Staying Healthy at Retirement: What to Do

senior couple seeking for health advice
  • Retirees must prioritize their health as they are more likely to experience illnesses and falls.
  • Regular physical activity can reduce the severity of existing medical conditions and improve balance and coordination.
  • A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish can provide vital vitamins and minerals for optimal health.
  • Illness management should include a plan with necessary treatments and medications and staying up-to-date on new research related to the condition.
  • Hospice care is available for those requiring extra assistance due to age-related frailty or severe medical conditions.

Retirement is traditionally seen as a time to enjoy life, travel, and pursue hobbies. However, it is also crucial for retirees to prioritize their health. The elderly are more likely to experience health issues than younger age groups, making it especially critical to stay healthy during retirement.

According to the CDC, in 2017, adults aged 65 and older accounted for 18.2% of the population. Still, they experienced 38.4% of all chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. Even those without chronic conditions are at risk for falls and other physical injuries due to decreasing strength and balance with age. One in four Americans aged 65 and over falls each year, resulting in severe injury or even death in some cases. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among seniors.

If you want to stay healthy, you might have to make a few changes in life. Retirement can lull you into a sedentary lifestyle, but it’s essential to remain active. Here are a few steps to help you ensure health during that period.

Regular Exercise

Retiree performing physical activity

Regular physical exercise is essential for retirees to maintain their health and well-being. Not only can regular physical activity help reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses, but it can also reduce the severity of current medical conditions. Exercise helps to strengthen muscles and improve balance, coordination, and flexibility, which will help protect seniors from falls. Additionally, exercise can help increase energy levels, making day-to-day activities easier. Furthermore, exercising regularly has mental health benefits as well. It can improve mood, reduce stress, and decrease the chances of developing dementia or memory problems.

Below are four types of exercises that are beneficial for retirees:

Strength Exercises

Strength exercises such as weightlifting or resistance training can significantly benefit seniors. These exercises help strengthen muscles and bones to make everyday tasks easier. Additionally, strength exercises are an excellent way to build the balance and coordination needed to prevent falls.

Cardio

Cardiovascular activities are another important form of exercise for retiree health. Cardio helps keep the heart healthy by strengthening it and increasing blood circulation. This allows seniors to stay active and have more energy daily. Cardio activities include swimming, biking, walking briskly, or jogging on a treadmill or track.

Yoga

Yoga is an excellent exercise for retirees because it combines strength training with stretching and breathing strategies that promote relaxation and well-being. Yoga poses also help improve flexibility, which is essential in assisting seniors to remain agile in their day-to-day activities and preventing falls.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is a slow-moving martial art that improves balance while working out various muscle groups. This type of exercise increases mobility without putting too much strain on joints that may be weak due to aging or medical conditions, thus making it an ideal activity for retirees who want to remain active while avoiding injury risk from strenuous workouts like running or weightlifting.

Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition is essential to staying healthy during retirement. As you age, your body’s metabolism slows down, meaning the food you eat will have more of an effect on your health than when you were younger.

A balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can provide vital vitamins and minerals for optimal health. Additionally, eating fatty fish like salmon or mackerel twice weekly can help reduce inflammation while providing Omega-3 fatty acids essential for heart health.

Eating lean meats such as chicken or turkey is also beneficial to retirees because they are high in protein but low in saturated fat. Finally, it is essential to limit processed foods as much as possible since these often contain large amounts of sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats.

Illness Management

Getting professional help for retiree health

Despite actively maintaining their health during retirement, retirees may still deal with illnesses and chronic conditions. They need to learn how to properly manage their diseases, which can significantly impact their quality of life. Retirees should work closely with their doctors to create a plan that includes the necessary treatments and medications. This can help them stay as healthy as possible and reduce any complications associated with the condition.

Learning about new treatments or better management techniques can also benefit those dealing with chronic illnesses. It is essential to stay up-to-date on the latest research related to your condition, as this could lead to new ways of managing it more effectively. Additionally, talking to other people in similar situations can provide helpful insight into ways they have coped with their illness or managed it better over time.

Retirees also need to know when extra help might be required to manage an illness or condition. If necessary, hospice care can benefit those who require constant assistance due to age-related frailty or a severe medical condition. Trained professionals will provide emotional and physical support, which can ensure that retirees receive the right kind of attention and care when they need it most. This support system allows retirees to live out their retirement years comfortably and safely.

Final Thoughts

Retirement is an excellent opportunity to enjoy life and pursue hobbies, but it is also essential to prioritize health during this time. With the proper care and attention, retirees can enjoy a safe, happy retirement with optimal health.

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