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Retirement Planning - Plan Ahead to Enjoy a Healthy Life After Retirement

Anna D. Banks

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If you picture yourself at sixty-five years of age, what do you imagine? Like most Americans, the most probable image will be of a person who has retired from both a job along with any routine of fitness you may have been following.

Let's visualize it: A podgy middle with a spare tire or two; knees that hurt; feeling worn out by a mere 30-minute walk; your sense of balance getting so poor that you need to navigate carefully over the most minor of obstacles that you may have to get across; and never mind being able to touch your toes, feeling lucky if you can get past your knees!

However, advancing age does not automatically have to mean diminishing health and fitness. And in fact, with age you have the ability of actually having a better body. Sure there are physiological changes that do occur as the years go by, but you need not sit back watching your vitality and health deteriorating with time. By planning ahead you can enjoy a healthy life even after retirement.

Regardless of what age you are now or the condition your body is in, proper attention and care can help you to get back and retain exceptional fitness levels. Incorporating the correct combination of healthy nutrition and intensive, regular exercise now can help you look and feel fitter and healthier even after you retire. The important thing is starting at whatever fitness level you are at currently, and never giving up.

Most medical experts in sports agree that remaining healthy involves sweating it out regularly. They opine that exercise should be treated like medicine. A regimen of regular exercise is one of the most powerful prescriptions that you can give yourself. Various types of activities can help you to prevent or ameliorate most age-related ailments such as cardiovascular problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, and type-2 diabetes, excessive fat in the abdomen, hypertension, and high blood pressure.

However, if you are like most people, you probably think that it is already too late to begin an exercise regimen. But the best news is that it is never too late to start exercising. And if you make a commitment immediately for exercising about 4 to 5 hours in a week, you will be surprised how fast you will begin to see and feel the benefits. The human body being very resilient, it responds to whatever demands you put on it, irrespective of what age you may be.

You can get back your muscular strength in as short a time as fourteen weeks by doing resistance workouts on strength-training machines. And according to a study conducted on men in their fifties, it was found that it took a mere six months for them to improve their cardiovascular fitness by indulging in aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling, jogging, running, and so on.

Arthritis afflicts many in this age group. Even though arthritis can be prevented or ameliorated by exercise, if you had injured yourself seriously while participating in sports at a younger age, it may lead to you getting arthritis earlier. Therefore, in order not to allow arthritis hinder your efforts at getting healthy and fit, you need to warm-up thoroughly before plunging into your workout session.

© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Anna D. Banks, a passionate advocate for baby boomers in exploring their priorities, planning and setting goals for the next stage of their lives. Assisting her clients to attract and build a professional and personal life consistent with their values is not just a goal of Anna's, it's her passion. Her diverse work experience in business, education and financial services enables her to help the diverse population of baby-boomers with their life, career, and personal finance coaching needs. Anna is currently Adjunct Faculty at Essex County College, where she teaches Career Development & Management.

Author's Note: Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Please place a post on or email your questions to me at


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