Healthy Retirement

Do you need some help making the transition from busy worker bee to busy retiree? The journey from working to retiring is one of life’s great transitions – even if you’ve planned for it and are really looking forward to it. A time of delicate decisions and scary new possibilities, retirement can feel both exhilarating and confusing. Choices made now will reverberate through the rest of you life. Choices about fitness and nutrition may be most important of all.

How will you spend your time, and what do you want to do on a typical day? What do you want to learn, and what do you want to teach? Where and how do you want to live? Is it possible now to resurrect some of the dreams and goals you’ve deferred? As you plan the rest of your life, incorporating your beliefs, values and commitments, be sure to give proper attention to your physical well-being. If you’re in good shape, great! You’ll want to maintain that valuable condition. If not, there’s no better time to make healthy changes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Physical activity is more important than ever.

• If you’re not interested in joining a gym or fitness center, you can stay physically active in other ways: bowling, fishing, gardening, biking, walking, or community projects.
• If you are interested in joining a gym or fitness center, find out if they offer classes and activities for seniors, especially since they may also offer discounts.
• Partner up with a fitness buddy – someone who is as serious as you about health and fitness.
• Consider making strength training a part of your exercise regime – it offers numerous benefits for seniors such as increasing energy, reducing stress and anxiety, delaying or preventing age-related disorders, and enhancing sleep, balance, endurance, and flexibility.
• Remember to stretch. Take 5 to 10 minutes a day to stretch your muscles; any time of the day is the right time.

Eat, drink and be healthy.

• Eat a variety of healthy foods.
• Avoid high-cholesterol foods and limit your total fat and saturated fat.
• Increase fiber intake, and especially if you are a woman, calcium.
• Limit your use of sugar, salt, and sodium compounds.
• Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
• Get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Set out on new adventures!

• Schedule at least part of your time according to the goals you set for yourself – it’s a perverse axiom of human nature that the more time you have, the more you waste.
• Learn something new. Make a list of all the things you’ve wanted to learn or try, then go ahead a do it – no excuses, you have the time now.
• Take up a fitness activity that you can do with your better half – tennis, ballroom dancing, cooking classes. You can cook new, healthy foods together.
• Travel together and experience new adventures, walk and see the world, embrace all the beauty it holds within. Make a conscious effort to build both exercise and healthy eating into your travels. When planning an itinerary, look for ways to be active, like swimming, boating, golfing etc.
• Volunteer for worthwhile activities, particularly those closest to your heart. When you have purpose in your life, getting and staying fit becomes easier.

Clearly, it doesn’t take a lot of money or major planning to make the most of your golden years. You too can turn your retirement into a renaissance!