12 Unhealthy Practices Retirees Should Drop

Many people look forward to retirement, as it offers the opportunity to relax, pursue hobbies, and spend more time with family and friends. However, it is also a time when unhealthy habits that can negatively impact one’s health and well-being start creeping in. As retirees, it is important to be aware of these habits and take steps to change them in order to maintain health, longevity, and quality of life.

POOR DIET

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Retirement is that time of your life when you finally have the freedom to do anything, but more often than not, this includes eating anything and everything. Poor diet habits can be detrimental to your health. They could lead to a myriad of health issues that can cause financial problems as well.

Hence, it’s crucial for retirees to focus on consuming a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods provide essential vitamins and minerals and help with healthy weight maintenance.

Avoiding processed foods and excess sugar is the first step towards a healthy diet.

LACK OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

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Many retirees ignore physical activities and lead sedentary lives, but this is not sustainable. Retirees must maintain mobility and flexibility to maintain their strength and independence.

Physical activity helps ward off chronic diseases, keeps muscles strong for daily tasks, and even boosts mood and mental sharpness.

Activities like walking, hiking, joining a gym, gardening, swimming, or engaging in other enjoyable forms of exercise are great ways to have a healthy retirement.

ISOLATION

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Over 50 million people in the US are over the age of 65, and 27 percent of them live alone. Isolation leads to loneliness, depression, and anxiety.

Apart from mental health issues, isolation can also cause a host of physical ailments like Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease, and Type 2 Diabetes.

Although making new friends can be challenging, putting yourself out there is essential to prevent social isolation. If making new friends is impossible, maintaining strong social connections with family and friends is the best way to combat loneliness and social isolation.

IGNORING COGNITIVE HEALTH

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The ability to think, learn, and remember clearly indicates sound cognitive health. A healthy brain can perform all the mental processes that are collectively known as cognition, including the ability to learn new things, intuition, judgment, language, and remembering.

This function may decline as we age, so it is essential to have good cognitive health, in order for retirees to maintain independence and quality of life.

Cognitive health can be promoted by engaging in activities such as reading—writing, solving puzzles like Sudoku and socializing with others.

LACK OF EMERGENCY FUNDS

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Having an emergency fund is a must for retirees; you never know when and what kind of emergency you may encounter.

Emergency funds can help in meeting healthcare costs. Remember not to use the funds unless absolutely necessary; this will ensure you don’t fall short on funds when in time of need.

PROCRASTINATION

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Everyone procrastinates, but since retirees have all the time in the world, this becomes more common. Before you know it, you are procrastinating for days. This can lead to postponing important tasks like cleaning your house to something significant like a medical checkup.

It is easy to fall into this rabbit hole, so keep yourself active with simple things. Activities like journaling, going out for walks, and finishing tasks one by one are great ways to beat procrastination.

NO INVESTMENTS

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Just because you retired doesn’t mean you stop investing. Even those with significant money saved up shouldn’t stop investing. To avoid risk, you can choose safer investment options where the returns are assured and significant.

If you haven’t ever invested, start now because now you have the time to research and track your finances better.

EXCESS SCREEN TIME

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Now that you have the time, it is easy to binge-watch TV shows all day or scroll through social media, but this could have adverse effects on your health.

Spending too much time on screen can cause physical health issues like obesity, eye-strain, back and neck pain, as well as mental health issues like stress and anxiety.

NEGLECTING MENTAL HEALTH

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Many retirees neglect their mental health until it’s too late. National Association of Chronic Disease Directors estimated that 20% of people aged 55 years or older experience some type of mental health concern. The most common conditions include anxiety, severe cognitive impairment, and mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder).

LACK OF MEDICAL MANAGEMENT

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Research suggests that 55% of seniors don’t take their medication according to their doctor’s instructions.

Proper medication management is a critical aspect of maintaining health and well-being in retirement. As people age, they are more likely to develop chronic health conditions that require multiple medications, which can increase the risk of adverse drug interactions and side effects.

Effective medication management involves several key components, including Medication Review, Adherence, and Storage.

BAD SLEEP HABITS

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Retirement can be hard to adjust, and many retirees find it hard to cope when their routine is disrupted. Many throw caution out of the window and sleep when they want, this can be too much or too less; neither are good.

Research links healthy sleep habits with longevity, and irregular sleep habits can cause health issues like sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes someone to pause or stop breathing while asleep, and a number of heart conditions, including high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and heart attack.

UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE

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Having an unhealthy lifestyle includes smoking, excess alcohol consumption, overdependence on painkillers, bad food habits, lack of physical exercise, laziness, and social withdrawal. All these can cause numerous physical, mental, and financial problems for retirees.

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