We must stay active after retirement. As you age, your risk for developing various health conditions increases.
One of these conditions, venous insufficiency, contributes to the development of varicose veins, can have a debilitating effect on your life and long-term health when left untreated. Venous insufficiency, also commonly known as vein disease, occurs when blood in the legs cannot flow properly back to the heart. As a result, you may develop swollen, painful, discolored, visible veins in the legs, also known as varicose veins. In addition to visible varicose or spider veins, you may experience leg pain, swelling, restlessness, or heaviness.
“Work is the way we find an identity as individuals and how others identify us. As a consequence, retirement can be emotionally devastating. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, volunteer your time, years of experience, and wisdom to help fulfill your need for accomplishment and recognition.” – Mike Lewis for Forbes
Vein disease, as well as varicose veins, are not deadly; however, the accompanying symptoms can be quite painful and may affect your quality of life. If your symptoms are left untreated, vein disease can worsen, which is why it is so important to get checked by a medical professional if you think you might have this common underlying condition. There is not one direct cause of vein disease, but a number of risk factors can contribute to its development. Some of the risk factors cannot be controlled, like family history, gender, and age.
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How Your Vein Health Impacts Your Life
Despite what you may think, varicose veins are not a cosmetic issue. Varicose veins often indicate that there is an underlying issue contributing to poor circulation in your legs. This underlying condition is known as vein disease, or venous insufficiency, and can lead to serious health conditions if it is allowed to progress without treatment.
Circulation is crucial for your health because it allows your blood flow to carry oxygen and nutrients to cells, tissue, and organs in your body. Poor circulation in your legs can cause you to become less active due to the pain or swelling. Living a sedentary lifestyle can put you at an increased risk for a multitude of health issues such as arterial plaque buildup, weight gain, diabetes, blood clots, etc.
There are several different treatment methods that can improve circulation and treat the underlying cause of varicose veins, as well as help prevent other conditions like restless legs syndrome, May-Thurner syndrome, venous ulcers, and Deep Vein Thrombosis.
It’s often easy to spot the signs of vein disease and poor circulation early in life; however, the symptoms of these common conditions are often overlooked as we age. Some people even mistake the painful signs of vein disease as symptoms of aging.
With early evaluation and diagnosis, the causes of your poor circulation in your legs can be treated to avoid serious conditions like the ones mentioned above.
Don’t Slow Down After Retirement
The average age that people retire is around 65 years old. Most people look forward to retirement because it means they don’t have to work anymore. But no one really talks about what you’re supposed to do with all the free time you have once you’ve retired. It can be way too easy to spend your retirement doing a whole lot of nothing, especially since your energy levels are probably not what they once were 20 years ago.
Once you retire it’s important to stay active and be healthy to ensure you don’t develop any serious conditions or illnesses. It’s also important to avoid falling into negative habits such as living a sedentary lifestyle or ignoring the signs of a health condition. Refraining from exercise has negative consequences for all age groups, but if you are over 60, or approaching the age of retirement, its especially important that you make daily efforts to be active.
Below we’ve put together a simple list of things you can do to stay active during your retirement. These are just recommendations, feel free to get creative with your time and always try new things. Changing up your exercise routine helps beat boredom and increases overall motivation. Remember: any effort is always better than no effort.
Do Mild Exercise Every Day
If you are not in good shape physically, then start small by going for a walk around the block. If that’s too much, even just walking to get the mail from the mailbox is a good way to be more active.
You might find it easier to go on walks when you have a reason to, like to walk a dog. Think about how your health and your life could benefit from having a pet. If you want the maintenance and care is what you’re worried about, considering adopting a senior dog from a nearby shelter as they are very docile and do not require a lot of work on your part.
Learn a New Skill
What better time to take on a new hobby or learn a new skill than when you’re retired? If there is something you have always wanted to do or learn about, now is the time. Your local community center can be a great resource for workshops and educational classes. If you don’t live near a community center, think about joining a club or making a visit to your local library to find out different activities you can get involved in.
Gardening is a fun activity for all ages, and it can be very rewarding. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is not only a great way to stay active but its also really easy to incorporate healthy foods into your diet. This is also a great activity that you can do with friends and family. If you don’t have substantial yard space to maintain a garden, look into joining a community garden or volunteering at your local garden center. If you live in a rural area, maybe it’s finally time you pay a visit to your farmer neighbors and see if there is anything you can help them with.
In addition, gardening is a low-impact exercise that can actually improve circulation. Walking, crouching, raking, pulling weeds, and watering are all excellent forms of exercise that you can incorporate in your daily routine.
Offering up your time and energy is one of the most valuable things you can do in this world. Another great way to stay active after you retire is to volunteer. Think about what kinds of issues in our society that you care about and look for an organization about that issue. Reach out to your community and find out what needs to be done, and offer up your skills, time, and energy to something that you truly care about.
Volunteering requires you to get off the couch and help those in need. Whether it’s walking in a 5K or lifting boxes for a food pantry, community service gets your mind and body working.
In fact, a 2014 review of literature in the Psychological Bulletin showed that when adults during their retirement volunteered, they had a 47 percent lower risk of dementia and cognitive decline than those who chose to not volunteer.
Explore New Hobbies
Retirement is one of the opportunities in your life to try new hobbies. Although it can be hard to step out of your comfort zone, it can also be one of the most liberating things you do. With retirement comes a life of free-time. Now you finally have the time to explore all of the curiosities and interests that have driven you crazy over the years without worrying about wasting your time. You might even learn something about yourself by trying something that you’ve never done before.
Trying new things can also include traveling. If your finances allow it, explore those destinations that you’ve always daydreamt about. By trying new foods and exploring new cultures, you’re being active while also living your wildest dreams. Whether you are hiking through forests or strolling through a new city, new scenery can help motivate you to keep moving and get outside to explore.
No, I’m not talking about scrolling through your timeline on Facebook for hours or calling up your friend on the phone. Retirement is a great time to join clubs and community events. Joining a swim or walking club, helping with community plays, or participating in a photography club can get you moving without you even realizing that you are.
Meeting new people, while keeping your mind and body active are some of the great benefits of getting involved in your community. Surrounding yourself with people who are passionate about staying active, increases the likelihood that you will want to live an active lifestyle as well.
Making the Most of Retirement
Although we look forward to retirement, most of us enter it without any plan for how to spend the time. Then once it finally comes along, you’re left feeling bored and unmotivated. It’s important to understand the purpose of retirement before you can know what to do with it.
Many people believe that retirement is meant to be a time of relaxation and rest. It’s completely up to you how you spend your retirement years, however, it’s meant to give you back the freedom to live your life and follow your dreams without the stress of having to work for an income.
If you’ve done it right, you’ll have enough saved up for retirement so that you never have to work again. In that case, you are much less limited to what you can do once you retire because you won’t have to be worrying about how you’re going to afford anything without a job.
If you’ve spent your entire life working, you might find yourself wanting to take on a part-time job to stay busy. Although this can be beneficial, you really should use this time to take your life back and explore the dreams and desires you had that life got in the way of.
Keeping Up With Your Health
When you take care of your legs and improve circulation, all other aspects of your health and life are positively impacted. Poor circulation and underlying vein disease is a condition that is often overlooked or ignored because the effects aren’t always seen immediately. Vein disease is a progressive condition that can worsen over time. At first, you may only notice visible veins on your legs or ankles, but as time goes on you may start to feel the swelling, restlessness, or aching after sitting or standing for long periods.
When you retire, there is so much to look forward to. Make sure to prioritize your health so you can spend your earned time spending time with loved ones, traveling to places you’ve only dreamed of, and trying new activities that you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t let poor circulation stand in the way of enjoying retirement to the fullest.