I had a great conversation with a friend of mine this past weekend during our trip to Saratoga Springs. We were talking about the all the baby boomers retiring now and who will be retiring in the coming decades. Every month for the next few decades, an anticipated 250,000 Americans will be retiring. I mentioned Jane Fonda’s TED Talk that I saw recently. She talks about how, in just the past few generations, the average lifespan has been extended by almost a third. We are living a lot longer than our great grandparents did. But are we living better? Are we well in our retirement years? Are we thriving as older adults? My friend made a great metaphor. He said that having great vitality in retirement is a lot like having financial abundance in retirement. If you plan on retiring at age 65 with enough money to last you 20 or 30 years, you can’t start saving money when you’re 60. The same goes for your vitality. If you want to spend your 70s, 80s, and 90s traveling, hiking, playing with your grandkids, and feeling great overall, you can’t start taking good care of yourself later in life or when things start going wrong. How you live in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s is a large determinant in how good you will feel in your 70s, 80s, and 90s. Great habits with sleep, rest, nutrition, exercise, and more are beneficial to us all now and will pay great dividends in the years and decades to come. It’s a win-win-win as I see it. Take a great workout, for example, like the hot yoga classes I did the last two days. Those two hours were awesome—totally fun. Plus, doing regular yoga and other exercise has me feeling great all time. And, it will help me feel great 30, 40, and 50 years from now. A win-win-win.
How well are you saving for your “wellness retirement”?
1. Are you drinking half of your bodyweight (in pounds) of water (in ounces) per day?
2. Do you have some form of exercise that you absolutely love and do you get to do it several times a week?
3. Do you get eight or more hours of sleep per night?
4. Are you cultivating fulfilling relationships with your friends, partner, siblings, parents, kids, and others?
5. Are you doing work that you really enjoy and is really meaningful to you?
6. Are you eating some vegetables at most meals?
7. Do you primarily eat whole, natural, real food and avoid food products (a.k.a. processed food)?
8. Do you eat until you are satisfied—not more, not less?
Think of each of these activities as putting money in your account for your “wellness retirement” just like you save money in your IRA and 401k.
Remember your mantra for today: NOURISHING MOVEMENT, NOURISHING FOOD, NOURISHING LIFE.