D. Smith: Find happiness in retirement

Happiness is contagious. When we are around babies and young children, we automatically want to smile.

When retirement has arrived, be happy. Take control of our own mood and be happy.

You don’t have to be happy all day long; we can strive to be happy part of every day.

Happiness is contagious. When we are around babies and young children, we automatically want to smile.

Most people are happy around pets, or happy when they listen to music. Find something or someone to make you smile.

Be active. Planning to stay active is key to happiness and sense of peace. Lack of planning leads to boredom.

Every minute or hour does not have to be filled with an activity—you should set goals and make them happen.

You can organize your activities on a daily or weekly basis—it does not have to be hourly.

Be a volunteer and help out in our community. There are so many worthwhile organizations that need volunteers.

Is it true that volunteers live a decade longer than non volunteers?  I am going to keep volunteering until I find out if that answer is true.

Stay in touch with friends and be open to make new friends. Remain close to the people we love.

Staying close to family and friends sometimes requires effort—it is worth the effort.

Being social is good for our brain.

The happiest people in the world do lots of socializing. Hobbies in retirement do not have to be expensive.

In Kelowna, we have a wonderful (senior) activity centre located at Parkinson Recreation Centre. The current annual membership cost is $10.

This is a multi‐use facility operated by the Parkinson Senior Society and the City of Kelowna, offering recreation and cultural programs to those 50 years of age or older. There are many varied activities offered.

Exercise daily. Physical activity is key to keep us moving. Walking, cycling, swimming, hiking, stretching and yoga are all ways to keep us flexible as we age.

Most of those activities are free, so don’t let the cost keep you from exercising.

Go for a walk with a happy friend; take advantage of staying in touch with friends, physical activity and keeping your brain active.

All of this is fun and good for us and does not cost anything.

Weight training for men and women increases muscle strength and protects against brittle bones.

Women should not be afraid of weight training and building huge muscles. You can use moderate weight training exercises to build strong bones.

Exercise your brain.  Keeping your brain moving is as important as keeping your body moving. Dancing, cross word puzzles, Sudoku, or learning a new language are all ways to keep us exercising our brain.

A healthy diet is key to good health and increased longevity, and does not have to be expensive.

Enjoy vegetables, seeds, nuts, oatmeal, blueberries and fruit. With so many stores to shop from, watch for specials and get excellent value for your money.

At any age, we can choose to increase our physical activity, become a volunteer, learn a new skill or make a new friend. All of these are positive activities to enhance our lives.

There are key traits to living a long and happy life. Keep challenging yourself—it is good for you at any age.

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