Sunday, June 4, 2017


RETIREMENT? NO, REFIREMENT!: Beyond just surviving, your continuing survival by [Wamala, Petero, Cooper, Douglas]

Section 4

“In life lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.”
Anthony Robbins

Hard Facts

Please don’t make the mistake of thinking this section doesn’t apply to you; either you have already been affected by the issues mentioned below, or you have the luxury of inoculating yourself against them.

Either way, we have a battle on our hands. Not an explosive one, and maybe not one that will award us any medals - rather a battle of strategy and quiet discipline.

We understand that retaining is an unattractive concept compared to attaining, but those are the new terms of the battle, and the quicker you can accept those terms, the better prepared you will be.

A correlation has been noted between aging satisfaction and the use of preventative medical services [13]

Consider the Activities of Daily Living -

ADLs - Activities of Daily Life
IADLs - Instrumental Activities of Daily Life
Having a bath or shower
Doing routine housework or laundry
Using the toilet
Shopping for food
Getting up and down stairs
Getting out of the house
Getting around indoors
Doing paperwork or paying bills
Dressing and undressing

Getting in and out of bed

Washing face or hands

Eating, including cutting up food

Taking medicine

Source: Health Survey for England 2015 Adult social care

21% of men and 30% of women aged 65 and over needed help with at least one Activity of Daily Living (ADL), and the percentages are slightly higher for the second column.
[21] From this point, difficulties increase with age.

Functional impairment comes from a variety of sources - the onset of Alzheimer’s, arthritis, falls, etc.

Fighting Back

Note - Any exercise programme should, of course, always first be discussed with one’s health care provider.

No group can benefit more than older persons from regularly performed exercise. [3]

Research shows that strength training is needed to both stop or reverse sarcopenia—the body’s loss of protein as one ages —and to improve bone density. For the elderly, increased muscular strength is a pivotal factor in maintaining health and independence. Two to three days a week, with a day of rest between workouts, is recommended to maintain bone and muscle strength.

Aerobic exercise has long been shown to prevent and treat many of the chronic, age-associated diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, and osteoporosis. Older persons should build up to at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise—for example, walking, swimming, aqua gym and stationary cycling—on most, if not all, days.

Protecting Mobility

One of the greatest dangers to our autonomy is losing balance, stability and range of motion; exercise programmes must be designed with the specific purpose of improving balance - not just increasing your level of activity.

Stability, even for the young, is an often neglected component of fitness. Often when people go to the gym they want to inflate certain muscles that they feel attractive but that in some cases have no functional point, and want to jump onto one of the fancy looking machines, which actually restrain movements into a linear motion,

Stability puts off some people, because:

1.   It’s difficult to train (although more effective.)
2.   The visual effect that it has on your physique is less pronounced.
3.   You might feel a bit silly wobbling about in tricky positions.

Yet converts to stability training quickly become its advocates and wish that they had started sooner; this is something that practically all human beings should do, old or young. When you actually talk to a fitness trainer, or ask them how they, or athletes, train, they’ll tell you bypass 90% of the equipment at the gym and go straight for the mats, the large inflatable balls, the free weights, and the Bosu®.  (Essentially a hemisphere which is difficult to balance upon.)

All of which can be purchased for home use, relatively cheaply, and a solid work-out needn’t last longer than fifteen minutes, and needn’t even cause you to break a sweat.

Once you have a routine you must stick to it, or else you will lose the benefits you have gained. [14,]

As always, when it comes to sticking to a routine automate it. Set an alarm!

Heart Health

A healthy lifestyle is the alpha and omega of looking after your heart. By all means avoid smoking. This is one of the best gifts you can give your heart. Regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels Regularly check for diabetes. Break the sweat at least twice a week through exercise. Personally, I took up squash at age 56 ! Thrice a week, I am at the squash court, not playing competitive squash, but playing nevertheless, and getting the mother of all workouts.

Know your body mass index, and ensure you maintain healthy weight. Watch your diet and try to minimise salt. Avoid fatty foods, and make fruits and vegetables part of your routine diet. Now I hope my long-time friend, Dr. Alex, never reads what I am going to say next!!

However I have to, must say this: limit alcohol intake. Truth is, I love my beer and I am trying all I can to reduce significantly, with mixed success! Plus for 45 days every year, I totally abstain from beer. Dr. Alex, did you read that? Times are changing, and even yours truly is changing. Did I mention that the Australian-trained Dr. Alex still puffs a cigarette or two?

And so it goes on, Dr. Alex telling me not to sip a beer and me chiding him not to puff a cigarette! What is the point I am making? In matters of personal indiscretions, let us face it addictions, only dear friends you trust, dare look you straight in the eye, and say: “STOP IT “

Mental Health

Research on the effects of retirement on mental health provides widely varying results [6] and the trend appears to be based on the work environment you’re leaving.

Statistically speaking, retirement has been shown to correlate with depression [15]
Late Life Depression is a real, and distinct thing, LLD.
Depression is a vicious circle to whomever it affects - as is demotivates sufferers from seeking help. This is especially dangerous the elderly, for whom medical and social support become increasingly important. [15]



This is the continuation of a weekly serialization of this new ebook on active retirement, by Wamala and Cooper, which book is available through for $0.99: 

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