You’ve got control over your time, and that’s one of the greatest advantages of retirement. Instead of surrendering the best hours of the day to the nine-to-five grind, you can do what you want, when you want. That could include playing a round of golf, enjoying a picnic along the seashore, or taking off on a whirlwind tour of the world. There’s just one caveat: your health.
If you’re not in fine form mentally and physically, you can’t enjoy that freedom. Injury and illness limit your pursuit of pleasure and fulfillment while sapping your energy, forcing you to stay at home under medical supervision when you should be out making the most of the day. That’s certainly no way to live, so take action to safeguard your well-being.
No one likes to think about getting sick or being diagnosed with a chronic illness, but the likelihood of it happening increases more and more as you age. That’s why it’s so important not only to ensure your healthcare needs are covered. If Medicare doesn’t cover everything, consider a Medicare Advantage plans like the ones offered by Humana. In addition to prescription, dental, and vision coverage, some plans even offer wellness programs to help keep you healthier longer.
Improve Your Diet
The trick to a good diet: fewer calories, more nutrients. This should become your mantra when preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which should be rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats, among other whole foods. If you don’t get the vitamins and minerals you need from your meals, then research for supplements. You may benefit from extra collagen, a protein
that’s vital in maintaining strong bones and muscles while easing joint pain. Just make sure you read up on the various supplements on the market to find the one that suits your needs.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is important, so make sure it’s fun. That way, you will stay motivated and won’t struggle to squeeze that workout into your daily schedule. Swimming is popular among seniors, as it’s an excellent form of cardio that puts little strain on the joints. Meanwhile, a few sessions of tai chi or yoga would do wonders for your strength, balance, and flexibility.
Fall prevention definitely isn’t one of the more glamorous ways to take care of yourself, but it’s necessary. Staying physically and mentally fit is a great way to prevent the age-related impairments that cause you to lose your balance in the first place, but you should design your environment to be more safe as well. The specific modifications you’ll make should be based on your specific needs, but sufficient lighting, handrails and grab bars, and non-slip flooring are great places to start.
Use Your Brain
It’s extremely important to keep your mind sharp; otherwise, your cognitive functioning begins to decline — and you definitely don’t want that. Start by turning off the TV, then pick up a book, play a game, or solve a crossword puzzle. If you’re up for a challenge, consider enrolling in a course at a local college that offers scholarships or discounts for seniors.
Take a Hike
Just closing your eyes and imagining the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest lifts your spirits, but there’s nothing like the real thing. For one thing, nature makes a wonderful addition to your exercise routine, as long as you stay safe and pace yourself.
Explore a Hobby
If you don’t already have one, choose something you’ve always wanted to do, as the mental health benefits are hard to turn down. Whether it’s through playing music, painting, or carpentry, you’ll relieve stress and build valuable self-confidence. Besides, you should never stop developing on a personal level, regardless of how old you are.
Adopt a Pet
Bringing a canine companion into your life can be a transformative experience, says a writer with Modern Dog. A pooch would get you out of the house, into the sun, and walking around, putting you in touch with other animal lovers doing the same with their furry friends. Cats offer their own special brand of joy, as they cuddle into your lap for some relaxation.
Exercise, hobbies, and pets won’t help if you don’t get your 40 winks, so create an evening routine that has you dozing off on time every night. Start by turning off your computer and smartphone, then do something relaxing like taking a warm bath, which is sleep-inducing in itself. That book you’re reading will help as well, so keep it on your bedside table.
Stay Socially Active
Studies conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University found that people with healthy relationships actually live longer, according to an article from Simplemost. Hanging out with your friends also helps ward off cognitive decline by keeping you mentally engaged.
With a little effort, these could easily be the best years of your entire life. Make that happen now by trying out a new recipe, going for a walk with your pet, or talking to an old friend. You’ll feel better for it, and that’s just the beginning.