While most of us are working to ensure we’re financially ready for retirement, one thing that occasionally gets overlooked in retirement planning is how we’re going to manage our health. There’s no point being comfortable financially if we’re not well enough to enjoy it!
There are three core components to staying healthy as you get older – a sensible diet, regular exercise and good quality medical care. Here we’ll give you some tips on improving each element to ensure you’re as healthy as possible when you finish working.
The cornerstone of good health is your diet, and fortunately it’s fairly easy to eat good food without sacrificing your carefully planned budget. Focusing on avoiding processed food and making your own meals from fresh ingredients is a simple, straightforward way to getting your diet right.
Grilled Chicken and Quinoa Salad
While you don’t need to relentlessly count calories every day, it’s worth keeping an eye on how much you’re eating and how much you weigh. Our metabolism gradually slows down as we get older, meaning it takes fewer calories each day to maintain your current weight. If you eat like you did when you were 18, chances are you’ll start putting on weight and will need to deal with all the issues it can cause, including chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
It’s also best to get this under control when you’re younger, as dieting comes with additional risk as you get older. You naturally lose muscle as you age, meaning the proportion of your body weight which is fat is likely to increase and puts you at additional risk for falls and frailty. Dieting causes further muscle loss alongside fat loss, which can increase these complications. If you have weight to lose, do it now before it’s too late!
One of the most important things you can do for your health is to stay active as you get older. People tend to lose a lot of mobility and energy as they age, but it doesn’t have to be as severe as it often seems. There are pensioners out there hiking, running marathons and competing in power lifting, so the least you can do is walk to the shops for your bread and milk in the morning!
Morning Hikes … A Great Way to Start a Day
Weight training regularly can help strengthen muscles, joints and bones. Regular cardiovascular exercise, even low impact workouts like walking or cycling, can help reduce the likelihood of arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. Yoga and other mobility work can help you stay mobile and reduce issues with the back and the hips.
It’s all about finding something you enjoy and are happy to do regularly. It will improve your mood, your energy levels and your quality of life substantially when compared to living a sedentary lifestyle.
The final element of your health is your medical care. Regular visits to your doctor will help pick up any illness or disease quickly and will ensure you’re treated as quickly as possible.
If you have the financial resources it could be worth looking at private healthcare providers to see if any of the policies would be beneficial. It can often mean lower waiting times, access to higher quality facilities and better all-round care. For example many providers offer everything from child, dental and even cancer cover.
Keeping an eye on your body and how you feel will be important, and anything you feel isn’t quite right should involve a visit to the doctor. Even if it’s nothing it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Financial security is all well and good, but it’s impossible to put a price on your health. Try to be mindful of your diet, fitness and medical care and you’ll get so much more from your retirement.