Seven Tips for a Healthy Retirement Lifestyle –How to Add Years to Your Life

Have you ever noticed how much more vital and energetic a person is who takes care of their body through regular exercise and good eating habits? Exercise has been noted as a major contributor for those seeking the “fountain of youth”.

As a Retirement Coach, and wellness advocate, I assess where a person’s health is and determine if improvements need to be made. Self- health care takes work and commitment.  I feel this should be a goal of every one. Many times if a person is not taking proper care of themselves there is an underlying reason. I teach wellness through fitness, healthy habits and healthy eating. In addition, I help people establish priorities, how to deal with stress, and how to live a more relaxed lifestyle. Mental wellness is addressed to promote vitality and help people find their sparkle or zest for life. Thriving is not simply surviving. Wellness means adding life to your years. Health is wealth and there are numerous studies now that document the many benefits of living healthy lifestyles. Having high self- regard, and placing a value on physical health is the first step to wellness. Developing confidence in yourself, and anticipating success, is the next step. Living life to the fullest extent possible will help in making you a happier, more fulfilled person. Learn how to grab the gusto or seize the day! It’s a sad fact that many retirees spend 40+ hours a week watching TV. These are people that may need help.

Here are seven tips to improve your health:

  1. Daily exercise – find an activity you can do for at least 20 – 30 minutes a day. Weight training as we age is a healthy way to keep our muscles working for us and improve our core strength. Make exercise a priority in life and schedule time for it daily. Some people may have physical restrictions, however there is usually an exercise that can be done to accommodate that. Don’t live a sedentary life. New research finds extensive periods of sitting is as bad for you as smoking. Make yourself get up and get active.
  2. Eat healthy food – vegetables, fruit, lean meat, fish, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Avoid sugar, and processed foods. Try to eat organic, locally grown or grow your own food. Plan for healthy meals before you shop so you know which foods to purchase. Shop for foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. A diet high in fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk for heart disease. Learn how to prepare and enjoy good wholesome food instead of chemical laden pre-packaged convenience foods.
  3. Learn to handle stress – Excess stress contributes to disease. There are many techniques you can use to combat stress, including exercise, massage, yoga, meditation and good quality sleep. Look for courses in your local parks and recreation departments, community education programs, YMCA, nearby gyms and fitness facilities. Taking a walk in a natural setting such as a park or forest has recently been proven to reduce stress. Incorporate humor and socialization into your life for additional mental and emotional benefits.
  4. Get proper sleep – Sleep is physically necessary, and gives our bodies time to rest and regenerate. We function better when we get proper sleep. Proper sleep, usually 7-9 hours, helps keep your body healthy, and may reduce heart attacks, strokes and cancer. Develop a regular bedtime routine to wind down and get restful sleep. Do not use electronic devices near bed time, do not sleep with a television or radio on in your bedroom.
  5. Healthy weight – being overweight puts unnecessary strain and stress on our body. We feel better when we are at our ideal weight. Find out what that means for you and make it a goal.Don’t go on a crash diet though, learn proper nutrition and limit portion size. The healthiest way to lose weight is to take it slow, losing ½ to one pound a week. The most successful weight-loss programs are those that combine physical activity with changes in eating. If you need help with this there are many programs available in person, on-line or with mobile apps. You don’t have to pay to participate in a weight loss program but many people find success this way.6.
  6. No tobacco, e-cig, or vape use. Studies have proven all of these impact our health in a negative way and can cause serious disease. More studies are needed, however there are many recent stories of the damage e-cigs or vape devises do to your lungs.
  7. Limit Alcohol – or don’t drink at all. That means for women one drink and men two drinks daily. Alcohol use has been culturally accepted and promoted for years, however too many people abuse it. It is a known depressant and can also contribute to disease. In addition, avoid unnecessary drug use. If you are already addicted to drugs or alcohol seek treatment to quit. There are many programs available to help you.
Yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen your body. It helps balance and reduces stress.