Dealing with the changes that come with finishing work and having a lot more time on your hands sounds easy, but it can be damaging for a lot of people who aren’t prepared for making the transition from having to go to work to being able to lie in whenever they want. When you retire, it can be scarily easy to slip into bad habits, especially if you’re not leading a particularly active life. This means your general health and levels of energy can often quickly decline.
It’s important to do whatever you enjoy as much as you can to stay healthy during your retirement. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go out and play football or tennis every week to avoid putting on weight – health applies to more areas than putting on and losing weight. It’s about mental sharpness, a balanced diet and a positive attitude.
Get a dog
Many people would dearly love to get a dog, but it can put a huge strain on life if it has to be left at home all day while the owner is at work, as well as affecting holidays and other commitments. However, now you’re retired and have time to spare, this is the perfect time to get a canine companion.
Not only is having a dog a constant joy and an immediate lifelong friend, but it also helps you to stay healthy with a daily (or twice daily, if necessary) walk. The positive effects that walking can have on anyone’s life is continually underplayed. It burns calories, exercises your muscles, clears your mind and allows you to experience the great British countryside walking routes. It has also been proven to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes, so find a local breeder or animal rehoming centre and bring your new dog home today.
If you’re lucky enough to have grandchildren, babysitting them either at the weekends or during the school holidays is a great way to stay alert and energised – doing activities like playing games and cooking with them helps them learn new skills and strengthens your relationship with them.
Eat a high-fibre diet
Digestive systems have a tendency to slow down the older we get, so it’s important that your diet includes a lot of high-fibre fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as quinoa (pronounced keen-wah!), brown rice and popcorn. These will help you feel more energetic and keep you going throughout the day.
Try variations on what you know
It can be extremely effective in terms of keeping both your brain and your body sharp to carry on doing the same things that you already do, but varying them to make them fresh, exciting and challenging.
For instance, why not try a new walking route that might be a bit more taxing than the one you’re used to? You could try cooking new recipes in the evenings, reading new books or trying to learn something new every day. This helps to test your capabilities and improve your skills.
Get a good night’s sleep
Finally, a good night’s sleep is always overlooked as far as maintaining good health is concerned. It has been proven that at least eight hours’ sleep every night can:
- Improve your memory
- Reduce the likelihood/effect of depression
- Lower stress levels
- Make you more alert and energetic
These are especially important as you age and retire – though your stress levels might not be as high as they were when you were working, a loss of energy and memory and a rise in depression are proven side-effects of retirement and have to be battled from time to time.