The time has finally arrived: retirement! All those years of working hard, scrimping and saving for this day, and looking forward to enjoying all the things we’ve wanted to do and achieve. Are we leaving out one important factor? Here are some tips for staying active once retirement comes.

On the first day of retirement, one of the first pleasurable things we tend to do is sleep late. No more getting up at the crack of dawn to drive endless hours to the office.

No more getting home late, missing dinner with the family. It’s our time now, and we can do whatever we like, whenever we like. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Perhaps we make lists of things we are going to do, places we are going to go, and people we are going to visit. Yet, on the second day of retirement we might wake up late again, make a pot of coffee, read the morning paper, look out the window and decide to stay in for the day. After all, there is plenty of time to do all those things we’ve listed.

On the third day and every day afterward for the next few months, we might follow the same routine. Relaxation has become our friend and we like this new friend. The problem is we are ignoring our other friends. Who are they? Daily walks, exercising, proper nutrition, and outdoor activities.

Once retirement comes we often seem to forget there is still a wonderful life to live. A life filled with adventure, new areas to explore in education, the arts, sports, hobbies, and those things we never had time for before retirement.

Staying active is necessary in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Adopting the position that we can do whatever we want, doesn’t mean we can do nothing and still remain active.

If you are nearing retirement, now is the time to make a list that you will stick to. If you enjoyed golf as a hobby, make it your lifetime friend. Get plenty of exercise by engaging in activities you love, most of which are hopefully outdoors. Seek ways to keep your mind active as well by enrolling in a course at your local college. Visit museums, art galleries, and other cultural institutions you never had time for. Go to plays, operas, musicals; take short trips to places you’ve never been. Take the road less traveled.

Retirement is a wonderful time. It gives us the opportunity to learn and grow, achieve new successes, start new businesses, and meet new friends. Life doesn’t stop when we retire, but is the beginning of a new life filled with wonder, empowerment, and freedom.