Thursday, April 12, 2012 Posted by Shattered Paradigm
Older couples often worry about health issues that could affect both partners, but many common health problems can be avoided with regular preventative treatment and light exercise. Partners can help one another stay healthy by paying attention to early warning signs and by working together to stay fit and active. Here are a few general tips that couples can use to age well together in the years leading up to and after retirement.
1. Schedule regular age and gender-appropriate examinations
Women over the age of 50 should speak with their physicians to schedule time with bone densitometers for an osteoporosis examination. Older men should receive regular prostate examinations around the same time.
Regular examinations are important for staying healthy, because doctors will often catch the early warning signs of serious illnesses and conditions like cancer, cataracts, heart disease and high blood pressure. Most physicians will provide a timetable for regular examinations to their older patients on request, but couples should proactively schedule examinations and remind each other of upcoming appointments.
2. Share physically demanding responsibilities
Housecleaning, home repair and even driving can be physically demanding for older individuals. Discussing and sharing these responsibilities is a great way to minimize stress and avoid accidental injuries.
In many households, one partner will handle the majority of the aforementioned activities, particularly if the other partner was the primary source of income before retirement. After retirement, however, couples should split up these responsibilities to keep both partners active, healthy and involved. Older individuals should prepare for particularly demanding activities with some simple stretches and even a light cardiovascular warm-up. After all, some minor household activities are basically workouts, and without a proper warm-up, older individuals are inviting injury.
3. Exercise together
Exercise is always important, but it becomes more important with age. Light cardiovascular exercise is essential, but many older people find it difficult to keep up with a workout schedule, particularly in the years after retirement.
Couples who go walking, jogging or biking together can stay healthy and motivated while getting some quality together time. Couples should consider joining a gym or spending some time together outdoors. Before starting any new exercise program, older individuals should consult their primary care physicians to develop a safe, low-stress workout plan.