As you approach retirement, you’re likely paying extra attention to your finances, making sure that everything’s in order and that you’ll be able to afford to do all the things you’ve planned to do.
While Americans spend time and energy making sure they’ll be financially fit for retirement, many neglect to make sure they’re physically fit to enjoy the lifestyle they’ve spent so many years looking forward to.
Here are some tips for making sure you retire in top form:
- Stay Active. Getting enough exercise is one key to maintaining optimum health. So, if you’re already active, keep it up! And, if you’ve always been meaning to exercise more, now’s a great time to start. You don’t have to become a triathlete – just find an activity you enjoy, and stick with it. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk after dinner each evening. And, you’ll want to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
- Watch Your Blood Pressure. According to the American Heart Association, one in three Americans has high blood pressure. And high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure, not to mention brain, kidney and eye damage. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mm Hg or less. You can manage your blood pressure by reducing your salt intake, cutting back on your alcohol consumption, reducing stress, increasing the amount of exercise you get, and quitting smoking, among other lifestyle changes.
- Keep an Eye on Your Cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. It’s important to get an annual physical and monitor your cholesterol levels. What numbers should you aim for? Your total cholesterol should be 200 mg/dL or lower, with your LDL cholesterol coming in at 100 mg/dL or less, and your HDL cholesterol at 60 mg/dL or higher. Your triglycerides should be 150 mg/dL or lower.
- Eat Right. We all know that we should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, stay away from too much red meat, and not overindulge in fatty or sugary foods. But few Americans really follow a healthy diet. Adding in the good stuff, and subtracting some of the bad stuff from your diet can help you lose weight, fight disease, and increase your energy.
- Reduce Stress. Your stress levels can have a huge negative impact on your health. That’s why it’s important to make time to relax. It’s also important to be aware of the way you think. Negative thinking and perfectionism can put you and those around you under pressure, adding untold amounts of stress to your life.