The Benefits of Staying Active in Retirement
Maybe you’ve just retired. Or maybe, it’s been a while and you’ve finally caught up with this thing called streaming television. Better yet, you’re a planner. The type of person who hasn’t even retired yet, but you’re considering it. And you’re thinking about your health in retirement already. It’s important to keep up with your health after retirement, and there are many benefits of staying active. Let’s talk about a few.
Health in Retirement
Whether or not you’ve retired yet, there are a few baseline health check-ins that you want to keep up with as you get older. But keeping up with your health in retirement could help you live a longer, more fulfilling life.
In fact, according to one study, over the past 30 years, life expectancy has increased by as much as three years. Thirty-seven million adults—12% of the total US population—are 65 years of age and older right now. With the life expectancy of men at about 81.8 years and 84.8 years for women.
Of those adults 65 years and older, 71% have hypertension, the most prevalent condition in this age group. Other common issues include dyslipidemia, arthritis, ischemic heart disease, and diabetes. Part of monitoring your health in retirement is keeping up with yearly check-ups to stay on top of some of those things. And monitoring things like blood pressure and cholesterol.
According to the American Heart Association, you should assess your 10-year risk for high cholesterol with your doctor. And if you monitor your blood pressure regularly, Harvard Health states that a normal range is anywhere less than 120 over 80.
Benefits of Staying Active
Diet is a key component to your health after retirement. That’s why the American Heart Association provides resources like cooking guidelines. But staying active is also important. Here are just some of the benefits.
Pain is the most frequently reported symptom among older adults, with joint and lower back pain being most prevalent, affecting 55% and 38% of elders. Staying active can help you manage pain and build up more muscle and flexibility around your bones. While going for a walk or doing an exercise class may seem like more work upfront, spending an hour of your day on an exercise routine could make the rest of the hours much easier on your body.
Obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are also risk factors that can impact diseases affecting the brain. According to one study, regular exercise can help the repair of cells, tissues, and other parts of your body. This is important for preventing Alzheimer's disease and other age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. You can pair this with other learning opportunities, to stay fit and active both mentally and physically.
There is more than just the physical to consider in health after retirement. Staying physically active can also help you feel better emotionally, too. This is different for everyone. Some people may leave their jobs and enjoy spending more time with family or diving deep into a hobby they’ve had for a while. But for others, some of the hours in a day may start feeling empty.
Increasing activity in retirement can help you transition from the routines you had before, and fill some space while you build up new routines.
There are many benefits of staying active, and keeping up with your health after retirement is a big one. Of course, you should enjoy your time. You’ve earned it. But increasing your activity in retirement might help you enjoy it more than you think.
Contributed to The 55+ Society
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