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Exercise in Retirement: Now’s a Better Time than Ever!

What do you picture when you think of retirement? Snorkeling in blue water? Hiking the Grand Canyon? Spending more time with your grandchildren? Whether you worked full-time, part-time, or stayed at home raising your kids, you’ve worked hard to get to this stage of your life. So naturally, you want to be in the best possible physical shape when you retire, so you can enjoy all your newfound time for fun and recreation!

An important part of getting in shape in your retirement years—or staying in shape if you’ve been working out—is choosing the right type of physical activity. You want a workout plan that will challenge you, but you don’t want to overdo it to the point you become tired or injured.  So, here’s a quick guide to women’s fitness as you transition to this turning point in your lifestyle:1

Why is Exercise Important Later in Life?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,2 you can help combat some of the loss of strength and stamina that go along with aging with a good women’s fitness routine. A regular workout plan can:

  • Help you live independently
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some forms of cancer
  • Ease symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Maintain healthy muscles, joints, and bones
  • Control pain associated with arthritis

To do all these good things, you need an exercise routine that incorporates cardio workouts, stretching, and strength, like the Curves circuit or MyCurves On Demand. Balance exercises are also important, because they strengthen your core and help reduce the risk of falls.

What Exercise do you Need?

As mentioned above, the best workout plans for optimum women’s health as you get older include a cardio workout, strength training, and stretching. Before you start any new workout plan, talk to your health care provider.

Cardio workouts

Walking, biking, swimming, and cardio or boxing classes are all good exercise routines to get your heart thumping. Aim for 30 minutes of a cardio workout per day, at least three to four days a week. If you haven’t been working out, start with 10-minute intervals and work your way up. The Curves workout regularly includes a cardio element. The higher-intensity cardio class at Curves includes a combination of strength, speed, cardio, power, coordination, flexibility, and agility.

Strength training

When you engage in strength-building exercise like the machines in the Curves circuit or the resistance band with MyCurves On Demand, you’ll improve your posture, maintain healthy bones, tone your muscles, lower your risk of back injury, and get stronger overall—all great things for boosting your stamina in retirement.


By stretching your muscles, you’ll improve and maintain your flexibility and improve mobility in your joints. Stretching exercises will also lower your risk of injury and prevent muscle soreness after your exercise routine.3

When and Where can you Exercise?

If women’s fitness is a new part of your lifestyle in retirement, to stick to it long-term, you’ll need to make it a habit. We are much more likely to maintain a workout plan when we make it part of our everyday routines. So, think about where it will best fit. Are you an early riser? If so, an early morning fitness class or workout will work well. With a good morning workout, you’ll be less likely to skip your exercise due to unexpected spontaneous plans that pop up later in the day. And morning workouts free up the rest of your day for a lunch date with a friend, afternoon movie, or trip to the park with your grandchild.

You can engage in early morning fitness at home with a walk around your neighborhood, or at Curves for a trip through the circuit or a Curves class. Most Curves locations open early, some as early as 6 am, so you can squeeze in some good morning exercise before you start the rest of your day. And, remember, with MyCurves On Demand you can workout anywhere, at anytime from your favorite smart device.

Creating an Exercise Routine that Suits You

One of the best things about retirement is that your time is your own. You can spend your days exactly how you want, and that includes your workout plan. On the days you don’t meet your workout buddies at the Curves circuit or take a Curves class, think about activities you enjoy the most and how you can incorporate them into your exercise routine. Biking, swimming, tennis, yoga, Pilates, dance—they are all wonderful ways to get your physical activity and do something you love at the same time.

An important thing to remember as you craft your exercise routine: try to keep things interesting. If you perform the same exercises in the same ways all the time, you will stop gaining benefits. Do the circuit in a different order one day than you did it before. Take a Balance class Monday, a Cardio class Wednesday, and a Body Basics class over the weekend. The next week, switch up the schedule. Vary your workouts to avoid boredom and to keep your body and mind engaged.

Retirement is a good time to join Curves!

Now that you have more time, why not spend some of it getting in shape at the Curves circuit! You’ll find friendly, health-conscious women just like you who want to improve their overall wellbeing and build their social networks at the same time. Plus, you’ll get the guidance and advice of a Curves Coach, who can tailor your workout routine and healthy eating plan to your individual lifestyle and needs. If you haven’t joined already, retirement is the right time to find a Curves near you!




  1. American Journal of Preventive Medicine
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  3. WebMD
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