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Retirement may be beneficial to your health
Old 02-13-2015, 04:20 PM   #1
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Retirement may be beneficial to your health

In contrast to the recent thread "Retirement may be hazardous to your health", I have recently observed the opposite. I just had my first annual physical exam since ER last fall, complete with the usual blood work. I have typically been in the normal ranges, though sometimes pushing closer to the high end. I was happy to see my total cholesterol drop 17%, LDL dropped 22%, and HDL rose a bit. Triglycerides also dropped 35% and glucose down by 16%.

I'm attributing these changes at least in part to lower stress, and no longer eating in the company cafeteria (where I tried to make healthier choices). I still haven't quite gotten around to starting the more regular exercise I had been planning, which should be even more beneficial.
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Old 02-13-2015, 06:51 PM   #2
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Great news. I don't have any specific data but since we scaled back our working hours we cut way back on fast food, processed food and restaurant meals and usually walk at least twice a day. Yesterday we went hiking. That has to be better than sitting 8 hours or more and eating as much junk as we used to.
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Old 02-13-2015, 07:44 PM   #3
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My answer to that recent thread was tongue-in-cheek. Thanks to increased physical activity in retirement, I have seen my vitals improve. Lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, smaller waist size, etc...


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Old 02-13-2015, 08:07 PM   #4
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I'm thinking that stress is bad for my health, this makes retirement good for my health.
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:01 PM   #5
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Retired around 2 ˝ years ago. Weight now down around 60 pounds from my “high” point. Ride my bicycle every day for a several mile loop, and for most errands. Eating more veggies, WAY less “junk” food. Most former co-workers I encounter comment that I look a lot healthier than when working.



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Old 02-16-2015, 11:49 AM   #6
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I've always been disciplined about fitness and my weight was where I wanted it to be when I retired, so no major changes to make there. I have had the time to stretch out my workout times a bit. The real difference, for me, is sleep. Since I typically averaged 8 hours a night, I was doing better than most of the adult population. Now, freed of the 6:30 AM alarm 5 days a week, sometimes I get 9 or even 10 hours. One night last week, I just could not get to sleep. Sometimes my brain just won't shut down (although that happened a lot more pre-retirement!). I think I finally drifted off at 4 AM and slept till 8 AM. Since it was a weekday, I suspect I would have gone into the office on 2.5 hours of sleep under those circumstances. Ugh.


A friend said just last week how much more relaxed I look since I retired. My mother says she's never seen me happier (and that's saying a lot since she already started saying that after I married DH in 2003.)

So, yes, retirement has definitely been good for my health!
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:55 PM   #7
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I also recently had my first annual physical after retiring with similar results. It helped that I lost 12 Lb after retiring ( slightly below my target weight, now ) and have been exercising more regularly. Blood test results uniformly better and even a very minor stress electrocardiogram issue that I had before completely disappeared. My back problems, which had been progressively getting worse due to extensive international travel also went away.

There may be disadvantages to the retired lifestyle, but I place health firmly in the "pluses" column...
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:14 PM   #8
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I just copied and pasted/edited this from the other thread.
I can do that...I'm FIREd. No rules anymore.

I am in better physical shape at age 56.5 than I was at age 48 when I FIREd in 2007.
My doctor told me I looked 10 years younger when he saw me a few months after FIRE. He actually asked me if I had gone for a facelift without telling him.

I was a desk jockey in front of the computer non-stop except when I got to w*rk standing up in the R&D laboratory. I had classic RSI (repetitive strain injury) from my fingertips to the middle of my back. Chronic aching pain.
I can now stretch and exercise when I need to, not when the j*b schedule permitted.

My eating habits are much improved compared to eating lunch out daily just to escape the w*rk environment. Exceptions...I still eat pizza, Buffalo wings and chocolate. I've gotten over any guilt.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:12 PM   #9
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5 years into retirement now for me, and there's no doubt I am in better health now than before I retired. My blood test numbers are better, my weight is under control, I exercise a lot more, I eat healthier meals, the quality of my sleep is better, and my stress level is lower. I no longer worry about having to be somewhere else or do something I don't want to do, as I'm in charge of what I do (or don't do) now. It's awesome.

I read some of these articles urging people to keep working because working is good for continued health (or so they claim), and I just have to shake my head.........
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAE View Post
I read some of these articles urging people to keep working because working is good for continued health (or so they claim), and I just have to shake my head.........
Of course, the authors of those articles are themselves still working...
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post

I was a desk jockey in front of the computer non-stop except when I got to w*rk standing up in the R&D laboratory. I had classic RSI (repetitive strain injury) from my fingertips to the middle of my back. Chronic aching pain.
I can now stretch and exercise when I need to, not when the j*b schedule permitted.
Forgot to mention that I developed a bad case of "frozen shoulder" several months before I retired. I couldn't reach into the back seat of the car with my right arm without searing pain. Fortunately, I found some gentle stretching exercises on YouTube that slowly loosened up the scar tissue. It's gone now and hasn't returned; I'm sure it had something to do with sitting at my desk most of the day.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:39 AM   #12
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I had frozen shoulder a number of years ago as a result of a bad fall downhill skiing. It took a couple years to fully recover, but no effects at all now.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:22 PM   #13
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I just found out that one of my favorite coworkers died this morning at age 56. She was logged into work from home. Her husband tried to revive her and the medics tried as well but she was gone. She had a pretty high stress job and I'm sure that was a factor.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:27 PM   #14
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I am not waiting until I RE. I am using my megacorp's gym everyday to improve my health. If I can't RE, bring RE to work. That's my new motto.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Forgot to mention that I developed a bad case of "frozen shoulder" several months before I retired. I couldn't reach into the back seat of the car with my right arm without searing pain. Fortunately, I found some gentle stretching exercises on YouTube that slowly loosened up the scar tissue. It's gone now and hasn't returned; I'm sure it had something to do with sitting at my desk most of the day.
I got frozen shoulder from installing drywall on the basement ceiling. Orthopedic surgeon wanted to do a rotator cuff operation, but I said no thanks and went to physical therapy, where it was properly diagnosed. Had some very painful PT sessions, but I, too, fully recovered.

That was before retirement, but I still am careful not to overuse muscles on a repetitive task.
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