How to stay healthy in retirement

60 is the new 40 and now is the time to live life to the max. If you’re already retired or you’re planning to be there soon, looking after yourself has never been more important. Here are five areas to focus on in order to maintain a healthy body, mind and social life which will keep you feeling younger, for longer. 

1. Keep up to date with MOTs
Of course, the MOT on your car is super important but today we’re talking about your own personal MOT. Have regular check ups with your doctor so they can carry out routine checks like blood pressure and cholesterol levels which are important to keep on top of. Think about getting the flu jab, after all, prevention is better than cure, and if you're over 65 or have health conditions that mean flu would affect you more, it's free through the NHS.

Keep on top of eyesight and hearing appointments, most high street opticians now also offer hearing tests so there’s no excuse for not getting the tests sorted at the same time. You should have an eye test every two years if you’re under 70 and every year once you hit 70.

Educate yourself regarding the warning signs and symptoms for more serious health problems such as heart attacks or strokes - your doctor will be able to help you with these and you’ll feel more prepared for the worst, if it happened to you or someone you know. 

2. Maintain your social life
You may have sorted out your finances before retiring but have you thought about how your social life may be affected? Finishing work in an environment where you may have interacted regularly with colleagues and moving straight into retirement can be difficult if you’re a social butterfly. You may not have as much face to face contact with people as before you retired so it’s important to prepare for this. 

Plan plenty of social activities with family and friends. Who knows, you could create a new tradition of meeting up fortnightly or monthly with your loved ones now that you have more free time. Having a regular occasion to look forward to is also a great motivator and mood-improver. 

3. Get outside and explore
Maintaining your social life doesn’t have to mean constant tea and cake - although once in a while definitely won’t hurt! Getting outside in the fresh air and exploring local landmarks, parks and National Trust places could be a great way to maintain your health, get those steps in and have a good old chat with a friend or family member.

Read all about our 10 favourite in-bloom National Trust gardens that are fabulous to explore this summer.

4. Engage your brain
Taking up a new hobby, sport or activity can give you something to focus on and give you a goal to work towards when you’re retired. Being productive or active will keep both brain and body busy. Try things like exercise classes, volunteering or learning to cook something new. 

If you think that you may like to become ‘retired for hire’ and not totally give up working, check out our ten ideas for part time jobs, from freelance consultancy to dog walking - the possibilities are endless.

5. Think positively
It’s easy to develop a negative attitude towards ageing but having a positive attitude could really help to maintain a happy and healthy life. Starting to accept the changes that are inevitably going to happen rather than reacting poorly to them is the first step to accepting what’s happening. 

But how do you think more positively? A simple exercise to start with is to write a list of everything that you’re grateful for or looking forward to in your life or write down three positive things from the day in order to remind yourself of happy things that you may take for granted in day to day life. 

happy healthy older couple

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