Retirement Health

stock-footage-healthy-senior-couple-in-sportswear-keeping-fit-in-their-retirement-power-walking-on-the-beach“You can’t increase how long you are going to live, but you can improve how you feel while you’re living.”

Nearing retirement? What are you most concerned with – your savings or your health?

A recent press release issued on Tuesday found that Canada’s younger boomers (aged 50-59) are focusing on health concerns over finances, with 70 per cent ranking changes to their physical health highest on the list of top challenges they expect to face as retirees, according to the 2013 RBC Retirement Myths & Realities Poll. Finances ranked a distant second, with 57 per cent expecting changes to income to be a challenge during retirement.

“Younger boomers are more health-conscious as they near and enter retirement. Watching their older relatives and friends age has made this generation more aware that good health is not something to take for granted,” Amalia Costa, head of Retirement Strategies & Successful Aging, RBC, said in a statement.

But boomers aren’t the only ones recognizing the importance of making healthier lifestyle changes. Many older adults have started to take advantage of their local community centres to engage in social activities or improve on their fitness levels.

For 85-year-old Roy May and his wife Anita, they show no signs of ill health in their advanced age and do their best to stay active on a daily basis, reports Jonathan Migneault of The Sudbury Star.

The Sudbury residents started working out in their apartment twice a week and over the last nine months have gone on regular walks, having lost 35 pounds each in that time.

While our bodies naturally lose muscle mass as we age, exercise physiologists say people who don’t exercise are aging at an accelerated rate. Moving more may be the single most powerful antidote to aging, reports Diane McNaughton of PennLive.

In studies now being conducted at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, doctors are working on ways to build muscle and prevent frailty in an effort to help baby boomers live better, longer and more independently. Geriatric specialists and fitness experts emphasize that seniors who lack strength are at high risk of death and disability and face a poor and more prolonged recovery from injury or surgery, writes McNaughton.

Instead of waiting for results, take the opportunity to start working out yourself. Go for a walk, maybe a swim, or even a bike ride; something that will get your heart pumping. You aren’t training for a marathon (unless you are then good for you!) but if you get your body moving now, it will thank you for it later!

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