After decades of saving diligently in your 401k retirement plan and other accounts, you may feel financially secure for retirement and ready to enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

However, the financials are just one aspect of retirement. As we get older, we must pay more attention to our health. Staying healthy is critical to making the best of your golden years.

This article will cover a few healthy habits to implement during retirement.

1. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercises such as cardiovascular and resistance exercises can help you stay healthy during your retirement years.

Cardiovascular training strengthens your heart and helps you maintain a healthy metabolism. Meanwhile, resistance training enables you to build and preserve lean muscle mass. This helps you maintain mobility, strengthen your balance, and even increase bone density.

Both forms of exercise can boost your mood in quite a few ways, including:

  • Reducing stress
  • Improving sleep
  • Increasing your energy levels
  • Reducing your risk of many illnesses
  • Offering social opportunities

The best forms of exercise are the ones that allow you to stay consistent, so make sure your choosing exercises you enjoy. For example, you do not have to run if you do not like it. You can walk, bike, swim, play sports, and more.

Speak to your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen to ensure you can participate safely.

2. Keep Your Brain Sharp

Exercising the mind is just as important as the body. Engaging in intellectually stimulating activities can help maintain optimal cognitive function, similar to how physical exercise can help you maintain a healthy body.

Here are some great ways to keep your brain sharp:

  • Read regularly (books, newspapers, magazines, online articles).
  • Pursue hobbies and interests like painting or baking.
  • Take classes in subjects of interest, both creative and logical.
  • Complete crosswords, puzzles, and other mentally intensive activities.
  • Practice stress-reduction techniques, such as breathing mindfulness exercises.

Many of these activities can add more meaning, purpose, and even social opportunities to your life. This provides the added benefits of improved mood and mental health.

3. Develop a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Sleep is one of the most crucial bodily functions for maintaining good health. Retirement is an excellent time to develop a consistent sleep schedule that aligns with your natural sleep/wake cycle since you no longer have the obligation of waking up to an alarm for work. 

Getting enough high-quality sleep helps maintain cognitive function, optimize your daily energy levels, improve your mood, assist in exercise recovery, and even reduce the urge to overeat or consume unhealthy foods.

Here are some steps to develop a consistent sleep schedule:

  1. Set a consistent bedtime.
  2. Avoid stimulants (such as caffeine) at least 6 hours before bedtime.
  3. Create a sleep-friendly environment (dark, quiet, and cool).
  4. Create a bedtime routine, like brushing your teeth and reading a book before bed.
  5. Consider products that help with sleep (such as a sleep mask and a weighted blanket)
  6. Exercise regularly, but no less than 2 hours before bed.

4. Spend Time with Friends and Family

Being retired doesn’t mean you have to live life alone. You can fill your schedule with meaningful activities with your friends and family, like Sunday dinners, beach trips, or an ice cream cone with your grandchildren.

Meanwhile, you might join a social group around a particular hobby you are pursuing to meet like-minded people with similar goals. This can further establish a sense of belonging and purpose, helping you live a more fulfilling retirement.

The Bottom Line

Financial preparedness is crucial for retirement, as is your physical, mental, and emotional health.

It’s super important to engage in regular exercise. You can also do the same for your brain — take up new hobbies, interests, and skills that offer intellectual stimulation to keep up your cognitive abilities.

Meanwhile, develop a regular sleep schedule that allows you to fall asleep and wake up naturally. Spend time with friends and family regularly to strengthen your social community.

Following these healthy habits can help you enjoy your golden years to the fullest.

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