The Secret to a Healthy and Happy Retirement

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Retirement is the perfect time to take charge of your whole health — body, mind, and spirit. You can do this by incorporating these 17 healthy habits into your daily life. Start today and embrace all the good to come.

1. Create a sense of purpose: Research volunteer opportunities in your community. Doing good deeds for others can provide a big boost in your mood.

2. Keep a gratitude journal: Write down one thing a day that you're grateful for. It could be as simple as "I'm grateful for my morning coffee."

3. Play games: Exercising your mind can help slow down the progress of memory problems. Try a daily crossword puzzle or Sudoku. Make it a group thing by planning a game night.

4. Unleash your creative side: Sign up for a paint night with friends, scrapbook memories with your grandkids, or take up a new hobby like knitting or crocheting.

5. Focus on your whole health: Feeling good is more than just physical. Make sure you take the time to focus on your mental and social well-being, too.

6. Plan a date night: Spice up your relationship by planning a special evening. Go to a drive-in movie, dine out with friends, or order in and binge a Netflix series.

7. Learn a new skill: Education knows no age. So get out there and learn something new. Many public and private institutions offer classes at little or no cost.

8. Set goals: It's never too late to go after your dreams. Set realistic goals and work hard to reach them. Create a six-month, one-year, or even a five-year plan for yourself.

9. Live out your travel dreams: Many airlines and cruises offer discounted rates. If you're traveling solo, check out meetup groups online to find a travel buddy.

10. Practice meditation: Mindfulness is the state of being aware of the present moment. Try a seven-minute mindfulness exercise and reap the many benefits.

11. Walk it out: It's recommended that people aged 65 and older get about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (brisk walking) each day.

12. Go on an adventure with your grandkids: Take a trip to the zoo or aquarium or plan a picnic in the park for a fun, low-cost activity.

13. Protect yourself from fraud: Be aware of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or letters. Never share your personal information or account numbers. Here are some tips to avoid Medicare fraud.

14. Keep a structured schedule: If your 9-to-5 days are behind you, chances are you have a lot of free time. Setting routines in your daily life can keep you active and engaged.

15. Try something new: It's never too late to take up a new hobby or hone a new skill. Visit your local senior center or community group to see what new and exciting activities are available.

16. Get your Z's: With retirement comes flexibility and the freedom to do what you want. Make sure you're getting the proper rest and sleep. It's essential to your overall well-being.

17. Put yourself first: You've worked so hard over the years. Set time aside in your day to do something for yourself. Whether it's going for a walk or taking a spa day — now's the time to focus on you. You've earned it.

A little bit goes a long way

You don't have to try these habits all at once. Even just doing a couple each week can make a huge difference. It can help keep you healthy while motivating you to live your best life.

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