As of 2019, the average life expectancy in the United States was 76 years for men and 81 years for women. Since most Americans live well into retirement age now, it’s crucial to sustain healthy routines and habits which maximize these “golden years” to their fullest. This requires both physical and mental wellness initiatives, so you can feel positive, energized, balanced, sharp, mobile and independent for as long as possible.
There are many areas of health to prioritize as you grow older—nutrition and fitness, social connections, and treatment for medical issues being the most obvious. But how can you start taking proactive measures now to plan ahead for a healthy retirement down the road? Below are four simple and actionable ways to maintain a lifestyle of wellness, no matter how aged you are—in numerical years, that is.
Find Enjoyable, Consistent and Diverse Ways to Be Active
An estimated 80% of people in the United States do not move their bodies enough, reports the Journal of the American Medical Association. But older adults need both aerobic and resistance exercises for bone density, muscle strength, coordination and joint mobility. It can be hard to exercise when you find it boring or repetitive, but the trick is to diversify the workouts and create a regimen that is actually fun.
“Choose different exercises that you enjoy—whether that’s walking, swimming, cycling or even dancing. Don’t be afraid to try new exercises, so you will remain engaged and on-track with your health goals. In our community, we have a robust activity calendar that we revisit each month to add new options for our residents. To keep moving, you need a number of activities to choose from,” points out Annette Field, the Executive Director of Vineyard Johns Creek a new assisted living and memory care community.
Invest in Relationships for a Vibrant, Connected Social Life
No matter how old you are, as a human being, you’re wired for connections with other people, but with retirement often comes other transitions such as moving to a new area or spending more time at home. Not to mention, you don’t interact with coworkers or attend office functions anymore. This might cause social isolation over time which the American Journal of Epidemiology warns can lead to depression, inadequate sleep, cognitive decline, heart disease, cancer and a risk of premature death.
Loneliness is a serious health concern, but you can avoid it through inten