For many adults, the notion of turning 60 comes with mixed emotions. On one hand, you’re probably looking forward to the freedom that comes with retiring. However, your zest for life might be hampered by your declining physical and mental state. You might find yourself struggling with tasks — from climbing stairs to finishing the Sunday crossword puzzle — you found simple in your 30s, 40s and even 50s. Luckily, with the right motivation and a few simple tips, it’s possible to improve your physique, health and mental acuity just in time to start enjoying the freedom you’ve been working toward.
Change Your Diet
You’re probably already aware that eating like a 20-year-old isn’t an acceptable diet plan for someone in their 60s. However, eating well isn’t just about making sure you consume enough vegetables and fruits; it’s about consuming the right ones. For instance, now more than ever it’s important to eat a diet rich in calcium, vitamin E and whole grains. The calcium helps prevent bone degeneration, while the whole grains keep your digestive system and metabolism in tip-top shape.
Get Plenty of Rest
The kids are grown up and out on their own, and you don’t have to get up early for work, but you still shouldn’t develop a wild night life or stay up late watching the tube. Your 60-year-old body isn’t able to recover as easily as it did when you were younger, and a disruptive sleep schedule is much harder on a mature mind and body than on a college student’s. Therefore, it’s important to get at least eight to 10 hours of sleep each night. Those long hours spent sleeping help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, sharpen your mind and reduce your risk of stroke. Toss out the alarm clock and get plenty of rest.
Introduce Cardio into Your Daily Routine
You may hear the word “cardio” and automatically assume this involves joining a gym, hiring a personal trainer or spending hours each day struggling and sweating. Instead of wasting your money, and potentially straining your muscles and joints, find low-impact ways to introduce cardio into your daily routine. Take a 30-minute walk each day, join a local fitness center and utilize their pool or simply play a game of fetch with your dog.
Chat With Your Friends
For some, retirement is an isolating experience. Instead of enjoying your days chatting with coworkers, you’re instead spending more time at home reading, watching television or interacting with your adorable pets. Because Fido probably isn’t the best conversationalist, it’s important for your brain’s health to at least call a friend or family member daily. Even spending 10 minutes each day on the phone can help improve brain function.
Manage Your Blood Pressure
It’s estimated that approximately 1/3 of all adult Americans suffer from high blood pressure. A combination of stress, lack of sleep and poor eating habits is generally the culprit. What you might not realize is your hypertension is actually wreaking havoc on your blood vessels, which restricts blood flow to the brain and increases your risk of stroke. If you’re struggling with high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about certain medications and lifestyle changes that can help keep your numbers, and risk of stroke, low.
“Stress” and “retirement,” unfortunately, go hand in hand. From dealing with potential medical issues to a loss of vitality, it’s important now more than ever to learn how to cope with stress and anxiety. If you’re approaching 60, there is one way to cut down on a potential source of stress: purchase long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance helps protect your assets and pays for any necessary medical treatments, hospital stays or nursing home expenses if you’re diagnosed with a life-changing illness. Even if you’re far from 60, it’s never too early to begin thinking about the future by purchasing a long-term care insurance policy.
From struggling with stress and changing your diet to finding new and exciting ways to stay fit, turning 60 is about discovering your potential and how to enjoy this exciting chapter of your life’s journey. Remember that aging doesn’t have to mean slowing down. It just means slightly altering your lifestyle, knowing when to relax, watching what you eat and most importantly, getting enough rest to enjoy all the new adventures life has to offer.
About the Author: Joe Houston is a guest blogger and counselor. He recently purchased long-term care insurance after researching LTC Tree.