Men’s Health Tips for an Active Retirement
So you’ve finally made it to retirement — congratulations! You’re moving into a new season of life, one where you no longer have to get up at the crack of dawn to drive or take the train to work. You can celebrate not having to endure those tedious meetings or make small talk at the water cooler!
As author Scott Elledge so eloquently said, “It is time I stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man.”
Men tend to go a million miles an hour, and then, crash. Finally you can take a break, relax, and breathe!
But wait a minute … don’t relax too much!
It can be harmful to your health. According to the research of the Centers for Disease Control and others, more than 1 in 4 U.S. adults over 50 do not engage in regular physical activity.
“Helping inactive people become more physically active is an important step towards healthier and more vibrant communities,” said Janet E. Fulton, Ph.D., chief of CDC’s Physical Activity and Health Branch.
Staying Active Means Staying Healthy
Physical activity reduces the risk of premature death and can delay or prevent such chronic diseases as heart disease, diabetes, and dementia — all high-risk diseases for men. The CDC says, “Non-institutionalized adults ages 50 years and older account for $860 billion in health care costs each year; yet 4 in 5 of the most costly chronic conditions for this age group can be prevented or managed with physical activity.”
“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
So what should you do? The answer is simple — be active and exercise.
“Golf is played by twenty million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun.” ~ Jim Bishop
New retirees can look forward to spending the next 20-plus years living life to its fullest. Here are some tips to help with your active aging:
First, establish a routine!
You may not want to hear this after being restricted to one for all those working years, but having a routine helps you be disciplined and not lounge too much. Not having a plan for your day leads to inactivity. Remember, it’s your routine to establish, not someone else’s, except maybe for some wife input, so make it fun! It doesn’t need to be the same thing every day, but each day should be planned.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there is growing research showing that the more hours you sit, the greater your likelihood of dying an earlier death, regardless of how much you exercise. You can have six-pack abs, yet still be at risk. Too much sitting can increase your risk of hip, spine, and shoulder problems along with other diseases. Besides getting out and playing a round of golf or going for a hike, here are some other tips:
- Stand while you’re talking on the phone
- Eat lunch standing
- Watch TV standing and use a Lumex® Exercise Pulley. This will give you some exercise too.
Exercise Your Body!
Remember to include some dedicated exercise time every day. Although being active is just as important as exercise, it doesn’t replace it. Exercise helps reduce declining muscle strength and flexibility as you age. Keeping your muscles strong can facilitate joint motion, making your active lifestyle easier. Low-impact aerobics helps with blood flow and moving oxygen through the body. Here are a few tips:
- Visit a gym a couple times a week – Most gyms have educated trainers that will help you set up a weekly exercise regimen that is ideal for your age and body. Consult your doctor before going so you know what you should or should not do.
- If you’re not comfortable in a gym, try exercising at home with a Lumex Pedal Floor Exerciser. It provides a low-impact aerobic exercise that stimulates circulation while toning your leg muscles. It can also be used for the arms.
Exercise your Fingers!
Use Lumex Thera-Putty® to strengthen finger, hand, and forearm muscles. Exercising your hand joints can help prevent the onset of arthritis.
Available in 2 oz. and 4 oz. sizes, Lumex Thera-Putty comes in densities of extra-soft, soft, medium soft, medium firm, and firm.
Each density is a different color for easy identification.
Exercise your Mind!
The brain is an amazing device. Without work stimulation you’ll need to find ways to keep your mind sharp, but at least now you’ll get to choose that stimulation. Here are a few ideas:
- Take a non-curriculum class online or at your local college
- Solve puzzles and brain twisters
- Volunteer as a cashier at your local little league concession stand — working with numbers is great brain stimulation
We men are frequently stubborn about our health. Remember, your stubbornness can lead to fewer years on the planet. Do not hesitate to see your doctor to discuss how to get started. Now go enjoy your ACTIVE AGING!
“The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.” ~ Abe Lemons
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0915-physical-activity.html
- Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/basics/fitness-basics/hlv-20049447, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005
Ryan Howe is a Product Manager at Graham-Field.
About GF Health Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare and primary care markets. The Graham-Field family of brands includes Basic American Medical Products, Everest & Jennings, Grafco, Hausted, John Bunn, Labtron, Lumex and Lumiscope. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 770-368-4700.