Seems like a lot of recent retirees focus on their health.  No wonder.  Most of us spend decades stretched too thin by careers and raising families to really worry about our health, not to mention the immortality we all feel with youth.  Whether it’s not being able to fit in regular exercise, eating poorly at work or whatever, lots of us are a relative mess when we retire.  Overweight, out of shape and stressed out.

For myself, my personal journey to get healthy started about 10 years ago.  I have been overweight since I was a kid, but years of not enough exercise, poor diet and a desk job made it worse.  I began eating healthier, whole grains, fruits and veggies, etc.  Unfortunately, that didn’t prevent the bad habit of my youth from catching up to me.

Four years ago, I got sick.  I thought I had the flu, but after a week and a trip to urgent care I discovered I had diverticulitis.  Little pockets in your colon caused by not eating enough fiber.  One of mine was infected, badly!  Antibiotics barely cured that infection.  I was lucky.  Three months later I had 1o inches of my colon removed to make sure it couldn’t happen again.

I feel great now and the whole ordeal caused me to lose about 40 lbs.  Still not enough, but better.  I lost some more on Weight Watchers, but still not enough.  So now I am on the HCG diet.  HCG is a hormone that when coupled with a very low calorie diet for a few weeks produces rapid weight loss and increases the metabolism.  I’m about a week into it as of this writing.

I am not advertising the diet, hence no links.  I just stalled out.  Weight Watchers wasn’t working anymore.  I settled in at a weight and geting off of it was tough.  This diet might not be for everyone, but I know several people who have had good success, including keep the weight off long term and having an increased metabolism.  I have considered the long term risks of being overweight against the possible risks of the diet, which I believe are few, and chose the diet.

I am generally healthy, low cholesterol, normal blood pressure, and all that, except for my weight.  I have a lot of muscle, but I worry about future joint issues and the like.  I don’t want to spend my golden years in pain or a power chair if I can help it.  And that’s really what motivates retirees to get in shape.  They want retirement to last as long as possible.  Not that we weren’t concerned earlier about longevity, but as we get older we come to realize out own mortality and cherish life a little more.

Part of retirement planning is keeping your body and mind in good shape.  You don’t have to run triathlons, but a good diet and regular exercise is important, as is managing your stress.  If you are planning your retirement, start now and get ahead of the game.  If already retired, get off your butt and get in shape.  Retirement is great.  A long and healthy retirement is even better.