Exercise Your Retirement Options

February 1, 2008 at 3:17 am Leave a comment

Yet again, the fiscal and physical realms cross. In “Boomers: How to age gracefully“, Dan Kadlec talks about the issues facing baby boomers, many of which are looming right around the corner.

Naturally, the focus of the article is on the financial challenges boomers are dealing with and how to combat those. I was pleased that Dan included a section on exercise. We so often disregard the effects that years of poor health habits have later in life. Or, we assume that health problems just happen when we get old, that we have no control over it.

Obviously, we can’t prevent every, single health crisis that might come our way. There’s a lot, however, we can do now to make sure we’re in the best shape possible as we face our retirement years.

Move your body

Our health issues are real, the result of a sedentary lifestyle. Two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, a condition that leads to excessive joint wear (can you say hip replacement?), high cholesterol and high blood pressure (contributors to chronic illness).

Poor health is a financial risk as well as a physical one. Fidelity estimates that the average couple who retire at 65 will need $215,000 to pay their health-care costs for the rest of their lives.

But a big chunk of those costs is preventable, says Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging. From age 50 on, just walking 30 minutes three times a week can cut the cost of health care by $2,000 a year, according to a study by HealthPartners, an HMO.

“We’ve manufactured physical activity out of our society with things like elevators and computers,” Milner notes. Simple daily routines such as taking the stairs instead of an escalator or parking your car at the far end of the lot can make a big difference.”

If you’re not already working out regularly, don’t feel like you have to become a weekend warrior. Just start moving more. Whether it’s the tips described above, or playing more with your kids, or walking around the neighborhood at night, or doing crunches during commercials, do something. It makes a difference.

Remember, exercise isn’t just something we do today for vanity purposes. It’s not only about having a tight rear-end or toned arms to show off when we’re out and about. It’s about how our bodies function during our activities of daily living, activities that become more and more important as we age.

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Entry filed under: burn more calories, science, tips & techniques. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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