As technological advancements have improved our health and life expectancies, Baby Boomers are one of the first generations to experience a longer lifespan. From 1950 to 2014, the average life expectancy rose steadily. Men's life expectancy rose from 65.6 to 71.,1 and women's rose from 76.1 to 81.1.¹
Our friends, at WebMD, have some very practical suggestions for not only staying healthy into the retirement years, but how to live well into those years and beyond.²
Find a New Purpose
When you retire, you don’t just leave a job. You enter a new stage in your life. If you do something you find meaningful, you’ll be happier and healthier. Volunteer at a hospital or library. Take part in projects at your house of worship. Tutor kids who need help in school. Care for animals in a shelter. Help assemble gift boxes for soldiers overseas. Long-term, this can help both your mind and body.
The Right Surroundings
Where you live can help set you up for good health. If you want clean air, you have a variety of choices, like Melbourne, FL; Elmira, NY; Pueblo, CO; and Salinas, CA. You can exercise outdoors amid the mountains of Boulder, CO, the seacoast of Portland, ME, or the sunshine of Tucson, AZ. For top-notch medical care, it can be good to live near Cleveland, Boston, Baltimore, Houston, New York City, or Rochester, MN.
Man’s Best Friend
A dog gives you unconditional love and more. Just 15 minutes with Fido can lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress level. Over time, a faithful companion can help cut your cholesterol, fight depression, and keep you active. Having a cat can also help lower your blood pressure and stress levels.
You’re more likely to have problems linked to nutrition, like weight loss or a lack of certain vitamins, as you age. So, a balanced diet of protein, fat, and carbs is more important than ever. Cut down on packaged foods, because they have lots of salt, which can raise your blood pressure. One good option is to eat like people in Greece and its region: lots of fruit, veggies, whole grains, and olive oil.
Keep Tabs on Your Health
Regular medical checkups are a must. Your doctor can help you guard against a heart attack or a stroke by watching your blood pressure and cholesterol. Timely shots help protect you from the flu and other illnesses. If you’re a woman, you need tests for breast and cervical cancers; if you’re a man, your doctor can help you decide about a prostate cancer test.
Exercise for Fun and Fitness
Being active not only gives your health a boost, but it also helps you stay independent as you age. Pick something you enjoy so you’ll keep doing it. Aerobic exercise, like walking, swimming, or dancing, can give you more energy and help keep your mind sharp, too. Exercises with weights or bands can build your strength. Yoga keeps you flexible. If exercise is new to you, ease into it, and check with your doctor first.
Stimulate Your Mind
Your brain needs exercise, just like your body. Read, do puzzles, play a musical instrument, or pick up an old hobby. Take a class in a subject you’re curious about, like cooking or computers. Using your creative side, through things like painting and gardening, can help your brain stay healthy, too. For example, an acting course may boost your memory and your problem-solving skills.
Get Your 40 Winks
It may get harder for you to sleep through the night as you get older. You might need to pee or to shift in bed so a joint will stop aching. But you can take steps to help. Stop drinking liquids 2 hours before bed. Don’t have any caffeine within 8 hours of bedtime. Make your bedroom as dark as possible. During the day, limit naps to 10 or 20 minutes. To help with aches, ask your doctor if you should take a painkiller when you turn in.
Safety Around the House
Household accidents become more dangerous as you age. Get nonslip mats for your bathroom floor and tub. Fix frayed rugs or carpets. Be sure there’s plenty of light. Fasten down loose cords. If your home has stairs, put handrails on both sides and put anti-skid strips on the steps.
Physical changes can make sex fade from your life. But you can get the sizzle back. First, each of you should talk about your feelings and concerns. Reassure your partner that you’re still attracted to them. Hand-holding and massages are good ways to reconnect. If there’s a physical problem, like erectile trouble, see your doctor.
Lastly, I’d like to invite you to an event just for Boomers/Seniors, this Friday May 7th — for the Oklahoma State Conference on Aging (OSCA) from 9am to 3:00 pm., on the campus of Crossings Church.
OSCA addresses important issues senior adults face on a daily basis and is designed for those living in the OKC area who are interested in diving deeper into specific issues. There will be six sessions offered on Social Security, insurance and banking issues, facts and concerns about aging, and more.³
Join us in-person, or if you’d choose, join us online at https://crossings.church/events/124
Remember, at Conizo, we believe that through every season & generation of life — wisdom and hope can intersect to help you live… that well-lived life! Be sure to stop by our Conizo.com page to check out the latest in resources, information and experiences to help live that well-lived life.⁴
Thanks for stopping by…live well!
Google, Baby Boomers are living longer, https://www.google.com/search?q=Baby+Boomer%27s+are+living+longer&oq=Baby+Boomer%27s+are+living+longer&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i64l3.8517j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Ways to Stay Healthy in Retirement, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/ss/slideshow-healthy-retirement
Oklahoma State Conference on Aging, OSCA, https://crossings.church/events/124
Conizo Living & Wellness, www.Conizo.com