We all recognize that good health is essential for a great retirement, but what does that actually mean? Do these quotes speak to your condition?
“Everything slows down with age, except the time it takes cake and ice cream to reach your hips.”
Attributed to John Wagner
“Like a lot of fellows around here, I have a furniture problem. My chest has fallen into my drawers.”
Billy Casper, about golf’s Senior Tour
Six simple keys to good physical health are maintaining:
- Flexibility to bend down to pick up the newspaper
- Strength to lift a suitcase into the overhead bin
- Balance to safely step out of the tub
- Endurance to rake the leaves
- Weight at a reasonable level to reduce the need for knee or hip replacement
- Aerobic exercise—20 minutes/three times a week is optimal
Everyone’s circumstances are different. You should always consult with your doctor or health practitioner before starting new exercise programs or after illness or other changes. Keep yourself moving to the best of your ability, not someone else’s standards. Keep in mind that you are more likely to be consistent with physical activity if you are doing something you love.
“Don’t waste a moment feeling sorry for what you can no longer do. Just be thankful for what your body will still do for you. Think how well and uncomplainingly it serves you every day and thank it, thank it every day.”
Mary C. Morrison, “Gift of Days” Pendle Hill Pamphlet 364*
- Yoga and Tai Chi are good ways to retain flexibility and balance.
- Strength and endurance can be maintained at the gym, or by lifting a can of vegetables in each hand every which way or doing knee bends during the commercials of your favorite show. Leg lifts can also be done while seated.
- There are plenty of exercise videos or exercise groups at senior centers or local fitness centers, including movements done exclusively sitting down.
“The only reasons to give up sex in retirement are the same reasons for giving up bicycling: you can’t, you don’t want to, or you don’t have a bicycle.”
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* Mary C. Morrison, “Gift of Days”, Pendle Hill Pamphlet 364, Pendle Hill, Wallingford PA.