Category Archives: Health

The Physical And Mental Benefits Of Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is seen as the most challenging adventure sport these days. More and more people are getting attracted towards this sport. The reason for this is because it allows people to challenge themselves, get some exercise and do this with the benefits of enjoying fresh and clean mountain air. Which other sports gives you so much and much more.

The advantage of rock climbing is that it can be done both indoors and outdoors. For all the nature lovers, outdoor climbing is the way to go. And for those who do not like going out there and getting dirty, indoor climbing that so many gyms are offering these days is the solution. This advantage of it being an indoor and outdoor sport is what makes rock climbing a popular and year round sport. Remember climbing is not for the faint of heart, it is for those who do not mind taking some risks and overcoming their fears.

Physical benefits of rock climbing

There are many benefits of climbing. One of the main reasons people take up climbing is because of its physical benefits. People are very health conscious and fitness is a big deal to them. So it gymnasiums get boring, then outdoor rock climbing is the best option for you.

Most people think that rock climbing is a sport for men; this is not true at all. More and more women are taking up this sport to enjoy the outdoor and to challenge himself in a man’s world.

Rock climbing involves a lot of stretching. This is because when you are on that rock or crag, you will have to stretch to reach out to that next hold to pull yourself up. Stretching is a great way to improve physical conditioning and flexibility. When you are indulging in climbing what you also get is the benefit of balancing and improved hand-leg coordination.

Rock climbing helps you stay in shape. What it helps you do is

. Develop muscle tone
. Improves flexibility
. Ensures balance
. Improves coordination
. Enhances physical focus
. Helps burn calories

Remember that before you start climbing that you do some warm up exercises. Warming up is of utmost importance, without warm up you are prone to injury and harm.

Mental benefits of Rock climbing

We all know that exercising makes you feel good about yourself. The reason for this is the happy hormones endorphins, which are released when you exercise. Hence the feel-good feeling. climbing is another such sport that makes you feel good about yourself. climbing is a challenging and difficult sport, when you have reached the top of the rock or crag, the feeling of accomplishment is unbeatable.

People are social beings; we do things in pair or groups. climbing is also an activity that can be done in pair or groups. This feeling of being a social being and the fun and experience of climbing, helps relive stress.

Rock climbing makes people confident and builds their self-esteem. If you can climb the difficult and almost impossible rock you never thought you could, you can do almost anything else in the world. This makes you feel capable and self-assured. It builds esteem and your confidence.

Rock climbing also makes the climber more responsible and helps build trust. Responsibility comes with understanding the dangers and risks involved in climbing, and by respecting nature. The climber has to be responsible enough to take his own safety in his hands.

Trust comes with trusting and literally putting your life and safety in the hands of the instructor initially and later by trusting the rope and basic climbing gear. Trust is a major part of climbing.

Rock climbing can be fun and exciting if you go about it in the right way. Learn about the dangers of climbing and you should be fine as long as you do not do risky things. Remember to warm up as you would before any sport, as this will prevent you from harm and injury.

Healthy And Filling Breakfast Choices

In order to stay energized throughout the day, experts suggest eating a hearty breakfast daily. The first meal of the day is usually the most important. But many people seem to neglect it or eat unhealthy choices while on the go. Some may even choose to eat a breakfast meal that simply does not provide the body’s energy needs or may even contribute to weight gain. Here are some healthy breakfast choices for you that would both be a filling meal and help provide the energy boost you need for the day.

Cereals With Milk, Fruits And Walnuts

Nothing may be a more appropriate and convenient breakfast than having cereals in the morning. Cereals help provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to keep going the rest of the day. A good cereal breakfast would be a bowl of your favorite cereals and poured with a cup of low fat milk. You can also add a cup of blueberries and a couple tablespoons of walnuts for a more unique and inviting taste.

Oatmeal Pancakes

Pancakes for breakfast are another common breakfast choice for many people. You can put a healthy variation to this breakfast by adding about a cup of quick cooking oatmeal into pancake mixture before you cook them. The oatmeal works well with wheat flour to boost the fiber in your pancakes, making them more filling. Add some blueberries and buttermilk with them to make them more tasty.

Egg Omelet With Cheese And Toast

Another good meal worth having for breakfast is an egg omelet with cheese and toast. Its easy to make and can be quite filling and tasty. Mix and cook an egg added with two more egg whites into an omelet filled with spinach, tomatoes and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Eat them with two slices of toast for a filling breakfast.

Peanut Butter And Banana Sandwich

A tasty choice for a breakfast that you can try out is a peanut butter and banana sandwich. You can slice a muffin into two and then smear it with peanut butter on both sides. You can then top it off with about 1/4 cup of sliced bananas. Eat this as an open faced sandwich. You can add a bowl of fresh blueberries on the side.

Bagel With Cream Cheese

For those who are really on the go all of the time, preparing breakfast may be out of the question. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting a good filling meal. You could try eating a bagel with cream cheese that would help you feel stuffed and not worry about gaining weight. You can head on to the nearest deli on your way and order for yourself a raisin bagel. You can then add some spread of light cream cheese on it and then eat it with a cup of coffee or tea. That would make a good and simple breakfast to start the day right.

Healthy Lifestyle

Copyright (c) 2007 Jenny Regeling

Living a natural and healthy lifestyle begins with routine-habits. These habits help create a strong immune system therefore avoiding a lot of discomfort and disease. A lack of discomfort and disease makes a happier and more contented life. A natural, chemical free lifestyle is uncomplicated; works well in harmony with your body assuring you of a strong immune system, and therefore developing a life filled with much strength , energy and relaxation. Sound good? I know which I would prefer.

In our western society we are known for depending on prescribed chemical medicinal cures rather than turning our ways to the original natural earth related cures we were supposed to use in the first place. Chemical and synthetic drugs do in many cases cure the problem but the side effects that follow or involve them can be worse than the disease itself. I know I have experienced that very thing. I am now more inclined to suggest to prevent illness or disease by a strong and armored body, built up by the right diet and necessary food supplements.

By living the natural way things are simplified, clear and self explained. It makes sense. They build up the bodily functions and in most cases don’t have or have little side effects. If these side effects occur they are normally mild and easily treated by changing to another natural option that better suits the situation.

For example, my granddaughter who is 5 years old, like all children can get excited around sleep time. Instead of choosing a medicine to calm her down her mother simply puts a few dabs of lavender on her tissue to inhale while putting her down to sleep. This is very effective and very natural, not causing any side effects or chemical complications.

If you have never encountered or tried to go natural you are probably asking …

What is a Natural Lifestyle?

To put it simply, you are not only treating an ailment but at the same time introducing natural healthy nutrition which at the same time is building your immune system to fight whatever you have wrong with you. So you are safeguarding and curing at the same time. The safeguarding naturally is also helping to prevent any more oncoming illnesses which otherwise may have occurred.

I have and will always stress that your mind, body and soul control the functions of your wellbeing. Therefore not only should you have a strong body, but also a positive mind (attitude in life) and a positive Godly soul. If your attitude is positive through a trauma in life it is going to promote a quicker and stronger healing process than not.

When I experienced Breast Cancer 10 years ago I chose to-Beat It! – With a strong, positive attitude. I could have chosen to be miserable and continually feel sorry for myself. That I assure you would only have made the task a whole lot harder and unhappier.

To compliment all the above, a daily exercise is essential-walking is great; whatever you choose to do is a great benefit. You only need a minimum of 30 minutes a day, longer is up to you. Also the habit of relaxation is very helpful to settle or deal with any anxieties, as these can prevent your system from working as it should. Stress is not a bad thing. We all have it and some more than others

Healthy plans and food guide pyramid

  Eating with excess predisposes to premature aging. Food pyramid rich in protein and fiber, a full range of cereals, vegetables and fruits and vegetables should be at your healthy food pyramid diet and a life free of disease. Consuming 8-10 glasses of water each day, also against the poison of the system and maintain the body fluid

  It Plan specific food pyramid diet weight loss at eachor constitution. The Atkin’s food pyramid diet is high fat and low carbohydrate food pyramid diet. The glycemic index food, originally for diabetics is weight loss food pyramid for all, to lose weight. The food pyramid diet is a nutritional regime Atkins. The Mediterranean diet is becoming increasingly popular in the last period. Advocates the use of ace-ite oil and food pyramid rich in fatty acids. The end of fast food pyramid will also be weight in combination with exercise programs. The scheme aims to eliminate detox the body by improving the functions of the kidneys, liver and lymph nodes.

  Food Guide Pyramid are a widely recognized tool for nutrition education. It is a graphic representation of recommendations for the types and quantities of food pyramid in the different groups of food pyramid to obtain a healthy food pyramid diet.

  The food pyramid, the recommended daily in take of food pyramid rich in nutrient. It also offers a personal approach to physical activity and healthy food pyramid eating. Access to the Web site context coned food pyramid gives us valuable information on the factors above. You can also use your sex, age, physical activity get an estimate of what is to eat  every day in the form of entier grains, fruits and vegetables, milk or yogurt, and the consumption of meat or beans. We also know the importance of physical activity in your daily diet. You can quickly see a food pyramid for children and online.

  In the list of plans above schemes, you can plan food pyramid best suits your needs. In terms of determination and motivation and the man with these properties to lose weight is not pain.

** To comply with nutrition pyramid, customers should comsume food according to the nutrition pyramid regularly. **

Healthy Food for Wealthy Life

Nowadays people are getting more and more health conscious.

Nutritionists and doctors always advise us to eat healthy food.

Most of us ignore the advice and eat whatever our taste buds prefer.

We eat more of tasty food without paying much attention to healthy food.

The quantity of food we eat also determines our health.

Food taken more than the requirement is only digested partially and the rest acts as a foreign substance.

Hunger is the natural expression of the needs of the system and appetite is the index for the quantity of food to be taken.

The nutritional quality of various kinds of foods is being described in a most popular language to feed the brains of the common men and women.

The lists of healthy foods are being published in books and health magazines.

‘Do not eat junk food’ is a slogan we hear from the four corners of the world.

Still the restaurants selling the junk food are increasing in number all over the world.

Mostly young people are trapped by the chain of food stalls which impart an injurious habit.

Americans eat more of junk foods than any other nationals, because of their multiplicity and availability.

Healthy food is one which has less oil (fat), salt and spices.

But our tongue looks for oily, salty and spicy foods for a better taste.

How to compromise?

In fact, diet influences every aspects of our life including our mood, body weight, sexuality, fertility, life span etc.,

Breakfast followed by lunch, evening snack and night dinner is a set pattern followed by everyone in the world, with slight modification at times.

Whatever healthy food we eat should be digested before we take the next course of food.
Better digestion takes place only when we do physical exercise.

In other words, calories have to be burnt to gain energy to do work.

Reducing the body weight is one of the major problems faced by a good lot of people in most of the developed countries.

Obesity has become almost a disease to fight with.

In fact, vegetable and fruits are considered to be healthy foods, because of their fibre and mineral contents.

Non vegetarians get animal proteins from fish, mutton, beef and chicken.

Milk and its products such as curd, cheese and cream contain most of the essential nutrients we require.

Similarly, egg also is a good source of protein.

It is always debated whether vegetarian diet is superior to non vegetarian diet.

There are arguments for and against each type of diet.

One thing acceptable from these arguments is the selection of food to eat depends on the climatic conditions in which one lives.

People living in temperate region prefer non vegetarian diet whereas people in the tropics prefer vegetarian diet.

Healthy food for children, middle aged and aged people will also vary.

Food nutrition is a good field of specialization.

Standards have been fixed for good food based on their chemistry.

Dieticians know much about the standards and they also know about what to eat and what not to eat.

Because of greediness for excess production of food for the ever increasing population, all sorts of adulteration take place.

Such adulterations are not known fully well to the people who consume such foods.

Production of most of the agricultural products is subjected to poisonous pesticides and other chemicals.

Animals and birds are being injected with excess doses of antibiotics and growth promoting hormones.

The reseals as well as the accumulated substances are accompanied with the consumed meat creating trouble to humans.

Therefore, the movement of organic agriculture is gaining importance in every country.

Food safety is the talk of the day.

Safe food and environment are needed for human health.

Thus healthy food has a number of dimensions.

One has to take care of his or her health by going through the details of healthy food.

Strict control on the food we eat is essential to achieve a healthy life for a happy stay in this Planet.

Let us not neglect the habit of taking only healthy food and feeding our children with it.

Health Problems caused by Computer

Health Problems caused by Computer

 
I am frequent computer user. Of course it’s interesting to know how danger for my health computer can be. Working with computer for whole day is not rare nowadays. If it’s an aspect of our work or if we use computers just for fun, there are certain risks involved with prolonged computer use.

It’s the first what occur to us, when we talk about computer harm. Prolonged computer use could be linked to glaucoma, especially among those who are short-sighted. Our eyes are very badly affected by how long you stare at that bright screen. We stop blinking and start staring which makes our eyes strain and dry out. Make sure you look away from the screen and close them for a few seconds every few minutes.

We can find many information about eyes health. And it’s very important not to forget about our eyes while working on computer.

Bad posture is enemy number one. Check your posture now! You should be able to reach the keyboard and mouse whilst bending your elbows at 90 degrees, with your shoulders relaxed. If you are stretching, this could cause problems. Your back should be straight and the top of the monitor should be just below eye level. If your monitor is to the left or right of your keyboard you are putting strain on your neck.

Long periods of time at the computer while working or reading often leads to pain in the lumbar region of the back. Neck and shoulder problems also result from poor seating and the poor organization of equipment on the desk (stretching for the telephone or files etc).

Your hand and wrist ache after working at the computer all day, and they sometimes start feeling numb. Research in recent years has found that things like typing and sewing rarely cause carpal tunnel. Wear splints while you work to keep your wrists from bending too high or low, and use a keyboard tray or adjust your chair so the keyboard and mouse are below your elbows and your wrists are level. It is really important to give your fingers, wrists and hands a break from resting on the keyboard all day. A tennis ball is a great way to do this. Every time you need to think you should grab the ball and give it a few quick squeezes. This will do wonders for your joints and muscles.

Many people suffer from structural problems related to the physical stress of sitting incorrectly, or for too long in front of their computers. So there are chances you’ve experienced a fair amount of computer stress, from minor frustrations here and there to a virtual visit to computer hell.

High levels of stress can kill you, don’t make mistakes! Highly stressful workers have a higher risk of developing heart diseases and even cancer. So make sure that you can manage your stress. Start making something to reduce it, don’t wait till computer stress will be the main problem in your life. Taking frequent breaks is an important step in preventing repetitive computer stress injuries.

Thus, it shows up that there are several problems that occur with prolonged computer use. It is also clear, however, that if certain rules of using computer are observed the risk of any of these problems can be minimized and computer users affected with computer related disorders can avoid or treat them. I consider that persons should have active lifestyle and an ergonomic computer work station, thereby even hardly computer working can’t affect their health.

Chalk, Gyms, and You

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The use of chalk in the gym is often a hotly contested topic. Some lifters (particularly powerlifters) swear by chalk, and claim its use is as necessary a part of lifting attire as tank tops or tennis shoes. Other gym members (often the fitness, less hardcore types) see chalk as a messy and unnecessary addition to their gym. Both sides are partially right. Let’s delve deeper into chalk use in the gym.

Benefits

Chalk makes lifting easier and safer. On major lifts like the deadlift, the use of chalk allows the barbell to slide easier across the leg, making for more weight moved and a lot less bleeding from the legs. On the bench press, chalk assures a surer grip on the bar, which can prevent a heavy barbell from slipping and falling on a sweaty lifter. Chalk does help prevent injuries.

Drawbacks

Chalk is messy. It leaves white residue, which immediately seems to stick to clothes, skin, and equipment alike. Chalk is extremely hard to clean up.

Public Perception

People often see lifters who use chalk as meatheads. This is often a stereotype exaggerated by the media, but very often its one that is perpetuated by lifters themselves. How many times have you heard a person cursing loudly to motivate his training partner to complete a lift? How many times have you seen a fellow gymgoer drop heavy weights from waist level unnecessarily? Chances are, the offenders in each case were chalk users. Not to say every chalk user is a meathead. However, most meatheads are chalk users.

Gym Policy

Some gyms, particularly those that cater to the less hardcore audience, will ban the use of chalk entirely. The know that many seriously powerlifters use chalk, and they prefer not to have members like this which might alienate the other 95% of members. There is nothing that can be done in these cases, especially when the gym falls under the auspices of a nationwide corporate policy.

Solutions

If possible, clear chalk use with gym management before you use it. Let them know the safety benefits of using chalk, and remind them that you do respect gym rules and will leave no mess when you leave. As you train, use common courtesy. Remember that much of the stigma against ‘chalk users’ is because of their behavior, which often accompanies chalk use- namely, swearing, throwing weights, and other macho intimidating behavior. Don’t exhibit that behavior.

See if your gym will designate ‘chalk-acceptable’ zones for safety purposes. This assures their expensive cardio equipment and the cursed white dust doesn’t affect strength machines by keeping the chalk use confined to the bench and deadlift areas where it is typically used.

Breakfast Ideas for Obese Children

This meal is of the utmost importance in controlling weight and also, ironically, the one meal that kids often skip. While it is never a good idea to force kids to eat when they are not hungry, breakfast must be eaten, and this is something your children will need to accept. Most children will, once they begin a healthy eating programme, develop a more regular appetite, and be more refreshed and alert in the morning. So breakfast will eventually become more appealing – in fact, most kids will be ravenous for good nutritious fare.

Try to include a good source of protein – eggs, peanut butter, yogurt, milk, grilled lean bacon, or even cheese occasionally – in your child’s breakfast. It will help to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the morning, and aid concentration. Children who eat a good healthy breakfast are far less likely to overeat throughout the day. Always add one or more servings of fruit as well – it gives them the nutrients they need to start the day well, plus it provides them with a healthy burst of energy to get them through the morning. Many kids will pick at fruit even if they are not natural breakfasters, so take this opportunity to squeeze in a couple of servings.

Ideas
– Healthy breakfast cereals are a great source of fibre, which aids digestion, is filling and encourages a sustained release of energy throughout the day. Porridge is a particularly good choice
– Make a breakfast buffet, with oatmeal, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and dried fruits – such as apricots, raisins and cranberries-in small dishes. Each child can then create their own mixture
– Wholegrain cereal or muesli, sprinkled with seasonal berries or another fruit, with milk (try soya or rice milk occasionally to add variety) on top, along with a glass of juice – if the cereal needs to be sweetened, drizzle it with honey
– Wholemeal toast with peanut butter, a banana and a glass of juice
– Poached or boiled egg with wholemeal toast and a glass of juice
– Grilled lean bacon, a boiled egg, some berries or orange sections, a piece of wholemeal toast or muffin and some juice
– Plain yogurt (try soya yogurt as an alternative) with fruit (anything goes) and organic honey, a piece of wholemeal toast and a glass of juice
– A grilled lean bacon sandwich with tomatoes or cucumber on wholemeal toast, with a glass of juice
– Veggie sausage in a wholemeal bun, with fruit juice and an orange
– Fresh mango with yogurt, a handful of seeds or nuts, and a piece of wholemeal toast with butter or nut butter
– Wholemeal toast with pure fruit, low-sugar jam or preserve; yogurt (or a yogurt drink) and a glass of milk or juice
– Rice cakes with hummus, apple slices and juice
– A smoothie – fresh or tinned fruit, plain yogurt and honey whizzed together with a banana, or some ice cubes
– Grilled tomatoes, grilled mushrooms and grilled lean bacon with a slice of wholemeal toast and a glass of juice
– Or why not consider ‘non-breakfast’ foods, such as a tuna fish sandwich on wholemeal bread with a glass of juice? Or a leftover slice of ‘healthy’ pizza?
– If you are at a loss as to how to incorporate a few servings of fruit or vegetables, it’s not hard. Some grapes on the side, or some orange, banana or apple sections are an easy choice. A pot of fruit in fruit juice, a few strawberries or other berries on cereal or yogurt, or whizzed into a smoothie, are other good ideas. Slices of cucumber, tomatoes or even pepper with bacon and eggs works well, too. A glass of pure fruit juice is also a whole serving of fruit, and you can normally encourage most children to drink a glass with breakfast. If you have a juicer, encourage your children to choose three or four fruits (kiwi, apple, mango, banana, pineapple, melon, for example) and add one vegetable, such as carrot, celery or cucumber, to add vital nutrients. A good simple combination for those new to juicing is apple and carrot – it’s sweet, delicious and cheap.

Try to ensure that your child doesn’t eat exactly the same breakfast every day – variety helps to ensure that he is getting the nutrients he needs, and also prevents further food fads from developing.

Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Life Style

A healthy lifestyle is supposedly the best way to live. However, maintaining such a healthy lifestyle depends on developing healthy habits. This entails a few rules that one should abide by. These rules include the following:

Balanced Diet

Taking a balanced diet is essential for leading a healthy life. A healthy diet is one that helps in minimizing artificial trans fats in the body and enhancing the levels of un-saturated fats. These un-saturated fats are found in vegetable oils, seeds, avocados, nuts, fish etc. while saturated fats are found mainly in animal products and are known to increase harmful LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk. Foods high in saturated fats are damaging to your arteries, therefore; The American Heart Association advises limiting saturated fats to less than seven percent of total calories, which is equal to about 15 grams for the average daily caloric intake of 2,000. In order to limit saturated fat intake, you should stay away from dairy products, red meat and fried or greasy food. Such food products have very rich saturated fat content and pose great danger to human health. Thus, your diet should be focused on food with low trans fat and high un-saturated fat content.

Hydration

Hydration is very important for maintaining a healthy body. When talking of keeping your body hydrated, alkaline ionized water believed my many to be most effective. It has been found that alkaline ionized water is the only water that carries large amounts of disease fighting anti-oxidants to be up to 6 times more hydrating than bottled water or tap water! Alkaline ionized water has also been known to help with cellular function; the molecular make-up of alkaline ionized water is much smaller than that of tap or bottled water, making the water’s molecular structure more penetrable to your cells. Because the alkaline ionized water molecules are able to penetrate and reach our cellular system at a much quicker rate than any other water, you get more energy, detoxification, and a better running immune system! A water ionizer is your ticket to a healthier life.

Sleep & Relaxation

Proper amounts of rest and relaxation are as important to a healthy lifestyle as a balanced diet and hydration. Every living person needs a proper amount of sleep to rejuvenate the body, as a matter of fact, sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain, so that it may continue to function optimally. If a person continues to ignore his relaxation needs and stays awake for extended periods then his neurons may begin to malfunction causing visible negative changes in the person’s behavior. Some organs, such as muscles, are able to regenerate even when a person is not sleeping so long as they are resting. This could involve lying awake but relaxed within a quiet environment. When doing so the person’s brain is not getting any rest and even though cognitive functions might not seem necessary in this scenario the brain, especially the cerebral cortex, is not able to rest and remains semi-alert in a state of “quiet readiness”. This is a one way ticket to bringing on or compounding stress. Without proper rest or down time, stress is definite. Stress has been known to cause the following:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck and/or tight shoulders
  • Backache
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweating and sweaty palms
  • Upset stomach, nausea or diarrhea

How to Retire Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Retirement – A New Beginning

Going back about fifty years, retirement was considered to be the short gap between receiving a gold watch and the last rights!

Happily today retirement is accepted as the start of a whole new life adventure.

With the likelihood that we will retire with all our faculties intact and fully functioning and with a good number of years in front of us, we now need to take a little more time to plan our retirement years to make sure we get the absolute most out of them.

Whatever your retirement dream – from a home in the sun, a boat on a river, or simply pottering about in the garden – all of these things are possible with careful planning.

But have you ever wondered why so many of us constantly push the practicalities of retirement planning to the back of our minds while rushing through our lives complaining about the pressures of work and dreaming of the day when we can finally put our feet up?

What is it that causes this dichotomy in us?

I think that most of us would agree the two main causes are lack of time and reluctance.

And yet each and every one of us knows how important it is to plan and save for our retirement!

After all we are quite literally bombarded by the media week in week out with facts about the pension time bomb and the fact that many of us will apparently struggle for the price of a cup of tea let alone a beautiful villa in the sun when we get to 65!

So, with all that information taken on board what can we do to make our retirement a happy one?

Whether you’ve got a full 40 years to save and plan, or if retirement is just a few years down the road and you’re worried that it may be a little late to start any radical pension planning, this three part retirement planning roadmap should save you time, remove your reluctance and cover the three key aspects of retirement planning – namely our physical wellbeing, our financial wellbeing and our spiritual wellbeing in retirement.

In other words, read on for some practical tips to ensure that you retire healthy, wealthy and wise.

Healthy – Physical Wellbeing in Retirement

Every single day of our lives we grow, we mature, we develop…and we grow older.

And when we’re very young we sometimes view retirement as something that equates to old age. We have images of old people in rocking chairs with blankets over withering legs rocking away the last days of their lives! No need to plan then – just throw me a blanket and I can do the rest myself!

But as we mature and grow older we soon come to appreciate that there can be a considerable amount of time between finishing our working lives and needing to settle into that rocking chair – and that that time is ours to enjoy to the full!

And while it is true that the body ages and that no man can turn back the tides of time, none of us has to get old unless we choose to do so!

Our bodies may age but we don’t have to!

So, there are really two considerations when it comes to the ageing process and welfare in retirement – namely the physical aspect and the emotional aspect.

The Physical Aspect

As ill health can smite any one of us at any age, we should consider our physical wellbeing throughout our lives; both from the point of view of prevention and the point of view of cure.

Prevention

When we actively take steps to encourage good health we are far more likely to enjoy longevity; and in taking such action we could make the difference between a happy healthy retirement and an old age blighted by failing health.

Keep active. Many of us have sedentary lives; we drive to work, sit in an office, drive home and then sit down to watch the telly. But keeping active should really be seen as a mandatory part of our lives, right through and into retirement.

While busy lives may make it difficult to find time for set exercise, there are always things we can do to improve our overall fitness. Consider parking your car two streets away from the office and walking the last ½ mile, take the dog for long walk (he’ll love you!), buy a bike, go on a walking weekend or weed the garden. Simply by adding a little physical activity into our working lives now, we will be pushing back the years and ensuring that we are able to fully enjoy the freedom that retirement will afford us when the time comes.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy nutritious food, adequate sleep, avoid nicotine and keep alcohol consumption within sensible limits.

Reduce stress. Everyone suffers from stress sometimes, and we are all well aware of the long term damage stress can do to our health. So, do everything within your power to reduce your stress levels. And if it is beyond your control to remove the stresses affecting your life, never feel embarrassed or afraid to seek help. If you can identify the primary reason for your stress maybe you can begin to see what you need to do to fix it. I know this is so often easier said that done – but please remember it is your health and your happiness at stake here and that has to be your priority.

Be Proactive. You know your own body better than any one else. Listen to it, and react accordingly when it is trying to tell you something. Don’t ignore potential symptoms, recognise them and get them treated.

Cure

In recent years health care costs have risen between two and three times faster than inflation and naturally enough health insurance has become more costly at the same time making it seem altogether too unattractive an option for some people.

But while the vast majority of us would never dream of driving our car uninsured or living without household insurance, we do exactly that with our own bodies! We trust our health to luck and good fortune!

Consider, if you will, the following facts: –

– The British National Health Service is stretched to its limits with up to a million people on waiting lists at any one time.
– Few other countries in the world offer any form of ‘free’ medical treatment, if you are thinking of retiring abroad bear this in mind.
– In retirement most people live on a fixed income which does not allow for exorbitant and ever increasing health care costs.
– As we get older our bodies need more TLC and fine tuning, and age makes us more susceptible to ill health and increases average recovery and recuperation times.

These facts show why it is important to consider health care costs when it comes to retirement planning. And in considering health care costs and retirement, factor in increasing health insurance premiums if you have insurance. Factor in health care costs if you are relocating abroad without insurance. Factor in the potential need for private treatment ‘back home’ for serious conditions, and also consider the fact that you or your spouse may need long term, full time care later in life.

But don’t panic!

At this point many people panic and decide to do nothing. (Guilty?)

They can only see a potentially huge cost that they simply can’t afford. But health insurance comes in many forms. Find a reputable company to advise you, get a second opinion and shop around! And while you may not be able to afford the ‘platinum 5 star package’ you may still be able to afford a little peace of mind and an acceptable level of care should you need it.

The Emotional Aspect.

How come some people seem old at 40, while other people can exude youth, life and vitality that belies their age?

Presuming good health, I can only assume that mental attitude is at play here!

So how can we make sure we’re the ones full of beans in our 80s rather than the ones on tranquillisers in our 40s?

Learn to love life! Life knocks us all about sometimes – and at times we’ve probably all felt like we’ve gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson. However take some time to consider the good things about your life. Make an effort to reflect upon the positive; enjoy life’s simple pleasures and create a balance that always leans towards the positive and not the negative.

Keep your mind active! Keep learning and developing throughout life. Never feel that you’re too old to learn new skills – it’s simply not true that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks!

Focus on positive emotions rather than negative ones! Negative emotions bring mental and physical disharmony and ill health. If you dwell on regrets, disappointments or resentment you will be weighed down with bitterness and miss out on life. People who can forgive and love will remain youthful simply because they will have anticipation and excitement in their lives. And if you don’t love or feel loved you’ll quickly start to age and feel lonely.

Don’t stop dreaming and hoping and longing! Stay future focused. You will find that your motivation, desire and anticipation for the future and the realisation of your dreams will keep you positive and active and that your stamina will be boosted, your energy levels heightened and your mental attitude will stay young.

Wealthy – Financial Wellbeing in Retirement

Financially speaking, the ‘cost of delay’ in terms of retirement planning can be illustrated like this – if a 25 year old and a 35 year old were to start saving today for retirement at age 55 and the 25 year old invested £300 a month towards retirement, the 35 year old would have to increase his contributions to £803 a month to achieve the same potential returns!

I know, I know, talking about money – especially pensions – is the fastest way to send anyone to sleep. But seriously, it’s never too soon to take charge of the financial aspects of retirement planning!

And if you’re still not convinced, according to research out of 100 young people now aged 25, 1 will be rich in retirement, 4 will be financially independent, 5 will still be working, 12 will be completely broke, 29 will be dead, and 49 will be dependent on their friends, family and charity. That means that of those who live to retirement, 93% will be dependant on friends, relatives and charity!

Scary isn’t it?
So now that you’re ready to start your retirement financial planning (!) here are some important aspects that you need to consider.

Your own personal circumstances are unique: consider seeking professional and personalised independent financial advice before taking action – but do so as soon as possible.

Consider joining your employer’s occupational pension scheme (if one exists!) or getting yourself a personal pension – and the sooner the better!

Be realistic about how much you should be contributing towards your retirement – based on your age now, the age at which you hope to retire, and the lifestyle you hope to achieve in retirement.

Increase your contributions as your income increases and pay in as much as you can afford while you’re earning.

If you’re on a lower income you may wish to consider alternative savings vehicles – ISAs, National Savings or mutual funds for example. These can all be accessed prior to retirement if needs be. However, consider the tax effectiveness of any savings vehicle and remember that pension contributions generally have a higher rate of tax relief.

If you have a pension plan already in place but are unhappy with it or wish to change it, know that pension surrender or early encashment are rarely the best options available to you.

As you get older, consider topping up your pension.

Find out about your State pension entitlements and plan when you want to start receiving your private pension income. You can access funds from the age of 50, but of course it goes without saying that the longer you save, the longer your fund has to mature and the more likely you are to get better returns on your investment.

Never forget that the value of an investment can go down as well as up!

Think about the long term practical and taxation issues relating to the receiving of pension income if you choose to retire abroad or if you have been investing offshore. If you choose to retire in a country not classed as being within the European Economic Area your State pension (such as it might be) will not necessarily increase in line with inflation. Seeking professional advice is the first step in the right direction to finding the right financial solution – it will save you time and money in the long run and reduce your cost of delay significantly!

Is it too late for me?

Some people reading this article will agree with what I’ve written so far and then say –
“Great, but I’m 55 years old already, is it too late for me?”

The simple answer is that it’s never too late!

You just have to plan differently.

Being realistic is essential – if you don’t have a private pension, if you have little in the bank and have had no great luck on the lottery recently then it may be wise to shelve the yacht plans.

But taking the popular retirement plan of a house in the sun for example, that dream may well still be possible.

Consider North Cyprus or France for example – the difference in property prices between UK and both countries often means that there is a good opportunity to sell a UK home and buy in North Cyprus or France and put some cash in the bank.

Being careful is essential – let’s just say that you discover you can trade your 3 bed semi in for a 5 bed villa with a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. Well, maybe a better deal for you would be to trade in a for a 2 bed bungalow, leaving a surplus of cash in the bank for further retirement enjoyment – the lower running costs of a 2 bed bungalow versus a 5 bed villa would also mean that your savings could go a lot further.

Never give up on your retirement aspirations – just massage them to fit your financial capabilities!

Wise – Spiritual Wellbeing in Retirement

According to current research around 74% of the British population dream about retiring abroad.

What with the lure of sunnier climes and the fact that the UK housing market has boomed in recent years enabling people to consider selling up, retiring to the sun AND putting some extra cash away in the bank, it is unsurprising really.

But if you decide to move away from your friends and family in retirement, or if your friends and family decide to leave you behind, how will you cope?

Loneliness and depression among the over 50 age group is an all too commonly reported problem nowadays. The death of a much loved partner, divorce, separation from friends and family or the departure of children from the family home can affect this age group particularly hard. And loneliness can often come to those people who do not prepare for their retirement when they suddenly feel the shock of leaving the day to day routine of a job behind, and miss the social contact they enjoyed in the work place.

While we can’t plan to avoid loneliness and sadness caused by the death of a loved one, we can make sure we have a good network of friends and family who are there with us always. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy sharing your retirement and to help you avoid loneliness in retirement.

Try and build up strong friendships with lots of people while you’re still in your 40’s and 50’s as it may be harder when you’re in your 60’s.

If you’re planning a retirement abroad (whether overseas or simply in another part of your home country) know that it can be fun and exciting but also a little bewildering!

Think about the friends you’ll be leaving behind and make sure that you part on good terms! Make sure your friends are aware that you’re not ending your friendship by moving away, and insist that they visit you in your new home – I’m sure they won’t object! Also, make provision and effort for regular contact via email or telephone.

If you move abroad you’ll probably meet many like minded people who’ve decided that retirement to the sun is their dream too. As everyone will be experiencing similar emotions: from the joy of a beautiful home to the loss of familiarity and close friends: you will have a tremendous advantage in that everyone will be as keen and eager to meet and make new friends as you are.

Retirees abroad often reflect on how much more open the people are in their new country; the need to be a part of a new community far outweighs any shyness or reluctance to join in! If you retire abroad, jump in with both feet and make an effort to meet and enjoy the company of the people in your new community.

Try learning a little of the language of the country you would like to retire to- the joy of being able to communicate in a foreign language even on the simplest level can add a new dimension and fullness to life and one of the best ways to understand any new culture is through language.

Throughout life make sure you keep your family ties strong. Stay in touch with extended family, get back in touch with long lost relations and remain close to your immediate family if you possibly can. If a family rift has occurred consider being the peace maker – it takes a ‘better person’ and a very strong and mature person to be the first to apologise.

And finally – if you do find that you suffer from loneliness there is no point whatsoever sitting and brooding about it. If you do that you will never beat it. You have to be proactive, seek out new friends and relationships. Get out of your house. Join a club, a society, an organisation and meet new people – even if you are not the sort of person who likes to get involved or join in – take a chance, you never know it might just pay off! Surely anything is worth one try if the result could be the alleviation of your loneliness?

The start of a new adventure

Retirement isn’t something to fear or dread – it’s the start of a whole new life with levels of freedom that you’ve probably never experienced before! Hopefully this article has covered the key points of effective retirement planning for you, and you can follow the retirement planning roadmap

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