So you’ve worked hard and raised a family for the past few decades. Now you’ve retired and you are wondering what to do with all your spare time.

Keeping healthy is probably top of your list of priorities – and you know that getting and staying physically fit is a great way to do so.

But staying fit doesn’t only apply to what’s happening from the neck down – the health of your brain also plays a huge role in determining the quality of life in your later years.

Great Eastern Life has rounded up five apps that will help you keep mentally sharp and in physically great shape — all the better to enjoy your retirement in the company of your loved ones.

While not all of them are free, they are all guaranteed to keep your mind and body active.

Lumosity Brain Trainer

Singapore – free/Malaysia – free (iOS only)

If you get just one app from this list, make it Lumosity. Created by leading neuroscientists, this app will help improve your memory, enhance your mood, improve your problem solving skills and help you think more quickly.

Lumosity Brain Trainer will help you improve your memory, enhance your mood, improve your problem solving skills and help you think more quickly. – Filepic

The app delivers unique, personalised training as well as scientifically-designed games that help more than 97% of users improve their brain function in just 10 hours.

After all, mentally stimulating activities will strengthen brain cells and the connections between them, helping to prevent age-related mental decline.

Pros: Science-based programme delivers results fast.

Cons: First five sessions are free, subscriptions cost extra. Three months of access will cost S$5.98 (RM16.75), and an annual subscription costs S$12.5 (RM35).

Best for: Those who want to keep mentally active.

My Fitness Pal

Singapore – free/Malaysia – free (iOS/Android)

Exercising regularly and tracking your calories consumption just got a lot easier with the free My Fitness Pal app.

With a food diary and activity log that’s a snap to use, it’s a great way to make sure you are getting enough exercise every week and are eating healthily.

Not only does the app have a huge food database, it can also calculate the nutritional value of your custom-made recipes.

My Fitness Pal syncs with the Withings WiFi Body Scale and Fitbit accessories, and also uploads your data online for easy, secure access.

Pros: Easy to use, free and works with many fitness accessories.

Cons: Doesn’t support all fitness accessories, such as the Nike+ Fuel Band.

Best for: Those who need a little reminder to make healthy living choices.

Tai Chi Fundamentals

Singapore – free/Malaysia – free (iOS only)

Learn the fundamentals of this ancient workout with Tai Chi Step-by-Step. It’s a simple, yet effective exercise regimen that works no matter what your fitness level.

Tai Chi can help build strength, suppleness and stamina, and this app is perfect for those new to the sport.

Listen to the verbal cues, watch the routines and then practise as much as you can – all you need is 30 minutes for a simple workout. Practising Tai Chi will also help you de-stress and relax mentally.

Pros: Well-designed routines, short and easy to follow, for both indoors and outdoors.

Cons: May not include all forms of Tai Chi.

Best for: Those looking for a low-impact workout that won’t stress the joints.

FitForLife Penang info box

Words with Friends

Singapore – free/Malaysia – free (iOS/Android)

Another way to build up and maintain mental dexterity is to play strategic mobile games – from backgammon to Angry Birds, there are plenty of free and fun apps to choose from.

One of the best is the Words With Friends app – not only is it free, it encourages lateral thinking, enhances your vocabulary and encourages you to socialise (with its built-in chat function).

And if you like this, there are also cousin apps Scramble with Friends and Hanging with Friends for more word fun.

Pros: Turn-based game is convenient to play. The chat function and Facebook integration make playing with friends even more fun.

Cons: Not based on a Scrabble board, so tactics might vary. Those who don’t like word games might prefer a Sudoku app instead.

Best for: Those who enjoy word games such as crosswords.

Authentic Yoga With Deepak Chopra and Tara Stiles

Singapore – S$2.58(RM9.80)/Malaysia — RM7.60 (iOS only)

Ninety-four-year-old yogi Tao Porchon-Lynch says that if you want to relieve stress and age gracefully, try yoga.

Yoga is a great workout for seniors – they can do it at their own pace. The exercise focuses on alignment. This helps improve coordination of muscles and joint movements, which can reduce falls.

And if you’re new to yoga, relax – lifestyle guru Deepak Chopra and teacher Tara Stiles will guide you through sessions geared towards beginners.

Lessons include exercises for developing strength, balance and flexibility, and all poses are demonstrated by Tara so you can learn the correct alignment.

Pros: Poses are clearly demonstrated, routines are customisable.

Cons: Only on iPhone.

Best for: Those new to yoga.

It is amazing how today’s technology is helping us stay active across all age groups. From crosswords and Sudoku apps to countless fitness and workout apps, many of them are absolutely free and suitable for the whole family to try out together.

So take your pick and jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already done so. It’s fun, good for your health, and surely does not require anyone to be a tech expert!

For other healthy living tips, visit Great Eastern Life’s Live Great portal. Besides the tips, there are articles and recipes, as well as wellness tools to conduct simple health risk assessments.

You can also obtain information on Live Great events like health and wellness talks, seminars and workshops, and Live Great partners’ promotions throughout the year.

You can find out more about Great Eastern Life’s activities and events through its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GreatEasternLifeMY.

In addition, Great Eastern Life is the exclusive event partner of The Star for the FitForLife Fair in Penang.

The theme for the fair is “Get Fit. Live Great!”, and it aims to inspire Malaysians to lead a healthy lifestyle and adopt a holistic approach to health that includes physical and mental fitness, financial health and general happiness.

This is a partnership in line with Great Eastern Life’s Live Great Programme introduced in 2012 as the first health and wellness programme by an insurance company in the region, designed to assist its customers in achieving their health goals.


The fair will be held in Spice Arena, Bayan Lepas from Oct 16-18, 11am to 7pm. Admission is free. For enquiries, call 03-7967 1388 (ext 1529/1243) or visit www.facebook.com/starhealthfair.