Your General Good Health
All this discussion about retirement and health is arbitrary. What matters for your health is what you are doing to your body and mind. If you retire and sit around all day, your health will deteriorate. If you retire and hit the gym while eating tons of fruits and vegetables, your health will improve. People who are working can have terrible health if they sit around all day and stress out, so forget about whether retirement is healthy or not — look at your daily habits and decide which ones need some improvement. Here’s a list to get you started:
Fruits and Vegetables:
You need to eat between 5 and 9 servings of fruit and vegetables every day. This is your number one nutritional mission. You can do this simply by adding 2 servings to your day every week. By the end of the month, you’ll be there.
You need to exercise every day. What you choose for your exercise will depend on your health and your interests. Be sure to do a variety of exercises to build strength, flexibility, cardiovascular health and balance.
Your brain needs some exercise too. Find ways to stimulate your brain in to learning new things and keep the cobwebs from growing up there.
Don’t forget to relax. Some of the most stressed out people I know are retired. They just transfer their workday stress on to their retired lives. Find a structured way to relax every day. Try this meditation program to help you relax and give your brain a workout at the same time.
All adults need to sleep between 7 and 9 hours every night. As you age, this gets difficult, especially if you are taking medications or have a health condition. Train your body to have excellent sleeping skills, and avoid the bad habits of some retired people (i.e., taking long naps).
Your relationships with people can help you live longer. Be sure to nurture your friendships and family relationships. If you are away from friends and family, think about volunteering — it’s a great way to meet people and get the health benefits of relationships too.