September 8, 2015 | by The Polyclinic

The transition from work into retirement is an exciting time. Make sure to stay healthy so you can enjoy your hard-earned time and savings with a healthy balance. Here are our few tips to get you started:

1. Create a routine.

Not having the structure of a job—somewhere to be and something to do at a particular time—can be challenging. Create a new sense of purpose and mission for your day with a routine. Try volunteering the same time each week to connect with new friends and develop a weekly schedule.

2. Get moving.

Regular exercise helps prevent weight gain and high cholesterol, while fueling your brain to delay cognitive deterioration. Change up your daily walk by exploring different neighborhoods or a new park. Consider joining a gym for inspiration to try a new class or combine cardio with weight training. You can take advantage of benefits in Medicare Advantage plans for discounted or free gym memberships.

3. Watch alcohol intake.

Recent studies have shown that retirees often drink more in retirement than when they worked. The recommended limit is one drink per day for women and two for men. Increased alcohol consumption contributes to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. As your health changes, you may also start taking new medications. Some common prescriptions don’t mix well with alcohol. Make sure to check with your doctor on possible side effects.

4. Know your numbers.

Keep track of important numbers like your cholesterol, blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI). A great way to do this is to take advantage of annual screenings. Medicare and Medicare Advantage cover many preventive services such as screening sand vaccinations. Schedule your annual wellness visit with your doctor to discuss which screenings are best for you.

5. Make smart food choices.

Often retirees find they dine out more to socialize with friends. Portion sizes at restaurants can often be much larger than what you need. Consider splitting an entrée with a friend, ordering a lunch portion or saving half for the next day. At home, practice mindful eating by preparing meals that use fresh ingredients.