Aging is the dreaded yet inevitable voodoo man that everyone sees in their dreams. It is the nightmare that eventually comes true and while some people fight it with all the Botox, Pills and Surgery, they end up restructuring the outside of the house while the inside stays dingy.
Many retirees have testified that after they stopped work they seemed to lose their sense of purpose and their brains and minds inadvertently began a winding up process. Health is a total state of well being and not the absence of illness. Often staying healthy in the body is tied to staying healthy in the mind.
It gets rather expensive to take adequate care of oneself. Studies show that in 2011 out-of-pocket health costs incurred on the average by older consumers of health products averaged about $4769 a 46% increase from the year 2000. Clearly, it gets expensive and so a large part of the expense for long term care falls on the shoulders of family members and it can get straining.
There are a few simple, but extremely helpful Steps that Retirees can take to stay healthy and sharp and to reduce the expenses and strain on others. Here are a few;
1. Don't Stop Working
If you want to stop your mind from logging off and tune your body to receive all the age related diseases then you need to keep busy somehow even though you are off the job.
Keeping your mind and your hands occupied will go a long way in keeping you healthy, sharp and attractive to people. It is the best time to dust out old dreams and work on them, maybe writing a book or joining a band, all the old tricks the job stopped you from using.
A purpose driven person will live longer and healthier, so get busy.
2. Learn Something New and Go To New Places
It is a myth that older people cannot learn anything new, the opposite is true. Middle aged and older adults are just as capable of learning new things and thriving in new environments, plus they have the wisdom that comes with life experience.
An adventurous person ages a little slower and keeps his mind sharp.
3. Slow down on the Liquor
Cutting down on your alcohol intake is a very wise thing to do. Regular alcohol consumption affects all areas of your body, your brain, heart, immune system, pancreas and your liver. While drinking in moderation is usually fine, it is unwise to consume large amounts of alcohol as you get older.
You need to consult a doctor to know what is appropriate and try balance the liquor with healthier fluids like water and natural fruit juices. If you are taking any meds then you need to also double check to see that the alcohol is interacting negatively with the meds. It could cause an even greater damage than the alcohol alone would.
4. Be a Good Patient
That your immune system gets weaker as you age is a fact that we cannot get around and there are some diseases that become more common as we age. However, retiring does not automatically mean poor health or being confined to a walker or wheelchair as you get older.
A lot of retirees and older adults enjoy vigorous health, even often better than many younger people. However some work has to be done. For instance, monitoring your blood pressure helps you catch any dangerous health tendencies especially of hypertension. This will require having a good blood pressure monitor handy.
Regular visits to the doctor should be made a lifestyle and not only when you feel sick or strange. Your health has never been as precious as it is now.
5. Eat Healthy
Eating well helps you feel good and encourages a strong immune system. The years after you stop work is the best time to start limiting your intake of empty calories like sodium, cholesterol, sugar, and refined grains as well as the amount of saturated fats you eat, while retaining healthy consumption of some fats, like fats found in lean poultry or fish.
If you've never been a healthy eater before, it can become quite difficult at this stage of life. However, try to eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein. You don't have to completely cut out desserts, but eat them in moderation.
According to the CDC, if you are 65 or older and fairly healthy and fit, you should get two hours and thirty minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week (or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity), and you should also do muscle training twice per week.
Regular exercise can help you prevent health problems as well as keep your bones strong. Regular exercise can also help boost your mood. If you need motivation then consider partnering with your friend. However, if you have never worked out before then, be sure to talk to your doctor first, take it slow, any exercise is better than none.
7. Look For The Silver Lining
When faced with some age-related challenges like the slow but constant memory loss that is most times unavoidable, just look for the things that you are grateful for. Slot in some old family videos, visit with the kids, see challenges as opportunities to learn and garner wisdom from them with which to counsel the younger ones.
Life can be lived to the fullest and it doesn't matter your age or stage.
Here's to vigorous health!