Tips for a Healthy, Happy Retirement

If you’re retired or entering retirement, you’re probably going to start prioritizing your hobbies and other interests. However, now is also a great time to start prioritizing your health. Of course you can get sick at any age, but your immune system starts to weaken as you get older. Healing slows and your system can’t detect and fix cells as easily anymore, which increases the risk of cancer. Even though you can’t prevent the aging process, there are steps you can take to stay as healthy as possible during retirement. If you haven’t taken care of your body in the past, maybe now is the time to make lifestyle changes and take preventative action.

Exercise

While imperative at any age, exercise is especially essential as you get older. Regular exercise helps you prevent health problems and keeps your bones and muscles strong. Many find that regular exercise helps boost their mood because of the endorphins. If you don’t like exercise, find a friend to help you stay motivated. Adults over 65 should get two and a half hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity every week and also practice muscle training twice per week.

Limit alcohol consumption

Regularly drinking alcohol can affect all areas of your body, including the brain, heart, immune system, pancreas and liver. Do not consume large amounts of alcohol as you age. Females should be limited to one drink a day and males to two drinks per day. If you have a history of alcoholism or heavy drinking, talk to your doctor so you can learn how to limit yourself. Be very careful if you are taking more medicine now or a new medicine, as alcohol can interact negatively with certain medicines. Additionally, do whatever you can to quit smoking if you are a regular smoker.

Have a Balanced Diet

Nutrition is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle and needs to become a priority as you age. Eating properly will help you feel good and encourage a strong immune system. Limit empty calories like sodium, cholesterol, sugar and refined grains and limit trans and saturated fats. If you haven’t been a healthy eater in the past, it can be difficult to start eating nutritiously. Working with a nutritionist can help you learn how to eat a diet that is balanced in whole grains, fruit, vegetables and lean protein. You don’t need to completely cut out desserts and special treats, but make sure to eat them in moderation.

Go to Regular Appointments

Don’t miss your regular doctor’s appointments and call them if you have concerns. Never wait until the last minute if you’re really worried about something. Have cholesterol levels checked regularly and watch for signs of cancer at all times. You should also make sure to receive regular vaccines, especially the flu and pneumonia vaccines. To ensure that you can afford all medical expenses, make sure your insurance is adequate and current at all times.

Watch after Your Mental Health

As you age, you need to take care of your mental health. Retirement can be a wonderful time, but it can also become very lonely if you don’t have a support system. In this loneliness, you could develop problems like depression and anxiety. Take time to see friends and family. Participate in activities that you care about. Don’t isolate yourself. Make sure you feel safe in your own home and have someone to call if you have a medical emergency.

Kristian Finfrock

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