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At retirement age, many people still have lots of living left to do. In fact, it’s not unusual for a newly retired person to have a good 20 or more years left to enjoy retirement. The U.S. Security Administration says that on average, a man reaching age 65 today can expect to live until age 84.3. A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86.7.
One of the smartest things you can do to ensure you’re enjoying your retirement years ahead to the fullest is to follow healthy aging tips like those listed below. Focusing on your physical, emotional, and mental health can help you develop a strong mind and body that’s ready to enjoy the years ahead – however many that may be.
Tip #1: Keep up with your doctor’s appointments and medications.
If you don’t currently have a primary care physician, get one as soon as possible and schedule regular check-ups, even if you’re in the best of health. Preventive medicine is crucial for a proactive approach to health, and it can not only help you develop a positive relationship with a doctor who knows your medical history, it can also help catch illnesses and conditions as early as possible.
Tip #2: Keep moving.
Your doctor may tell you that regular exercise for seniors is essential for optimal health. Whether you’re actually “working out” or not, it doesn’t matter too much – as long as you’re moving. Get up and do things that require movement. Take the dog for a walk every morning. Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator when you can. Instead of watching television, go for a bike ride. Make sure you’re doing something active at least once per day for a minimum of 30 minutes. Exercise for seniors is a must-do.
Tip #3: Think of food as fuel, not reward.
Sure, it’s OK to munch on your favorite snack once in a while, but as you age and your metabolism slows down, healthy eating becomes even more important for your health. Treat yourself in moderation, but teach yourself to accept that food is meant to fuel your body, and the best fuel is nutritious fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Make sure you are fueling your body with these items every day.
Tip #4: Stimulate your mind regularly.
After retirement, you may not be putting your mind to use like you did when you were working every day. But that doesn’t mean you should let your brain off the hook. Keeping your brain stimulated and engaged can help decrease your risk for the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Set a goal to learn something new every so often, like cooking a new recipe, or taking a class in a topic that interests you or finding a new hobby to enjoy.
Tip #5: Stay social.
Just like your mental and physical health are important for healthy aging, so is your emotional health. Socialization and relationships can play a huge role in the state of your emotional health. Seniors who become isolated socially are at an increased risk for depression. Even if you live alone in your own apartment, a retirement community is the perfect place to make new friends and find other people with similar interests and hobbies.
Tip #6: Rest up.
For many years, you were probably on the go with a busy schedule, hectic deadlines, and people pulling you in different directions. Now that you’re retired, it’s time to breathe, rest, and relax. You should have more time on your hands to dedicate to getting enough sleep, taking a nap when you feel tired, and cutting yourself a break. You deserve it.
Tip #7: Understand your limits.
It’s hard to admit that you’re not as young as you used to be, especially if you still feel young at heart. But physically, aging means limitations. You may not be able to participate in strenuous activities or difficult workouts like you used to. Or you may need extra time to recover from an injury or illness. Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help from loved ones. Everyone needs help once in a while.
At Stonebridge at Montgomery, we want you to find a place where you can grow and enjoy the art of living well. And your health is important to us, which is why along with vibrant living options, we offer our innovative LivWell program that ensures the highest level of wellness in all seven dimensions: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, environmental, and vocational. Come see for yourself. Schedule a visit with us today.