The Importance of Physical Health in Retirement 

At Transition Planning Australia, we have identified five key factors that need to be satisfied in order for you to enjoy a happy retirement. These are; financial security, physical health, mental health, social connections, and a sense of meaning or purpose in life.

Each of these five keys requires serious consideration as you are transitioning into retirement. This is the first in a series of three articles exploring these keys to happiness and why they are so important for a happy and healthy retirement. In this article we will be looking specifically at the second key, physical health and why it is some important to your wellbeing in retirement.

Why does Physical Health Matter in Retirement?

Everyone knows how important it is to remain physically healthy.

It’s simple common sense, backed by a wealth of recent medical research. In fact, a study in the USA found that lack of physical activity is twice as deadly for us as obesity.

Staying active happens naturally when you are travelling to and from work every day, and, to varying degrees, in your work activities. Even if you work at a desk, moving around the office is a physical activity. So is working standing up at your desk if possible. The simple act of getting out of bed in the morning and going about your day is beneficial to your physical health.

When you retire, it is easy to slip into a dangerously sedentary lifestyle. Your routine is disrupted and you may not have as much reason to be moving around during the day. In the later stages of your life, it is absolutely vital you stay on top of your physical health.

Health data shows that as little as 30 minutes of walking a day cuts the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease in half, lowers the likelihood of diabetes by 60 percent, limits colon cancer by 31 percent for women and reduces the risk of dementia, heart disease, depression, osteoporosis, glaucoma and catching a cold.

The good news is there are plenty of ways in which you can develop healthy habits and continue to maintain your physical health in retirement. For example you might;

Join a local exercise group
Join a golf club
Go swimming at the local pool, or beach
Get into gardening
Make an effort to park a small distance away from your destination or get off the bus early to get your legs moving
Wake up every morning and walk the dog
Join a yoga studio
Organise a regular play date with your grandchildren and take them to do something active outdoors
Those are just some options for ways in which you can continue to be active and stay physically healthy in retirement but there are really innumerable things you can do.

What is important is that you do seriously consider your physical health and ways in which you will stay active when you are planning your transition into retirement. Don’t leave thinking about your physical health to the last minute.

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