Investing in Your Physical Health for Retirement
Many of us understand the idea of investing money for retirement, aiming for financial security that lasts throughout our later years. However, what’s often overlooked is investing in something equally crucial – maintaining our physical strength as a retirement asset.
Imagine thinking of your physical strength as a parallel to a financial account. Just like you monitor your financial funds, monitoring and investing in your strength becomes equally important as you age. The graph below illustrates how strength changes over time.
Why Physical Strength Matters for Retirement Planning
It’s a known fact that as we age, our strength tends to decline. However, research has shown that how rapidly this decline occurs can be influenced. Individuals leading a sedentary lifestyle experienced a more pronounced decline in strength compared to those engaging in regular exercise. This demonstrates that we have control over how quickly our strength diminishes as we age.
Physical Strength: Your Health Investment
Consider your physical strength as a health investment account. Over time, you’ll make withdrawals from this account – due to illnesses, surgeries, or simply the aging process itself. Just like with financial planning, it’s crucial to have enough reserves in your “strength account” to handle these withdrawals.
Maintaining Independence Through Strength
Looking closely at the graph, an orange line marks the average strength of individuals when they move into assisted living. The sedentary group crossed this line around 75 years, while the exercise group surpassed it much later in life. Building and maintaining strength through exercise significantly delays dependency, helping individuals stay healthy, active, and independent for a longer duration.
Strategies for Strengthening Your "Strength" Retirement Account
- Engage in consistent strength-building exercises before and during retirement.
- Even if already retired, it’s never too late to start. Strength training can still enhance muscle mass and vitality.
- Aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week, with 2-3 sessions dedicated to strength training, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
If you want to maintain the ability to do the things you love! At Natural Fit Therapy, we have a highly individualized – Independent Fitness Program, designed just for you by your therapist! Please Call 512-730-0231 and schedule a FREE Discovery Session