As you close in on retirement age, there are many things to consider. Keeping yourself healthy is top on that list. One part of staying healthy is making sure your health care insurance decisions are squared away before leaving an employer’s health plan. Medicare can do most of the heavy lifting, but there are still many options at your disposal.
After your health benefits are taken care of, it’s time to start enjoying the retired life. Aging affects us all differently, but there are some general steps we can take to keep our minds and bodies operating as well as they did for the past few decades.
Earlier, we discussed the importance of keeping a healthy mind as we age. Crossword puzzles, hobbies like quilting, and even what you eat all contribute to a healthy mind. But that’s just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to an improved quality of life during retirement.
Keep Active, Stay Young
Physical activity should be part of everyone’s daily routine. From six to 65 and beyond, we all benefit from getting our heart rate up a little bit. Although every situation is different, most experts believe getting 150 minutes of physical activity a week (30 minutes a day, five days a week) will keep the body strong, flexible, and improve heart health.
Chances are you won’t be climbing around the playground jungle gym or running marathons, but there are day-to-day physical activities available to everyone. Even if previous injuries, illness, or other chronic conditions are prevalent, there are physical activity guidelines for every age, health condition, and body type.
The health benefits of exercise and staying active can’t be stressed enough. Improved balance minimizes the risk of falling, a leading cause of injuries in people over 65. Aerobic activity improves heart health, and muscle-strengthening activity ensures you’re able to do all the things you love.
Many medical conditions can be kept in check, or even removed, with a concerted effort. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and forms of dementia can be lessened with increased activity. The chance of heart disease and high blood pressure can be minimized and even some forms of diabetes can be completely cured.
Your health is your number one concern. Before starting any types of physical activities, make sure to consult with your physician. Not only will they be happy you’re taking an interest in your health, but they’ll be able to set some specific guidelines. This is especially important if you haven’t been very active over the past few years.
You don’t want to push yourself too far too fast. High-intensity activities may cause injuries or leave you too sore to move the next few days. In fact, that happens to people of all ages. So it’s vitally important to start slow and work your way up.
Senior centers usually have day-to-day activities you can take part in and are designed for older adults of all activity levels. But even then, make sure you get the go-ahead from your physician. No matter how low-impact an exercise seems, you’ll want to make sure you can handle it.
Staying motivated can be difficult, especially if you aren’t seeing immediate results. But remember, you’re not necessarily training to become a distance runner or a weight-lifting champion. Maintaining your health is a way to stay independent and allows you to spend time doing what you enjoy.
Don’t let minor setbacks discourage you, either. Sometimes life happens, keeping you from your daily walk or stretching exercises. Just remember to get back on that horse. Finding a friend to join you on a walk can help hold you accountable. Cold, rainy, or even icy outside? There are plenty of exercises you can do from the safety of your home.
For those with mobility limitations, chair yoga, resistance bands, and light hand weights are easy to do and easy to put away when you’re done. Certain “body weight” exercises require no equipment, relying solely on gravity to provide the resistance. Your doctor may also have some suggestions.
Thinking about a personal trainer? Make sure they specialize in physical activity for people 65 and older. They will design a workout routine made specifically for your strength levels, weight, and other aspects. Just be sure to provide them with as much information as you can or feel comfortable with. The more info they have, the better they can personalize a workout.
This is your time. And while it may seem like a daily exercise routine may be cutting into that, all of this activity will make the time you have that much better. Whether it’s visiting with your grandchildren, traveling, bowling, golfing, or dancing, a fit body allows you to do everything you want. And more.
Expert Medicare Help
While you take care of your body, let VibrantUSA take care of your Medicare needs. Like a physical therapist for your body, we take the time to learn about you so we can research the best Medicare plans for you. As an independent agency, we have access to more than 30 different carriers and 50 different plans.
Now is the time to start enjoying life on your terms. Why spend it stressing about your health care coverage?