Is your pension fitter than you?

A pension plan is not just about money…
Most of us pay into a pension – why? Because we know that if we want to afford to live a comfortable life when we retire, we need to plan and save for it now. A small percentage of our income put aside regularly now means we can support ourselves and remain independent and comfortable when we’re older.

Your future is dependent on more than your bank balance…
Have you ever thought that your body is part of your pension plan too? This might seem a bit strange at first, but give it some thought. Most people want to remain independent and active in their old age, it’s not much fun living to be a grand old age, if you spend it sitting in a chair in a nursing home waiting to be taken to the toilet. The key to an independent retirement is a strong, fit body and you can invest in that right now.

Little and often is the key…
We are advised to start saving for our pensions early – an early start means smaller payments and greater dividends. A healthy and active retirement calls for the same. Regular, small amounts of activity throughout your life will build strong bones, lean muscle, improve heart and lung function, reduce stress, reduce the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, improve your social life… the list goes on and on.

Pay now… get rewards now…
Whilst money put aside for your pension disappears into a fund which you hope will make a profit in the future, get active now and you will see the results now. You won’t need to trust in someone else to look after your investment for you – you are in charge and you will see and feel the improvements in your body and your mood day by day.

Not all investments are the same…
Just as some pension funds perform better than others, some forms of activity will give greater rewards than others. The types of activity that will keep you healthy and independent later are the same as those that will support you now – activities which build strength, flexibility, balance and improved cardiovascular performance are the key and investing in a variety of activities will be more beneficial than focusing on just one.

It’s never too late to start…
The good news is that the body, unlike the financial market, is a forgiving machine and it’s never too late to start getting active. A study carried out in 1994 (Skelton) of a group of over 75 year olds found that 3 months’ strength training rejuvenates up to 20 years of lost strength. So, if a 75 year old can regain the strength of a 55 year old in 3 months, what can you achieve?

Start your fitness pension plan now. Find activities you enjoy, there are lots to choose from, and set yourself on the path to a healthy, independent and fun future, you deserve it.