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Lifestyle

6 ways to enjoy your social life after retirement

Without the easy contact and connection with others that a job brings, retirement can (for some) be an isolating experience. While loneliness is not uncommon and most people will experience it at some point in their lives, according to Age UK, there are plenty of ways to make retirement a sociable life stage, such as these.

1. Join a club

Whether it’s a book club, church group or Rotary International, being part of a social circle can have a positive impact on your health and well-being similar to that of regular exercise, according to research published in the British Medical Journal Open.

2. Keep learning

Cognitive stimulation, which offers a range of enjoyable activities providing general stimulation to thinking, is key for ensuring your brain is healthy later in life, according to the Global Council on Brain Health. The University of the Third Age, for instance, is a nationwide network of learning and social groups, whether you want to improve your conversational French, get together with others to study local history or learn the ukulele after retirement. To find out what’s happening near you, visit the university’s website.

3. Don’t stop moving

Exercise will keep you physically active and could help prevent conditions related to a sedentary life such as type 2 diabetes, muscle degeneration or heart disease. Joining something like tai chi, yoga or aqua aerobics for seniors is also a great way to make friends while keeping fit.

4. Volunteer

You might have more time to give now. Volunteering ­– whether helping out at a charity shop or in a hospital, listening to children reading or becoming a governor in a school – is popular during retirement. It also helps you live longer, according to Royal Voluntary Service, which has more than 25,000 volunteers on its books.

5. Stay connected

Call a friend and embrace social media – joining Facebook, Instagram or Gransnet is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends or to make new ones. Age UK runs computer training courses for older people.

6. Say yes more

While it may feel easier to retreat, being sociable is good for your health. The Global Council on Brain Health found that adults over the age of 40 with larger social networks reported better brain health than those with smaller networks. Next time you’re asked to an event, try to say yes – you never know how much fun you’ll have.