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Five habits to improving longevity

Updated: May 3, 2023

When you retire, it can be difficult to keep up the same important daily healthy habits, such as maintaining social connections and enjoying the activities you once did. Here are five habits to start practising every day for a long and fulfilling life.

No matter what age you are, the key to a long life is maintaining a healthy body and mind. But it’s sometimes easier said than done. When you enter retirement, it can be tricky to maintain those healthy lifestyle habits you once practised. Your days might lack the same structure and routine as they did when you were working, or you might be busier than ever.

We share five healthy habits you should consider incorporating into your daily life that could help make you healthier and happier – potentially improving your longevity.

1. Have a regular exercise routine

Remaining active through physical exercise can provide plenty of health benefits. It can help you:

  • control your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes

  • reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers

  • manage pain

  • maintain and increase joint movement and balance, and

  • improve mental health.

Regardless of what physical condition you’re in, it’s never too late to get active. And you can start off slowly. Doing light cardio, such as walking or cycling, is a great place to begin before adding in some strength training with weights. You could also work to increase your flexibility through yoga or Pilates. The amount of physical activity you need to do each week will depend on your age and health. As a general guide, adults aged 65 or older, with no health conditions limiting their mobility, should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days.[1]

2. Keep your brain sharp and active

When significant memory loss occurs among older people, it’s generally not due to ageing but organic disorders, brain injury or neurological illness.2 The good news is that studies have shown you can help prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia with a few simple (and fun) activities, for example:

  • Reading (or listening to) books. Regular reading stimulates your brain cells long after you’ve put the book down, leading to better sleep, improved focus and greater retention of information.

  • Crosswords and puzzles. A weekend morning ritual of doing a crossword or sudoku can help you keep your brain functioning at the same rate as someone 10 years younger than you.3 Word and number puzzles improve your grammatical reasoning, short-term memory, attention span and long-term problem-solving skills.

  • Pursuing a new passion. Impress the grandkids with your tech know-how, master a new language or learn about a topic you’re passionate about. With podcasts and YouTube channels dedicated to practically any topic that ignites your curiosity, there’s no excuse not to challenge your mind with something new.

3. Maintain a positive mindset

According to the National Academy of Sciences in the US, optimistic people are more likely to live to age 85 or beyond.4 If you’re struggling to adjust to retired life, there are a few common ways to maintain a positive perspective. These include staying engaged with your local community, practising gratitude through activities like meditation, or setting a financial plan. Try writing down three things you’re grateful for each day. This trains you to view your day more mindfully, helping you reflect on the little things that bring you joy in life.

4. Nurture your social scene

It’s estimated that one in five older Australians suffer from social isolation. As a result, they might experience depression or decreased mental and emotional health.5 Remaining socially active lowers your risk of depression, enhances your wellbeing and improves your strength and stamina. Not sure where to meet people? Here are few good places to start: ¨

  • Join a local walking group.

  • Connect with a book club.

  • Search for a fitness buddy.

  • Become a volunteer.

  • Find a network of people with similar interests.

5. Search for meaning and purpose

We spend most of our working lives building up to the day we retire. But once we get there, it’s common to wonder, “Now what?”. Or, even worse, “Is this it?”. Reassessing your purpose is a good way to avoid falling into this mindset. Just because you’ve retired from work doesn’t mean you have to retire from life. Think about your answers to the following questions: ¨ What do you want to achieve? ¨ What sort of difference do you want to make? ¨ How do you want to make a positive impact on your family or other people? ¨ Is there a dream you want to fulfil but couldn’t while you were working? Be careful not to overwhelm yourself or overcommit when identifying your purpose. Take some time out to recharge your batteries before working towards your goals – you’ve earned it after all.

Planning for retirement – speak to us at Lush Wealth in Newcastle to find out more Everyone’s lifestyle and financial goals for retirement are different. When preparing for your own retirement, your first port-of-call should be your financial adviser. We can take a holistic view of your situation, providing advice and tailored strategies to help you live a fulfilling and happy retirement.

What you need to know

This information is provided and produced by Lush Wealth. The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.


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