You don’t have to wait until your 60s to shift to a healthier lifestyle. The earlier you start, the better.
This shift usually requires minor changes in your daily habits, which can have a lifelong impact on your physical and mental health.
AARP, a United States–based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering Americans over 50 to choose how they live as they age, recently published an article titled “60 Ways to Live Longer, Stronger and Better.” This article shares several amazing health tips.
In this blog, we will explore some of the key ideas from that article, and discuss how they play a major role in your life after retirement.
Read on to learn 11 tips that can help you move to a healthier, more active lifestyle!
1. Focus On Your Brain Health
Paying attention to your brain health is very important, especially as you age and head towards retirement.
Not doing so can lead to various health issues. For instance, Alzheimer’s is a common condition among older people. According to the 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report, an estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia in 2021. You can learn more about Alzheimer’s and seek support at the Alzheimer’s Association.
The AARP article offers a simple yet effective way for boosting your brain health –– eat salad, eat berries, and drink green tea. In fact, you can also use green tea as a way to quit your caffeine addiction by swapping your daily coffee with a healthier cup of green tea.
2. Sleep Better
This one might sound obvious, but it’s a really important one. In fact, a lot of people struggle to get a good amount of sleep every night.
The AARP article suggests making your bed every morning, so that at the end of the day you have a refreshing looking bed to retire, too.
It also reminded me of the book Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven, which highlights the importance of doing the little things right to make significant changes in your life.
It asks you to make your bed every morning as soon as you wake up. This can help you in two ways: you start your day with a task complete, and you have a nicely set bed waiting for you after a long, tiring day!
Moreover, you can also use a sound machine to tune out the unnecessary distractions so that you can sleep better.
3. Improve Your Heart Health
One way to improve the health of your heart is to brush and floss regularly. This might sound surprising, but it’s actually supported by research studies - don’t take your oral hygiene lightly!
If you’re someone who hates flossing, you can try using a Waterpik® – an effective alternative to the traditional flossing method, that uses water for flossing your teeth.
Another great way to have good heart health is through resistance training. According to the article, strengthening your muscles has been shown to directly influence your heart health. Alongside your resistance training, you can also include avocados and bananas in your diet to improve your heart health.
4. Adopt Stress Relief Measures
If you think that once you enter retirement your stress will completely go away, that’s not necessarily true.
Oftentimes, retirement stress can happen since you don’t have a daily work routine anymore, which used to keep you busy before retirement.
Having a daily ritual can help you deal with stress and anxiety. It can be something as simple as going for a walk, playing a piano, or even reading a book. Having something to look forward to every day can be a great way to combat stress.
Additionally, set a target of organizing at least one thing daily. You’ll feel better when you accomplish a task. For instance, organize your junk drawer and that chore is off your to-do list.
5. Adopt a Healthier Diet
If you’re not a fan of fruits, make a smoothie out of them. This will make it more fun and easier to consume!
Here’s a great smoothie suggestion mentioned in the article – blend a banana, orange, and some spinach. You can also add some walnuts for additional fiber.
When you go grocery shopping, also make sure that you eat something before you leave your home. If you shop with an empty stomach, there’s a high chance you’ll be tempted to buy a gallon of ice cream!
6. Get Back in Shape
Once you stop commuting to work every day, there is little physical activity in your daily routine.
Set a goal for yourself to go on a walk every day. You can also make it a habit to walk every time you’re talking on the phone. This way, instead of sitting in a bad posture in your chair, you’re out there burning calories and improving your fitness.
Remember, having a certain amount of physical activity in your daily routine is a must if you want to stay fit and lead an active life during retirement.
7. Beware of Your Tech Addiction
Technology has become so intertwined with our lifestyle today. A lot of people find it difficult to spend even just a few hours without their phone.
If you truly want to keep yourself from getting distracted by every single ping on your phone, turn off your notifications. You can check them all later at once instead of coming back to your phone every few minutes.
Now, you may ask: “What if someone tries to get ahold of me?” You can change your phone settings to allow calls from specific people. So, if you expect a call from someone, you can have your phone allow their calls, and block all other unnecessary notifications.
There are also some smartphones that have individual notification settings for each application. Turn off the extras and only keep the important ones on.
To improve your health, it’s important to take a break from technology every once in a while.
8. Improve Your Relationships
Nowadays, gray divorces – divorces among older people – are becoming more and more common.
After retirement, as you and your partner are spending almost your entire day with each other, the new lifestyle could add extra strain to your relationship.
There are several ways in which you can improve your relationship with your spouse. For example, when you sit down for a meal, sit across from each other, which encourages you to look at each other and maintain eye contact while eating.
In fact, maintaining eye contact for 60 seconds straight can be a fun way to appreciate each other’s beauty!
Finally, do a chore that your partner hates to do. These little extra efforts can improve your relationship significantly.
9. Get Rid Of Your Loneliness
Although the average happiness is found to be going up in retirement, there are still some people who start to feel depressed due to loneliness.
You can deal with such loneliness by calling your loved ones frequently. Even if it is just a 5-10 minutes call to check in on them, you will feel much better.
You can go one step further and also call a long-lost friend to reconnect with them! Do you have a cousin that you haven’t talked to for years? Or perhaps your high school buddy from 40 years ago? Pick up the phone and call them!
Believe it or not, catching up on long-lost friends can really feel invigorating!
10. Pay Attention To Skincare
Having healthy skin can help you live longer - especially from trying to avoid cancers. But a lot of people, especially men, fail to take good care of their skin on a daily basis.
There is a wide variety of skincare products available out there to help you have a healthier skin. You could even make it part of your bedtime routine, which could help your body prepare for and get better sleep!
One of them, suggested by the article, is the SPF 30 sunscreen. You can apply it every day as part of your skincare routine - it should help you look better, feel better, and hopefully avoid preventable skin cancers.
11. Improve Your Environment
Here, we’re not talking about the environment in general, but asking you to focus on your personal environment at home. There are two great ways to do that.
First, bring plants into your house. Studies have shown that this will improve the quality of air in your home. In a way, it also gives you a daily purpose in life. You feel excited to watch the plant grow, and are dedicated toward taking care of them. People are shown to live longer even when they have just one small purpose in their life!
Second, eat more organic fruits and vegetables. They are a little expensive compared to the non-organic ones, but the amount of health benefits they have to offer far outweigh the additional cost.
Don’t think you’re too old to start a healthy new habit, but if you truly want to live healthy, start implementing the above tips in your life as early as possible!
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If you have any questions for us regarding how to achieve your ideal retirement, feel free to contact us!