Having the strength to be able to comfortably work right up to your retirement, and more importantly having the fitness and strength to enjoy retirement should be part of your current and future planning!
Planning, or forecasting your fitness and strength is just as critical as planning your financial and superannuation position to ensure you can retire comfortably!
In fact, we often talk about “fitness superannuation” with our clients when helping them do some fitness forecasting into their future.
Seeing this image appear on my Facebook feed made me really think about the implications highlighted by the pictured gentleman.
There is no question that we need to think about the national (and global!) financial sustainability of an ageing population and associated pension costs. But surely this can’t just be a financial discussion right?!
Do we know what the physical demands and impact of raising the retirement age will be? Are we strong enough to cope? And are we planning our fitness and strength ‘wealth’ to be able to enjoy the retirement we are financially preparing for?
What we know about forecasting fitness and strength:
We currently have virtually no data on the physical or strength demands of most occupations. This means that we don’t know how we should ideally prepare to be able to cope with those demands in later life.
We have no recent data on current population fitness levels! The last national survey of physical activity, The Active Australia Survey (AIHW 2003), was conducted in 1999! Lots has happened since then, and not much of it good from a physical activity perspective. So if we don’t have good baseline data, how can we properly plan for the future??
We do know that we are getting fatter and unhealthier though!
And we do have fitness (aerobic fitness) and strength norms from numerous large studies from around the world. These studies give us the average fitness and strength levels across age brackets; allowing us to predict where your strength will be in coming years. The aerobic fitness component of this forecasting is covered in this blog.
How should we prepare to have the physical strength to enjoy retirement?
I’ll leave the financial planning side of things for retirement to experts in that area. But when it comes to forecasting your fitness and strength to ensure you can make the most of your retirement, we can definitely help! The studies mentioned earlier can give us a clear picture of your current ‘strength wealth’. Once we know your baseline, we can help you plan the best strategies going forward.
Physical Activity and Strength training guidelines provided by both the World Health Organisation and the Australian Department of Health clearly show us that we should be doing two strength sessions a week.
This amount of strength training will ensure that your body doesn’t let you down when wanting to enjoy your retirement. However, it is important to plan progressions to this amount of trainign well! This is where we come in.
Our role could involve helping you with gym programs; making sure you are working at the right intensities to get the most value out of your time; and ensure that things progress at the right pace to make sure it’s safe and ‘injury proof’!
We can also provide regular (every 6-12months) testing to make sure things continue to progress in the right direction for you. Think of it as obtaing a report on your superannuation funds balance… with the benefit that this wealth – your fitness wealth – is not affected by global markets. But rather by the planning and implementation that you and us put together!!
We have much information published on this site to help you develop a plan to make you stronger, fitter. It will help you be better prepared to meet the physical and health demands of our increased work life and beyond!
Have a read, and drop us a line if you need more support!