Work, health retirement!

Can you stay healthy long enough to work toward retirement?

It is difficult to turn on the news and not hear about the economic downturn, sequestration, unemployment and the pros and cons of legislative decision making. It made me think about my job and the years it will take before I can retire, or no longer be as viable in the workplace. My mind wandered further, to the years ahead that my body will continue to have to get up every day to complete the tasks necessary to keep me as part of the workforce. There once was a time when one parent could stay at home, care for the children, later join (or not join) the workforce to come retirement time, receive a spouses’ pension. Regardless of how long either partner lived, there was an opportunity to live out the golden years without having to think about ever working outside the home again.Work, health retirement!

How healthy should you really be to endure the years of employment ahead to still retire healthy and active? What does it take? With the Affordable Care Act of 2010, there was promise to revamp the health care system that protects and promotes the public’s health. But with less money, less personnel, less experience and more people, more demand and increasing health care costs, how can this public safety net support all that is intended? At this point the answer seems pretty simple.

The solution is you! By making efforts to keep yourself informed, in good health and active, you have a greater chance of living a better quality of life.

Be a productive employee and ultimately reinvent your golden years. Here are some steps Michigan State University Extension recommends to follow:

  1. Assess your current health status – visit your health care provider.
  2. Determine what needs to be changed and what habits and practices are for your good.
  3. Visit the MyPlate website and learn more about good nutrition.
  4. Make use of the SuperTracker, a tool to plan, analyze and track your nutrition and physical activity.
  5. Create a reminder that you are reinventing your retirement
  6. Visit the physical activity page of the MyPlate website.
  7. Read up on preventable chronic diseases.
  8. Create a custom plan at the SuperTracker.
  9. Set a start date.
  10. Determine that good health, an enjoyable work life and an active; healthy retirement is your goal.

By making smarter nutrition and physical activity choices now, you are setting yourself up for success to enjoy those golden years!

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