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Develop a Retirement Health Plan: It’s Never too Early (or too Late)

by Dr. Randy

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If you are planning to retire, will you be healthy enough to enjoy retirement? This should be a time of pleasure, travel, getting involved in those hobbies you have postponed, and fostering relationships with loved ones. All the things you have wanted to do all these years. You don’t want to be suffering with chronic symptoms or have your health deteriorating. And only you are in control of your health.

The major problem with aging is inflammation, and inflammation is promoted by being overweight. So weight control should be a major component of your health plan. The problem is that your metabolism slows down ten percent every decade, and you need to increase the amount of exercise by ten percent every ten years just to keep up. Otherwise you will slowly gain weight, or if you are overeating you will drastically gain weight.

Controlling your weight involves two simple steps. Establish a regular exercise routine, preferably one that includes resistance training with weights plus interval training. These two will be the most effective way to kick start your metabolism and keep it increased over the following 24 hours. Join a fitness club and get a personal trainer to put you on a program appropriate to your level of fitness. Schedule a time for exercise three days a week, and establish an exercise routine. You can use free weights or machines. You can take aerobics classes that you enjoy. Pilates, dance, spinning are all good. Or have your trainer give you an interval program.

The second part of your program is establishing a lifelong eating program that will keep you healthy and fit. This can vary with your personal needs, preferences, and body type. It always includes eating whole foods and avoiding processed and packaged foods. As we age we become less able to process a high carbohydrate diet without gaining weight. If you are overweight, my advice is to get rid of grains and other starches including root vegetables (potatoes). Focus on eating vegetables, salads, fruit, soups, clean animal protein products (organic eggs and hormone and antibiotic-free meats), and some dairy if you like. Avoid bread and other baked products, pasta, and cereals. Eat fruit for desserts instead of cookies and ice cream. Avoid pesticides as much as possible by eating organic produce. Stick to your program.

You will also want to take nutritional supplements. As we age our bodies produce less antioxidants and enzymes. This results in tissue damage. You can forestall this aging process. Take an omega-3 fat supplement to prevent and treat inflammation. Krill oil is the best source(2 per day). Fish oil and flax oil are acceptable sources too (1,00-2,000 mg each of EPA and DHA). A broad spectrum probiotic supplement with meals will prevent inflammation too (20 billion + CFU). Take antioxidants, like full spectrum vitamin E (400 IU), reduced glutathione (100-150 mg), resveratrol (100 mg), CoQ10 (100 mg), and alpha lipoic acid (100 mg).

Avoid petrochemicals including commercial shampoos, laundry detergents, soaps, air fresheners, and cleaning supplies. Avoid pesticides in non-organic foods. These are all hormone-disruptors and carcinogens.

If you have health problems seek out holistic medical care to treat chronic problems like arthritis, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, low thyroid, osteoporosis, and all the other symptoms associated with inflammation. Avoid the cascade of conventional prescription drugs so that you don’t end up on a long list of pharmaceuticals as you get older.

Stay healthy. Your life depends on it.

 

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