So, you’ve finally reached your golden years and have come to the point in your life when you’re ready to retire, or perhaps you already have. Your kids have moved out and now have families of their own, you’ve worked hard to accomplish your career goals and now what?
What do you do with your newfound spare time? What can you do to ensure you’re staying happy, healthy and able to accomplish the things you’ve been waiting to do all your life?
If you’ve never exercised before, or even if you’ve stayed active, exercise can bring a whole new joy to your life. Simply staying active through everyday activities such as walking or gardening can boost your mood and keep your body fit so you can chase around your grandkids!
Exercise will also make your day to day activities feel a lot easier and will help you age more seamlessly while warding off complications from arthritis, osteoporosis, or obesity. Your body will be more resistant to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and weight gain.
Take a minute to think about whether there are any sports or activities you’ve wanted to try but didn’t have time for before you reached your golden years. Yoga? Dance? Volleyball? Get out there and give it a go!
Take Time To Cook
Okay, I think we all may be guilty of opting for Chinese take out more than once a week when life got too busy. The great thing about having more time, means that you finally have time to develop or sharpen your culinary skills.
Invest in cooking lessons, a new cookbook, or scan through Pinterest for recipes that spark your taste buds. While eating out is enjoyable, it can be far more rewarding to create your own culinary masterpiece.
Health-wise, cooking at home can be far healthier than eating out, reason being that you control how much added oil, salt or sugar ends up in your meal. Cooking can also be therapeutic and can help you unwind.
You reached your golden years. Relax!
You’ve worked hard your whole life, you owe it to yourself to have some “me” time. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your body in so many horrendous ways such as increased risk of heart attack, insomnia, high blood sugar, weakened immune function, headaches and irritability. It sacrifices your quality of life as well as your health.
While it’s important to maintain proper stress management habits throughout your life, after retirement, it’s crucial that you dedicate a certain amount of time to relax and unwind. Exercise, going for a massage, painting, reading, and socializing with friends and family are all great ways to de-stress.
As you age, it’s important to keep your brain sharp! Cognitive health problems such as dementia, unfortunately aren’t curable yet. It’s important to keep your brain healthy in all areas including nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity and social engagement.
By incorporating reading, puzzles, crosswords, sudoku and memory games into your daily lifestyle, you’ll be able to make sure your brain is getting the engagement that it needs, which will slow down cognitive decline.
Socializing in your golden years also plays a big role in keeping your mind sharp, because you’ll be stimulated by conversation and you’ll constantly be learning by talking to other people. Ideally, talking to new people each day would be best, however you can also get the same results from talking to family members or old friends as well. Don’t be shy! Join new clubs, call your friends and talk to your children or grandchildren.
If you want to feel instantly happier, head outdoors. Studies have proven there is a correlation between vitamin D from the sun and decreased levels of depression. All you need is 10 minutes of direct sunlight on your skin to hit your recommended amount of vitamin D.
Keep in mind if you are planning on spending long periods of time in the sun, slather on some sunscreen to prevent sun damage and skin cancer.
Exercise outdoors whenever you can and you will have a heightened mood for the rest of the day. Take a walk, go for a swim or read a book on the patio! Feeling happier will allow you to manage stress and all of its nasty side effects.
Make a point everyday to spend time outdoors to do a specific activity. Fresh air, sunshine, and listening to the birds chirp should definitely help you relax and feel better. Now is a better time than never to start doing things that make you feel happy.
Incorporate each of these lifestyle changes into your daily life to make your golden years feel, well…golden!
Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.