacy association for older Canadians, with a mission to protect their interests, rights, and quality of life. CARP carries out advocacy work in the realms of health care, pension protection, long-term care, and retirement, among others. They host webinars taking a deep dive into issues that affect Canadians 55+ as well as a blog to keep you up to date on their work. CARP also offers a range of discounts and benefits for their members on a wide variety of travel, health, and entertainment products and services, among others.
3. Take online classes with Art Your Service
If you’re looking for a new way to connect with people and make friends, Art Your Service could be for you. They offer two virtual sessions a day, five days a week, with a focus on fitness, creativity, community, and connection. You’re sure to find something you’re interested in with their wide variety of sessions, which range from Pilates and chair yoga to body drumming, cooking, and watercolours. Art Your Service also holds discussion sessions on topics relevant to you, such as their Health Talk with Alka series. If you’re simply looking to have some fun and meet new people, they also put on a regular trivia night.
4. Learn to live life your best life with Booming Encore
Booming Encore offers information and inspiration to help baby boomers live their retirement to the fullest. Their online assessment will help you discover what’s key to a high quality of life as you age, while their website offers a plethora of information on financial wellness, healthy aging, and encore careers, among many other topics. What’s more, their Retirement Rebels section offers inspiring stories about extraordinary Canadians over 55.
5. Celebrate positive aging with Zoomer magazine
Described as the Baby Boomer Bible, Zoomer magazine aims to inspire Canadians to embrace their age and live with vitality, optimism and joy. The magazine explores themes relevant to over 55s including health and wellness, personal finance, travel and leisure, food and drink, and relationships. It also regularly features prominent Zoomers such as hocky great Wayne Gretzky and rock icon Bryan Adams.
Making new connections and getting active can take a lot of different forms. Even if you’ve been put off exercising in the past, take a look at the sessions and join the classes available at the links above – you might just find something that you enjoy.
And the same is true if you’re looking to reinvigorate your social life. During the pandemic, many people became disconnected from friends, neighbours, and the community around them. Many of the resources above offer an easy way back into socializing, whether that’s through a structured class or the relaxed atmosphere of a book group. Whatever your health & wellness goals are, trying out something new is an excellent first step!
Financial Resources to Help You Live Retirement to Your Fullest
Financial stress can hinder us from staying active and connected. If you are a Canadian homeowner aged 55+, you can access up to 55% of the appraised value of your home’s equity in tax-free cash, with no monthly loan repayments. You are only required to pay back what you owe when you move or sell your home.
If you are looking for financial resources to help you live your retirement to the fullest, call us at 1-866-522-2447 to find out how much tax-free cash you qualify for and a CHIP Reverse Mortgage Specialist will help how you can achieve financial freedom.