Here’s a story from the retirement belt that has to do with something other than finances.
One of the things I enjoy most about the retirement belt (and one of the first things you notice when you move here) is that everyone walks.
They walk on the beach and the boardwalk. They walk with their dogs and their visiting relatives around the neighborhood. They walk behind their spouse, who has trouble walking but can pedal, on a bike.
It’s exercise central – and for good reason. For the older-than-60 folks, it’s adding as many as 10 years to their lives while reducing their chance of death from cardiovascular issues by as much as 53%.
Ten years and a 53% reduction are huge numbers!
Best of all, these encouraging numbers are not coming from the latest and greatest TV or online exercise guru. They are the product of studies conducted between 1994 and 2008 by the universities of Sydney, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Limerick, Ulster and Harvard.
That’s a lot of big brains.
And you don’t have to be an exercise junkie to reap these benefits. Just walking 30 minutes every day, limiting your alcohol intake and not allowing your weight to balloon will do the trick.
But to get these big improvement numbers, the walking must be brisk. The idea of strolling and smelling the flowers along the way is OK, but you’ll need to add some pep to your step to get the most benefit.
A pace of 3.5 to 4.5 miles per hour will do it. When you think about it, that isn’t too challenging for most of us.
Now, depending on how much you have put away for retirement or how secure you feel about your finances in your golden years, you may or may not want to add years to your life.
But I’m betting everyone – no matter what kind of financial shape they’re in – will see these heart health and mortality numbers and get on board. Because, at the very least, staying active will improve your quality of life in retirement.
So get out there and walk – and put a little “oomph” in it. It’ll definitely pay off.