As you enter your Golden Years, there are countless activities you can do. You can spend your time volunteering, traveling, and enjoying the arts. However, you need to be healthy for most of these things. With the right healthy habits, you can maintain your mobility and feel happy and comfortable in your life. Make sure you do these five things as you head into retirement.
1. Get regular checkups.
Prevention is essential to ward off disease, especially as you age. The earlier your doctor can identify a potential health problem, the easier the treatment will likely be. Plus, if you’re noticing problems with your health or body, the issues aren’t necessarily going to go away on their own. You can prevent pain and further discomfort by having these issues checked out.
For example, there are multiple treatments for tinnitus—a ringing noise in your ears that can be chronic or caused by ear trauma—however, if you don’t tell your audiologist about the ringing or any other hearing loss, he or she can’t recommend appropriate treatments for the issue.
Small problems can become big issues when left untreated, so don’t risk your health just because the problem isn’t severe.
2. Find therapeutic activities you enjoy.
As you age, you need to be physically and mentally stimulated to keep your mind and body fit. Evaluate your life and identify a few therapeutic activities you want to take up. These can be physically therapeutic, like swimming laps in the pool or dancing, or mentally therapeutic like meditating or completing crossword puzzles.
The goal of these activities is to challenge yourself in a fun, low-stress way. You don’t have to run a marathon, but you might be surprised how well you feel after enjoying a walk in the park.
3. Keep moving.
There’s a new belief that “sitting is the new smoking” which means your health is likely to get worse if you don’t move around regularly. For seniors, it’s important to keep moving to keep your joints fresh and your muscles strong.
Test out different activities and see how you like them. You might take a Zumba class or get into cycling. Try to work out at least three times per week—or 150 minutes total per week.
It’s never too late to get into shape. Even if you’ve never visited a gym before, you can take steps to improve your mobility and fitness.
4. Maintain a good social life.
Retirement is a great time to socialize. You have the time to meet with friends and enjoy a variety of activities together. Having a good social life can keep you mentally sharp and help you avoid feelings of sadness or depression.
If you’re looking to make friends, join a local volunteer organization or a nearby church. You can give back to your community while connecting with others.
5. Adjust your diet.
Your body’s needs change as you get older. You may need fewer calories but different nutrients. Listen to what your body is telling you: does it need more fiber in the form of fruits and vegetables? Does it need more protein?
If you aren’t sure where to start with your dietary changes, talk to your doctor, or seek out a registered dietitian. Dietary changes that are good for one person might not be good for another, so avoid following blanket eating advice or diet trends from unqualified individuals.
The years ahead are meant to be fun and relaxing, and staying in good health can make them even more enjoyable. After all, it’s easier to relax with a therapeutic activity like music if you aren’t combating hearing loss or a cough that refuses to stop. Practice good health and enjoy the benefits that come with it.