What steps are you taking to stay healthy in retirement? Many older Americans spend time preparing for their financial future, but often they forget to plan for the future of their health as well. However, staying healthy is the best way to keep your golden years happy, and these are the most basic steps you can take for your overall wellness.
Take Control of Your Healthcare Coverage
Healthcare is a big part of anyone’s life, but healthcare is essential for seniors who want to maintain their overall health. Most importantly, you have to be sure you can pay for your healthcare needs, now and in the future. If, like most American over the age of 65, you rely on Medicare for your healthcare coverage, you can give yourself some peace of mind by knowing your coverage in detail at all times. Being vigilant about changes to Medicare is crucial for seniors who want to maintain control of their healthcare, so stay informed about your plan.
You can easily stay updated about any changes to your Medicare plan by using extensive online resources to navigate enrollment processes for Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, understand state-by-state plans, and discover supplemental coverages to extend assistance with expenses such as eye exams and prescriptions. Medications can make up a significant portion of your overall health care costs, so it’s important to know what options you have to offset this expense.
Make Healthier Choices for Your Body
Staying informed and involved in your healthcare is important as a senior, but you should also take an active role in your overall health. It’s never too late to make lifestyle changes, so start adjusting your routine to include some healthier choices. If you are typically sedentary, know that this can have drastic consequences for your well-being. Researchers in one study of older women found that a lack of activity actually altered the chemical makeup of cells in participants’ bodies. Essentially, those who did not exercise experienced more rapid aging. The good news is that you don’t need to exercise for hours a day to keep yourself feeling younger. If you can fit 30 to 60 minutes of activity into five days out of the week, you can greatly improve your overall health and better manage any chronic conditions. There are many fitness routines seniors can do at home, including balance and step exercises.
To complement your new fitness plan, overhaul any poor eating habits as well. A balanced diet of whole grains, fresh produce, and lean proteins are a safe bet for most seniors. Add some healthy fats for your brain and you will have yourself on track for optimal health. Stock up on some simple, wholesome recipes to make your diet goals a reality.
Take Much Better Care of Your Mind
Consuming healthy fats and oils can help regulate some of the chemical processes in your brain, but you also need to tend to your emotional processes. Depression is a common mental health problem for older adults, but it doesn’t have to be a major factor in your own life. Your depressive feelings can be the result of several different root issues, so it’s important to seek the help of a trained mental health professional. You may need medications to regulate an imbalance, or cognitive behavioral therapy may be more helpful.
Lifestyle changes can also be a great way for seniors to take better care for their mental health. Starting a new hobby can relieve feelings of depression and reduce overall stress levels. Now is a perfect time to grow a garden, take some dance classes, or even travel. Memory can be an issue as you age as well, but games and puzzles can help keep this part of your mind extra sharp. Completing a crossword puzzle every morning is the easiest way to maintain cognitive function and enhance your memory skills — plus, it’s another fun way to relieve stress.
You put so much thought into your retirement, so make sure you are healthy enough to enjoy it. Make the simple lifestyle changes that can improve your life, and stay in control of your health, your happiness, and your future.
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Article by Karen Weeks.