Tips for a healthy retirement - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Tips for a healthy retirement

(Source: RNN) (Source: RNN)

For most people, retirement from work is a long-term goal in life.  

But just as people need to plan for their children's college, or a home, they also need to plan for their retirement - but not just financially.

Peggy Baggett has a reputation as being a woman on the go. She's a former English teacher at Austin High School, and is very active in her church and community.

She says she retired in December of 2014.

"I did not intend to do it, go out in the middle of a school year was not what I wanted to do, but after my mother's health and some other issues came up, I thought it was in the best interest of the students and myself as well," Baggett explained.

And while the immediate crisis passed with a positive outcome, she was a little lost.

"We had planned financially, but never mentally and physically," she said.

While she liked the idea of volunteering, and she spends time with her grandson, she needed more.  

"So Calhoun opened up, and I go two days a week, and I teach, and that's just enough," she said. "I began to suffer... a little bit of depression because I didn't know what I was going to do and I was always a person who had a plan or had an idea of a plan about what to do, and that's why I think the part time job at Calhoun that... is working for me, brought me out of that."

Experts say before you retire, do your homework and have a plan.

Dr. Beth Weinbaum is a psychologist and licensed therapist who says structure and routine are important.

"I would say start your day with a good breakfast," she said. "If you can sleep the same hours each night... and find what you're passionate about."

She says you should avoid the sedentary temptations.

"Their immune systems are not as robust when they're 65 and older, which is mostly when people retire - although there are people younger than that, that go into that sedentary lifestyle," said Dr. Weinbaum.

That is when so many physical health problems surface.

She says successful retirees have a definitive plan.

"Volunteer work. They're going to do more at their church. They just have have all these ideas of things they want to do. So they're just as busy as they've always been. It's just a different kind of busy."

And "on the go" can mean healthy and happy.  

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