As you head into your retirement years, it may seem like the party has just started. Grandkids, retirement, travel, socializing … there’s so much to enjoy! Here’s how you can keep the party going longer.
Make new friends
A wide variety of studies show that maintaining strong social bonds – like those you have with friends and family – were a common factor in people who reached the age of 100. Being with loved ones increased subjects’ neurochemicals, including dopamine and oxytocin. It’s believed that these chemicals enhance brain elasticity, which is often reduced with age. Loneliness and lack of social interaction, on the other hand, can hurt not only your happiness but your health. A study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University found that both loneliness and social isolation can shorten a person’s life span. In-person contact is important, but so is keeping in touch with others via phone, e-mail, text message and social media. The bottom line: Make developing and maintaining friendships a priority.
Get more zzzs
Harvard Business School studies have showed that people had less chance of suffering heart attacks and strokes if they slept more than seven hours a night. Too little sleep has also been linked to everything from heart disease to fatal accidents. Getting enough sleep is critical to our overall health as we age. If you have difficulty falling and staying asleep, talk to your physician. Making time for exercise during the day and getting more natural light and exposure to the outdoors can help you sleep better at night.
Make time for exercise
Exercise is extremely important for our health and happiness as we age. Walking is a great and low-impact way to get moving. Yoga, Tai chi, strength training and other types of physical activity can be a great way to maintain muscle tone, balance and bone density. Participating in an exercise class can be a great way to develop bonds with other like-minded people.
Interested in more tips? Check out this list of 50 tips for a longer and healthier life!