Reaching retirement signals the moment you can finally relax and live your life for yourself. No more getting up to go to work every day and doing the same routines week in and week out. You’ve been dreaming of this freedom for a long time and it’s well-earned, but now your body and mind have to adjust to a whole new lifestyle. Chances are you didn’t think much about how your work routines helped you stay healthy and motivated. Without those routines, your body and mind start to slow down and your health starts to suffer. Staying active is more important than ever, so here are some tips to help you do just that.
Image Source: Flickr
Engage in Preventative Medicine
If you’ve reached retirement with little in the way of physical complaints and problems, congratulations! You did a good job of taking care of yourself throughout your life and it paid off. But retirement is not the time to slack off on that care. Get regular checkups to make sure that all of your systems are functioning as they should. Building a medical history in this manner gives your physician the opportunity to stop problems before they become chronic or keep track of an existing condition that may require surgery in the future.
Medicare does a great job of covering medical costs when you reach retirement age, but you still have to deal with some costs. Don’t let those costs keep you from the doctor’s office by getting a supplemental Medicare insurance policy. You’ll get more medical cost coverage and not have to pay out of pocket for routine checkups and tests.
Start an Exercise Routine
This doesn’t mean you have to run out and join a gym, then start lifting heavy weights right off the bat. You just don’t want to fall into the habit of never getting up off the couch. When you worked, you moved around a lot. Walking to your car or to the train, walking around at lunchtime, walking throughout the day, and the walking you did on your way home. After you stop working, you stop walking as much. Replace that activity by making it a point to walk a set number of minutes or distance every day and build upon that. Then join a gym when you’re ready for more activity.
Exercise Your Mind
Your mind needs exercise the same as your body, and you’ll lose some of that mental muscle when you stop engaging in daily work activities. The stronger your mind, the less likely you’ll run into the issues of declining mental acuity with age. Pick up crossword puzzles, find a simple video game that pushes you to sharpen your eye-hand coordination, take quizzes, or keep up with the latest news in your old line of work. Keeping your mental gears oiled and turning helps the mind keep the synapses and neurons firing and connecting. You’ll prevent loss of your memory recall and learning functions as you age.
Hang Out With Friends or Make New Ones
It is very easy to lose contact with people and become isolated in retirement. You don’t think you need to go out as often and you might rely more on social media to keep track of everyone else. Electronic communications can’t replace the stimulation you get from seeing people in person.
You may not have thought you’d become someone who hangs out with other people your age at the local fast-food establishment. But what you may not have considered is that the people in those groups help each other simply by getting together and having a few cups of coffee. The social interaction gets the blood flowing, the body moving, and adrenaline producing, which in turn helps the body function.
Retirement is a time to sit back and enjoy watching the world go by, but you need to stay healthy to do it. Let these tips inspire you to do something every day so you can stay healthy and get the most out of your retirement years.