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Did retirement improve your health?
Old 05-05-2012, 08:33 PM   #1
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Did retirement improve your health?

I had an interesting conversation with an acquaintance earlier this week. He has been retired about 10 months and recently had his first physical since retirement. The results were impressive: blood pressure down, cholesteral down, and the stomach ulcer is a thing of the past. He attributes the improvement to three things: better eating habits now that he has time to prepare his own meals, more exercise, and less stress.

Has anybody else have health benefits that have been documented by medical tests?
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:49 PM   #2
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My medical tests are unchanged (which is not bad) but DH says I am a much nicer person to live with .
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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I just had an extensive physical and the results were "right down the middle" with no recommendations other than keep doing what I'm doing.
I have been retired for a year.
Although these results were in line with years prior, I can document one good change though.
After 6 months of retirement, I had to buy new pants because my pants that I wore to w**k didn't fit anymore. They were too big.
I went down one pants size and lost 14 lbs. So far have been maintaining that weight. I contribute that to not sitting at a desk all day, eating a better diet, and moving around more each day. I increased my exercise routine and never miss a day.
So far I like retirement.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
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I will maybe bring up past posts.
I went from 215# to 135# and BP dropped from 176/96 to 110/70. Also stopped grinding teeth. Indigestion went away. Dental plaque way decreased.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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I had more time to ski, and tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus in a bad fall. So far, not so good.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:52 PM   #6
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Yes, it did improve my health. I lost weight (though not nearly as much as Khan, BTW good work, Khan!).

I go to the gym regularly now, and this has been crucial for me as I recover from years of cubicle life. Despite the best of intentions I only seemed to make it to the gym sporadically before ER (work conflicts, traffic jams, etc). So now that I am working out regularly, my body is saying "thank you!".

My blood values seem to have improved a little.

I feel so much more well rested now that I can sleep as much as I want, when I want to sleep. Surprisingly, I am not averaging more hours of sleep than before but some days I need to sleep more and some days less.

Lastly, I haven't been sick as much since I am not exposed to as many sick people.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:34 AM   #7
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Yes. Mental health much improved. Elimination of the daily stress, more and regular sleep doubtlessly contribute to better physical health but I don't have the measurements to confirm. Weight control is more of an issue now. This is a clear sign because I eat more when I am relaxed. No complaints from me.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:03 AM   #8
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Improved with ER ! I attribute it to less stress; lost 20 pounds, off Blood Pressure meds (now 110/70 w/o meds); Chol dropped from 220 to 156 with healthier eating, and better sleeping.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:06 AM   #9
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I'm concerned about gaining weight. Most in my family have weight problems, and I would, too, if I didn't exercise so much. There is a tiny, shabby, cheap-to-belong gym room where I work, and I hit that place for 90 minutes before every work day. I work in a huge building complex where just going to a meeting means a 5 to 10 minute walk. For my 30-minute "lunch break," I go for a 25-minute walk around the parking lot. And I only get to eat what I brought with me.

At home, we don't have exercise equipment, and the nearest gym is several miles away and quite expensive. Most of my hobbies are sedentary, and food is readily available at home. I can't go hiking every day, nor garden in the winter. Yes, I am quite concerned that retirement is going to make me fat!!

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Old 05-06-2012, 09:41 AM   #10
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I'm concerned about gaining weight. Most in my family have weight problems, and I would, too, if I didn't exercise so much. There is a tiny, shabby, cheap-to-belong gym room where I work, and I hit that place for 90 minutes before every work day. I work in a huge building complex where just going to a meeting means a 5 to 10 minute walk. For my 30-minute "lunch break," I go for a 25-minute walk around the parking lot. And I only get to eat what I brought with me.

At home, we don't have exercise equipment, and the nearest gym is several miles away and quite expensive. Most of my hobbies are sedentary, and food is readily available at home. I can't go hiking every day, nor garden in the winter. Yes, I am quite concerned that retirement is going to make me fat!!

Amethyst
As you know, you can keep up with cardio with just walking/running shoes, and a bicycle if you like.

As for resistance training, we have several pieces of equipment. But we hope to downsize with our next house and don't want to have to have space for it all. And I don't want to spend money on a gym, it's not necessary for the exercise at least. So I'm exploring all the exercises we can do that don't require any equipment. I'm convinced we can get a very effective workout with plenty of variety with nothing but a good set of hand dumbbells, a chair and a floor mat. I am integrating the simpler exercises now, and hope to sell off most if not all the equipment. The book below is a great resource, not just for men.

YMMV

Amazon.com: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (9781579546571): Lou Schuler, Michael Mejia: Books
10 Ways You CAN Exercise At Home without Any Equipment | FitWatch
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:42 AM   #11
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Yes. Mental health much improved.
Same here (retired 5 years, thus far).

BTW, it even got better last month when DW joined me. I didn't realize how much her daily "bitc***" about her j*b affected me ...

The only thing is that now I have to hear that she dosen't have time to do all the things she wants to do (typical retiree )...
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:56 AM   #12
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Wow, Kahn and Richard! I think I will have a greatly easier time with exercise and weight maintenance. Even now, in the summer, though I have work to do, I can do it when I wish. I am always much more successful during the summer because there is so much less stress-related eating. But your numbers are phenomenal!
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:17 AM   #13
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Not where I live...no sidewalks, and people routinely go double the speed limit on our side street. Hate the idea of big ugly equipment in the basement, and we don't like to crank up the a/c in the summer just for an hour a day of exercise. All my choices are annoying, but hand-wringing is always the worst choice; in the end, I'll do what needs to be done.

Thanks for the book suggestions!

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As you know, you can keep up with cardio with just walking/running shoes, and a bicycle if you like.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:25 AM   #14
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Retirement has been good for me. I have lost some weight, labs are good and I feel great. I worked night shifts, though only parttime for the 12 years before I retired. For all those years I was active at night and sleepy and/or grouchy during the day. It has taken me quite awhile to become a day person. As a day living retired person I am MUCH happier.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:28 AM   #15
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Less stress from losing the long, tiring, and often sickening commute. I just laugh when I hear about a problem on the trains or even when I see one go by!
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:45 AM   #16
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Not where I live...no sidewalks, and people routinely go double the speed limit on our side street. Hate the idea of big ugly equipment in the basement, and we don't like to crank up the a/c in the summer just for an hour a day of exercise. All my choices are annoying, but hand-wringing is always the worst choice; in the end, I'll do what needs to be done.

Thanks for the book suggestions!

Amethyst
Amethyst, you sound truly concerned about the possibility of not working out as much and gaining weght in retirement. Because of this I would suggest planning to pay whatever it costs (gym fees, maybe?) to continue working out in retirement. Personally, due to my overweight I consider fitness as a health expense rather than discretionary.

I go to what I believe is the most expensive gym in town and yet the monthly gym fees only come to less than 2% of my total expenses in retirement, which are not lavish. Think about it in that context. Are these fees really impossible for you to plan for? Perhaps that gym has a "daytimers" lower fee for those who attend during the slack hours in the middle of the day.

The gym is a big part of my retirement life - - I love working out, and for those who are more socially minded, the gym is a great place to meet other retirees.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:16 PM   #17
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Since I'm not yet retired, its tbd, but would suspect it's a no brainer that given more time to devote to exercise and cooking/eating healthy + less negative stress (both commuting and the typical things on the job that make you want to pull your hair out) should translate into better health.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:32 PM   #18
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Since I'm not yet retired, its tbd, but would suspect it's a no brainer that given more time to devote to exercise and cooking/eating healthy + less negative stress (both commuting and the typical things on the job that make you want to pull your hair out) should translate into better health.
+1 (emphasis mine)

I forgot to mention the stress aspect. My job was stressful, but my attitude was "I am strong, so I will just do what I have to do." I had NO IDEA how much the stress was affecting me until after ER. I was shedding layer upon layer of stress for over a year. Had I known how much the stress was affecting me, despite my tough-it-out attitude, I would have done something about it much earlier. Stress is a killer!
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #19
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I never thought about the health aspects of ER until after I retired . I joined a gym for socialization and when they weighed me I realized I had let my weight creep up . That was the awakening that I needed . I have since lost 23 pounds and had my blood pressure medicine cut in half . My job was far from sedentary( OR nurse ) so I had the opposite problem that ER was not good for my health until I woke up and sprung into action.
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:04 PM   #20
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we don't like to crank up the a/c in the summer just for an hour a day of exercise.
Fans are cheap......and perhaps open the window, (if there is one).
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