The Best Investment is Your Health
Feb 18, 2019
Today, the average length of retirement living is close to 20 years. Take the needed steps to make your retirement healthy and strong, but it's more than the physical body. Overall wellness contributes greatly to the quality of your life now and during the retirement years.
The body and its physical condition is what we think of when the topic of health comes up. But health includes the mind, emotions, social connections, and more. But first, when considering a healthy body, try these daily routines and actions.
- Eat healthy and nutritious food. Drink plenty of water. Do you know what a nutritious meal consists of? According to the USDA Choose MyPlate, each meal should include all food groups. Make fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy (if you want,) and protein foods part of your daily meals. Limit added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.
- Participate in the activities you enjoy. This may sound boring and unappealing, but exercise regularly. I suggest choosing the ones that motivate you. For me, it's walking, yoga, stretching, and bicycling. Take the time to discover the one(s) you want to do.
- Do stretches. At first, you may avoid this activity. Every morning, I've included stretches to my routine and love it so much, I can't imagine not doing it. Yoga is a good way to stretch. Buy a yoga mat and turn on YouTube. You'll find a plethora of yoga positions--best part, you do them at home, privately.
- Visit your doctor yearly and get the recommended check-ups and prevention tests. It's the best way to stay on top of your physical health. Be sure to discuss physical exercise and nutrition with your physician before making changes to your diet and fitness plan.
Spiritual health is often not classified as part of wellness, but in my book it is because it impacts our lives. It gives a person a sense of who one is and their meaning of life. What is my purpose? What do I value most? These questions will lead you to a deeper understanding of self and what gives your life fulfillment.
- Take time to meditate - connect with yourself, whether in the morning, at lunch break, or before bedtime. Take five minutes to breathe, let go of the day, and meditate. Some prefer prayer. Above all, free your mind and foster a stronger relationship with your spiritual wellness.
- Spend time with nature. Go outdoors for a long walk or hike and connect with the world.
- Express your feelings. This will help you stay focused after a long day. By writing down your thoughts, you are able to think clearer.
Emotional Wellness - how we manage our feelings.
- Keep a gratitude journal. A habit of daily gratitude is the key to joyfulness and contentment. The journal helps focus on the good and what we're thankful for.
- Manage stress. Let go, slow down, sleep in, practice giving back, take a walk, meet up with a friend, be active and get a massage regularly.
- Nurture strong friendships. Maintain and build strong friendships by meeting for lunch, sponsor potluck dinners, join a book club, or form a support group of close friends to meet regularly.
Build strong social connections. Friendships and connections influence our wellbeing. Meaningful and lasting social connections serve as a buffer against stress and promote physical and mental health. People who have satisfying relationships have been shown to be happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.
- Maintain good hearing and vision. Those with an undiagnosed hearing or vision problem avoid social situations out of embarrassment and difficulty with communicating. Get your problems treated as soon as you can to remove this barrier.
- Share a meal. Dine out with friends whenever possible, or a church group, with members at the local senior center, or at a café near your home. Even going to a diner on your own for a cup of coffee is social. Just sit at the counter and chat with your server.
- Volunteer locally. The meaning and purpose you find in helping others will enrich and expand your life.
- Develop a hobby. Besides providing a sense of purpose, many hobbies and interests are social in nature.
People who continue to grow become a better person. If you take good care of your health and strive to be the best you, I promise you'll appreciate life more.
It’s part of the inevitable by-product of paying attention to loving yourself completely.
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