Balance key to healthy, happy retirement
Life is full of surprises so we must be prepared for whatever it throws our way. As we age we need to achieve and maintain balance in our lives between our social, physical, spiritual, mental and financial needs. Here’s how I approach it:
Fun is important. I keep fun in my life by watching comedies, listening to comedians, spending time with grandsons, watching movies, and visiting parks and museums.
I do these things because fun releases natural “feel good” hormones called endorphins. These endorphins combat stress and are good for those I love and serve.
Humor can be as effective as some drugs in managing agitation in dementia patients. That’s according to research at the University of South Wales in Australia. Laughter is good for the soul.
Fitness keeps me feeling good. I enjoy walking regularly and go to the gym two or three times a week for strength and bone building. I enjoy nature and take pleasure in watching the birds in my backyard. We have quite a variety of different birds including grosbeaks, Baltimore orioles, bluebirds and many more. My wife and I enjoy each other’s company at home relaxing or out about town.
When it comes to finances, my wife and I are both retired on public pensions (earned benefits) supplemented with Social Security another (earned benefit). We have enough to live comfortably, but we are on a fixed income so as we continue to age our income stays the same while everything costs more.
The most precious thing money buys is time: travel time, vacation time, family time. At age 69, I don’t need the latest technology, the coolest cars or the largest house. These things will count for nothing when I am dead and gone. My money is spent on the people I love, the causes I believe in and places I want to visit.
I want to travel. So, I need to work hard to reduce unnecessary expenses and save to tour, trek, and travel. When I can’t travel, I find things close to home like walking the trails or going to the lake where I inhale the sights and sounds.
Wellness is about improving ones physical, mental and emotional being. The body has 60,000 miles of blood vessels, 206 bones, 46 miles of nerves, hundreds of muscles, a heart that beats 42 million times a year, and trillions of cells that produce even more trillions of bio chemical reactions that sustain our lives.
When this web of biology, anatomy, and biochemistry works in harmony we are healthy. That’s a complex system. Wellness can play a huge role because our health depends on balancing billions of interactions in our body each day of our lives. Eat well, exercise regularly, laugh often, have fun and stay balanced.
Eating well means choosing core foods and controlling portion size. Exercise can be fun when you develop fitness goals that are realistic routines that you like and are safe. Make it fun. Choose goals that will inspire you.
Remember, Newton’s first law of physics tells us a body in motion continues in motion, but a body that’s static stays static. Inactivity weakens your muscles, reduces your endurance and adds extra pounds. Stay healthy and enjoy a well deserved, well balanced retirement!
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