6 areas to focus on for a healthy retirement

When you retire, you’ll probably have big plans — taking up a new hobby, going on holiday all the time, seeing friends and family and so on. With that in mind, your health becomes extremely important because you need to ensure that your body is capable of meeting the different challenges you’ll be placing on it throughout your retirement.

It’s arguably harder than ever to stay healthy at this point in your life, but with a few small adjustments made to your style of living you will be able not only to maintain your health and fitness levels, but increase them.

Exercise on a regular basis

Even if you don’t start hitting the gym for two hours every day, getting a little bit of exercise every day can make all the difference to your quality of life. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly strenuous — nobody’s expecting you to take up taekwondo — but it should be something that you can do regularly. This could be the perfect excuse to get a dog and take it for walks twice a day, for instance. Golf is popular with retirees because it offers light exercise in addition to maintaining and improving hand-eye coordination. You could also start swimming, jogging, cycling or Pilates.

Drink fewer units of alcohol

Most of us enjoy a drink or two, but we’re all well aware of the risks that come with consuming too much on a daily basis. The temptation to drink more when you know that you don’t really have anything to do or a job to go to the next day is naturally increased, but you should try not to have more than a couple of units per day. This will avoid the higher risk of liver disease and impaired functions as time goes on.

Stick to a healthy diet

It goes without saying that the secret to staying healthy, feeling and looking good is a balanced diet that doesn’t overdo the saturated fats, sugars and artificial flavourings. Stick to colourful fruits and vegetables along with proteins in the form of eggs, fish or lean meat. Carbohydrates such as pasta and bread should be limited as much as is feasible. If you feel as though you are not consuming enough of a certain vitamin or mineral, you can also buy supplements that can be taken separately. Following these basic guidelines (though everyone has their own preferences when it comes to diet) should go a long way towards making you feel more energised and healthy.

Have regular GP check-ups

You should have been having yearly check-ups with your GP already, but it may be worth upping the regularity to once every six months in addition to specialised testing for conditions like prostate and breast cancer, though these may be included within the standard physical examination. This will allow doctors to catch potentially serious diseases as early as possible and increase your chances of beating them.

Stimulate the brain

When you’re not solving problems and interacting regularly with clients and co-workers, it’s easy for the brain to stop working at the level it once did, so it needs to be constantly stimulated. Whether you read books or newspapers, solve puzzles or play games, the brain has to be stimulated. Another way of keeping it active is by maintaining a social life with relatives and friends — talking, joking and debating all help to keep the mind working.