5 tips for better health and wellness in retirement
When it’s finally time to relax and live out the joys of retirement, the last thing you want to face are problems with your health and wellness.
Australian men aged 65 can expect to live another 20 years and women another 22, leaving a lot of time to enjoy your retirement years to their fullest. That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep your health and wellness in top form as you enter retirement.
Take control of your body and mind with these helpful retirement tips.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, many Australians aren’t eating enough fruit and vegetables to meet their daily guidelines. What’s more — obesity was more common in older age groups —16% of adults aged 18–24 were obese, compared with 41% of adults aged 65–74. The verdict is clear: we need more fruit and veg in our diets, especially as we get older.
It’s recommended that women aged over 51 have five servings of vegetables and legumes/beans daily, as well as two serves of fruit, and three serves of wholegrains. Men aged over 51 should be having five and a half serves of vegetables a day, two serves of fruit, and six serves of wholegrains. While it can be difficult to meet these guidelines, the health benefits are well worth it, so why not put some extra greens on your plate and feel the years roll back?
It’s nice to finally bid farewell to the workplace, but the drop in social contact that comes with retirement can be hard to deal with at first. Keep loneliness and boredom at bay in your later years by taking up activities and hobbies you couldn’t find time for during your working life.
Volunteering is a great way to stay connected with your community and find a crowd of like-minded people to spend time with. It also boasts many positive health benefits. You can start by checking your local community listings or online adverts to find groups in need of volunteers. Many organisations are always looking for an extra set of hands to help out, such as the RSPCA, The Smith Family, Meals on Wheels, and Australian Volunteers International.
Consider a furry companion
The health benefits of owning a pet are well documented. Animals have been known to reduce stress, encourage fitness, and ward off feelings of boredom and loneliness, which are all key factors to a happy retirement.
According to the 2017 Choosi Pet Report, the overwhelming majority of respondents agree pet ownership is good for their mental health (96.8%) and physical health (92.7%). They also agree having pets makes them happier (95.6%) and less lonely (91.9%).
Researchers at the University of Missouri found older adults who are pet owners benefit from the bonds they form with their canine companions. This includes being more likely to get out and about, and more likely to socialise with pet owners.
Reconnect with your partner
Retirement is a chance to nurture existing relationships that may have taken a backseat during your working life. Even happy couples may find aspects of their relationship that could be improved in retirement.
Here are some handy tips to keep in mind as you spend more time with your spouse:
- Create a sensible budget that can support both of you.
- Maintain a good balance between your relationship and other social commitments.
- Spending some time apart can be a great way to build a healthy bond with your partner.
- Communicate regularly to avoid small issues escalating into larger conflicts.
- Find activities you both enjoy doing.
The Australian Department of Health recommends at least 30 minutes of light physical activity every day. You can cut this time down by doing more intensive exercise, such as running, bike riding, or even taking up a sport. The goal is to make sure you’re working hard enough to break a sweat and keep your heart in good health. This can also help improve your strength and mobility as you get older.
Sometimes it can be the smallest tweaks to your lifestyle that make the biggest difference to your health and outlook during retirement. Eating well, keeping social, exercising, and strengthening your relationships can all help you feel better and healthier. And with ample time up your sleeve to enjoy the goodness of retirement, you’ve got plenty of reasons to keep in shape both mentally and physically.
Retirement is a great time to assess your estate, including whether you have the right insurance in place for your needs. For example, if you think your family may not have enough money set aside for your funeral when you pass, you may wish to look into funeral insurance. If you’re interested in looking at your options, Choosi can help you compare funeral insurance. You can also learn more about what to consider when preparing for retirement.
24 May 2019