How to Stay Healthy After Retirement

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Do you want a healthy, happy retirement? The best way to achieve that goal is to take good care of yourself. Here’s how.

Eat a balanced diet

One of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is eat well. Although healthy foods sometimes cost more (roughly $1.50 or more a day, according to the Harvard School of Public Health), there are plenty of inexpensive ways to add nutritious meals to your diet. Beans, tofu, broccoli, and whole turkey are just some of the healthy foods you can consume that won’t break the bank.

Exercise

You might be tired from years of the 9-to-5 grind, but it’s not good for your mind or body to stay on the couch all day. Get moving so that you’ll be able to enjoy a long, healthy life. Your quality of life will be much better if you’re strong, fit, and able to do things for yourself. Many gyms offer discounted or free memberships for seniors. If the gym isn’t your cup of tea, consider working out at home. Walking, swimming, and yoga, are three gentle exercises that are great for older people.

Form a social circle

Don’t underestimate the importance of having friends and family around you. Although it’s great to be in top physical shape, it’s important not to neglect your mental health. One way you can do this by making sure you maintain an active social life. Visit your local senior center, join a gym, and make an effort to connect with other retirees. It’s helpful to be able to interact with others who are at the same stage in life.

Speak to a mental health professional

Retirement can be a lonely time. This is especially true if many of your friends and family are still working or have a busy lifestyle. It’s not uncommon to experience feelings of depression. According to a study by the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs, the likelihood someone will become clinically depressed rises by 40% after retiring. If you’re feeling depressed and lonely, it might be helpful to schedule a few sessions with a therapist, so you can sort through your feelings and get back on the road toward living your best life.

Go for your annual check-ups

Eating well, exercising, and taking care of your mental health aren’t enough to stay well. It’s also important to make sure you visit your medical doctor. Carve out time for your annual physical exam so you can catch illnesses before they have a chance to progress.

Also, make sure to get the necessary vaccines such as the flu and pneumonia vaccines. Unfortunately, people age 65 and older are at a higher risk from complications related to the flu and pneumonia than younger people. The Centers for Disease Control say this is because human immune defenses become weaker with age. “In recent years, it’s estimated that between 71% and 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 54% and 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in that age group. So, influenza is often quite serious for people 65 and older,” reports the CDC.

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