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Invest in Your Health for a Better Future

Invest in Your Health for a Better Future

May 30, 2024


Aging Well in Retirement: Invest in Your Health for a Better Future

 

Retirement should be a golden chapter in your life, a well-deserved reward for years of hard work and dedication. As you embark on this exciting journey, it’s smart to prioritize optimal health as a cornerstone of your retirement planning. Neglecting your well-being can lead to unnecessary costs and hinder the enjoyment of your golden years. This column explores essential tips for aging well.

Food as Medicine: According to a recent study from the University of Cincinnati, incorporating strawberries and blueberries into your diet can improve memory and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Harvard researchers also found that consuming walnuts can add 1.3 years to your life. Do your research and try to embrace the concept of “food as medicine” to support your cognitive health and longevity in retirement.

Muscle Mass and Longevity: Muscle acts as a powerful barrier against disease. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that strength training can lower the risk of premature death by 10—17% from all causes.  The good news is that you don’t need to train like an Olympian.  Bands, body weight exercises, and light dumbbells incorporated into your gym workout all fit the bill.  Even power-lifting legend Arnold Schwarzenegger uses machines these days to minimize the chance of injury.  Along that line, be sure to work with a trainer to learn proper form after getting your doctor’s ok to begin working out!

Add Balance to Your Life:  Prioritize balance and stretching exercises such as yoga or Pilates.   These make for great longevity investments, as poor balance is associated with a higher risk of injury and premature death.    Activities like yoga enhance flexibility and contribute to positive mental health, emotional well-being, and increased energy levels.

Stay Active Throughout the Day: If you’re still working, take a few short breaks throughout the day

for a brisk walk to enjoy the winter sun. Plan out your week on Sunday evenings and set aside 3-5 hours of scheduled exercise each week.   This may seem excessive, but Statista found that adults 65 and older watch television four hours a day. Younger adults average around three hours daily. It appears that most of us have the time.  

Healthy Eating Habits: Choose nutrient-dense foods by shopping in the outer aisles of the grocery store. Embrace the habit of consuming lighter meals, especially during dinner, to improve sleep quality and manage weight effectively. Avoid processed foods and prioritize healthy oils, such as olive oil, a staple in Blue Zones- regions known for superior health and longevity.

Prioritize Quality Sleep: Sleep is a vital component of well-being. Having a pre-sleep routine that emphasizes winding down from screens and bright lights around the same time each evening. Be sure to keep your bedroom cool and dark. Better quality sleep has been shown to reduce weight, improve insulin levels, and brighten your mood throughout the day.

Three Pillars of Healthy Aging: Strive for three essential elements as you age: maintaining social connections, regular exercise, and nurturing friendships. These pillars contribute significantly to a fulfilling and vibrant retirement life.

The Year Ahead:  Your choices over the next few months will shape 2024 for you. As you navigate your retirement journey, make a conscious effort to invest in your health. Your retirement years should be a time of joy and fulfillment; a healthy lifestyle is the key to unlocking its full potential.