Sep 28, 2022
5 ways to stay healthy during retirement
Retirement can change your routine big time. Gone are the days of the stressful work week – now, you have a lot of free time to eat, sit, watch TV, and be sedentary. But retirement doesn’t have to be a health pitfall. You can maintain your wellness habits, or make new ones, when you step into the retirement phase of life with these tips on how to stay healthy during retirement.
Get Enough Sleep
Chances are you’ll be in a new sleep cycle when you become a retiree. For years you’ve been getting up and going to bed around the same time several days a week for work. Your options now? Keep your sleep schedule the same or adjust it. The Mayo Clinic recommends seven to nine hours of sleep for adults.1
Need help improving your sleep? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest consistency is key.2 Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and comfortable. Consider keeping phones and other electronic devices out of the room. Find which schedule works for you during this new stage of life.
“The link between good nutrition and healthy weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is too important to ignore,” says the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).3 A good starting point for choosing what to eat is selecting foods low in added sugar, saturated fat and sodium, outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Center For Nutrition.4 What you put in your body is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to your health.
If you do decide your diet needs a tune-up, keep in mind your eating choices are specific to you. “There is no single, fit-for-all diet,” said Frank Hu in Harvard Gazette’s To Age Better, Eat Better.5 Hu is a professor of nutrition and epidemiology and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “People should adopt healthy dietary patterns according to their food and cultural preferences and health conditions.”
Laugh Out Loud
That’s right – chuckle, guffaw, giggle. Whichever it is, laugh. Laughing is not only enjoyable, but it has numerous health benefits. The Mayo Clinic states laughter can release tension and improve your immune system.6 So find some funny jokes, read an amusing book, watch a silly movie, whatever it takes to make you chuckle. Seek out humor in your day.
Break a Sweat
Exercise and mental health go hand in hand. A study by The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Research Matters indicates that exercise plays a role in regulating our moods, such as helping with depression.7 Not to mention, exercise is great for staying healthy both mentally and physically by reducing the risk of certain diseases.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to a gym. Swimming and walking are both great. And Harvard researchers are learning the many benefits of exercises such as tai chi in helping to promote balance and mobility and potentially reducing falls.8 The U.S. Dept. of HHS recommends two-and-a-half to five hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.9 For more intense aerobic activity, reduce it to somewhere between 75 minutes and two-and-a-half hours, spread over the week.
No one wants to sit around all day with nothing to do. Or maybe you do, and if so, this won’t apply. But for those who do like to fill their days with activities, try picking up a new hobby. Write weekly letters or emails to friends. Do a puzzle. Play an instrument. Learn something new. Join a book club. Take a cooking class. Teach a cooking class. Volunteer. The possibilities really are endless – and almost anything that has you moving and socially engaging is positive for your mental and physical health.
Incorporating one of these five health practices is good, but utilizing all of them is even better – not to mention a great step to having an enjoyable retirement experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In 2005, husband and wife team Bob and Jillian Doyle decided to leverage their experience in the financial services industry and branch out on their own. During their years of service in the accounting world, they noticed that much of the large retirement community of Florida was severely underserved by other wealth managers. So, they founded Doyle Wealth Management with just the two of them and $45 million dollars in assets under management.
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