TAKING CARE OF “YOU” IN ORDER TO DELAY YOUR RETIREMENT SUCCESSFULLY
In my previous post I talked about maintaining the health of your network for Delaying Your Retirement. https://yourextrainnings.com/networking-maybe-the-most-important-tool-for-delaying-your-retirement/ What about maintaining the only vehicle you have to get you into Your Extra Innings – YOU?
“Between the ears I don’t feel much different than I did when I was 35; But when I get out of bed in the morning I’m reminded that I’m driving a used car” Martin MullMartin Mull
CLUNKERS IN HAVANA
Have you seen the pictures of the old cars in Cuba? Prior to the 1959 Cuban Revolution, Havana was a destination for Americans for the weather, beaches, casinos and mobsters. The cars being driven there were mostly imported American cars. When the Revolution happened, all the Americans left the island, leaving their cars behind. At the same time, the United States imposed an embargo on Cuba blocking all imports. As a result many cars being driven today are American made from the 1950’s.
For years the only options were either poorly made Russian cars or keep the American cars running, as a result, the owners have taken exquisite care of them. They are constantly being maintained and polished. The owners work together to take care of them, to the point that the cars are outlasting them. And now, the next generation is doing the same. In the United States cars may last 15 years if they are well built. People just don’t take the same level of care as they do in Cuba.
HOW ABOUT US CLUNKERS?
Imagine if we took care of our bodies as well as the Cuban’s take care of their cars. What if we only did the right things? What if we didn’t abuse or didn’t put the wrong stuff into our bodies? How long will our bodies last? We or many people we know are on drugs that could have easily been avoided if they did the right maintenance and care of their bodies.
There are many people limping around or riding their scooters just because they avoided taking care of themselves. Health issues are the #1 negative reason people have to retire early. And in a recent study it was found that approximately 75% of our healthcare costs go towards dealing with preventable illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE
(Disclaimer: Please discuss any fitness plan and diet with your doctor before starting)
The good news is that it’s not too late. It’s time to think in terms of “Health-Span” instead of “Life-Span” when planning on Delaying Your Retirement. Exercise is the best anti-aging cure you can find. Besides the physical benefits of exercise, it’s also great for your brain. You can start a simple fitness plan at any time. I’m not talking about triathlon level training, but a simple plan of walking, light weights and stretching. And you don’t need to spend much money. Starting slow and light, with 10 to 15 minutes a day, provides a solid benefit. Gradually increasing how far you go, you can steadily build up your fitness level and improve how good you look and feel.
MY EXERCISE ROUTINE
In my home gym I use hand weights, a yoga mat, a workout bench, and workout bands and I keep track of my steps. My plan is pretty simple:
5 times a week my wife and I walk 10000 steps which includes a 45 minute power walk outside or if the weather is bad, at the Mall. Even if you’re lazy you’ll find that you may be doing 4000 steps in a normal day. Add a trip to the grocery store and it may go to 5000 steps. But if you do a 30 minute walk through the neighborhood you’ll be heading towards 10000 steps. Here’s the kicker; the 10,000 step number is an arbitrary number. Studies have found 7,000 steps are just as beneficial.
Every other day I do a core workout, legs workout and upper body workout. Maintaining a healthy level of strength is important as we age. It will help slow down physical deterioration, maintain bone density and prevent injuries caused by accidents.
Stretching is vital in order to keep your joints and muscles flexible. Not only to move when you are exercising but just to live a normal active life. Stretching helps prevent injuries, even the ones that happen reaching for the peanut butter on the top shelf at the market. The following is a stretching routine similar to what I do and is geared for us former youngsters. https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/stretching-for-seniors-7-simple-moves-for-the-not-so-flexible/
Developing an exercise routine can be challenging. But that can be easily overcome by making up a simple log that you can use to track your efforts. Put it in a highly visible location like on the refrigerator, kitchen cabinet or bathroom mirror. It will serve as a reminder to walk or workout and be an encouragement as you fill it in. Below is a screen shot of the log I maintain on my iPad.
I’m not going to promote one diet plan over another, but I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight by following a few rules:
Eat Whole Foods
Eat whole real foods and avoid processed foods. Real foods are foods just as they have been picked or slaughtered before you prepare them. Processed foods are when you need a scientist to help you read the ingredients label on the package.
Get Enough Protein
I’ll eat my share of beef and chicken, but I also include eggs which have gotten a bad rap in the past. As my wife will attest, getting me to eat fish has been a challenge, but now we’ll have fish once a week for dinner and once a week for lunch I’ll have a can of sardines covered with some type of flavor masking substance like tartar sauce or Tabasco Sauce.
Get healthy fats into your diet like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and avoid vegetable oils that are highly processed.
Drink plenty of water and clear, clean drinks. I start every morning with 20 oz. of water followed by black coffee. Later in the morning I’ll have a green tea or two and more water. My goal is to drink half of my weight in ounces of water.
Avoid sugar. It’s a tough habit to break especially with all the hidden sugar that is out there in things like ketchup and salad dressings. Artificial sweeteners should be avoided also.
And Bad Carbs
Reduce white carbs like rice, potatoes, and grain based foods. The body treats them the same as sugar and both lead to weight issues, diabetes, and can influence various cancers. Getting sugar and carbs out of your diet will make you feel energized.
Dessert For Breakfast?!?
Don’t get me started about the “Dessert For Breakfast Isle” in the supermarkets. Thanks to the food lobby, our dietary guidelines have been hijacked to push the sale of grains and sugar. This is the main reason there is an obesity epidemic, along with the health problems that go along with it. This is a link to an article on how politics has influenced what we eat. http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/about/resources/food-politics/
With today’s medical advances, we are living longer than the generations that came before us. Today, a 65 year old has a 50% chance of living to 88 years old. So why not give your body the best chance of carrying you through these years?
In next week’s post I’ll get into the impact of people delaying their retirement from the employer’s point of view. Please send me any comments or questions you may have.