Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nebraska Retirement

I just returned from a trip to Nebraska to visit relatives. I was delighted to experience balmy weather, emerald green fields, and a riot of flowers that make Nebraska springtime so glorious. Omaha is a wonderful city with its Old Market shops and dining, and the pedestrian bridge that spans the mighty Missouri River and allows joggers and strollers to walk to Iowa. Retirees would enjoy an affordable lifestyle in this midwest state with its quiet beauty and wide open spaces. Small towns abound, where the quality of life is enriched by close relationships with family and neighbors. You can read more about retirement options in Nebraska on our upcoming retirement directory, www.RetireUSA.net.

The thing that was most profound to me about this trip was the connections with my family and childhood friends. I realize how important it is to be near our loved ones as we enter our retirement years. Home is truly where the heart is! And if our careers have taken us to geographic locations where we have been isolated from our roots, perhaps it's time to consider returning "home" to retire!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fitness in Retirement

One really exciting thing about retirement is the option to spend time in a kinder, gentler climate. With the onset of warm sunny spring days comes the realization that we feel so much better than we did in winter. Anecdotally, many people report that their joints ache in the cold and damp, and that the sun "warms" their bones. There is evidence that suggests people gain weight during the winter because they are depressed by the cold and dark, and actually consume an additional 200 to a whopping 1500 calories per day in the form of starchy comfort foods (and probably more alcohol as well).

The snowbird lifestyle has long been a popular choice, and speaking as one who is nearing retirement, it is looking better and better! I like to browse the retirement options on www.Retireusa.net which outlines the various towns and cities in the Sun Belt. It is nice to know about housing, especially retirement communities, in these warmer climates. Granted, I'll never leave Oregon forever (see why at www.oregonretirement.info), but an escape to the sun in those cold, dark winter months will be better for my waistline!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fitness in Retirement

A common complaint among retired people is that our clothes just don't seem to fit any more! Especially the waist bands of our pants which somehow seem to have shrunk. Why is this? Obviously, we consume more calories and our activity level decreases as we age, as well as some metabolic changes that occur despite our best efforts to fend off those seemingly inevitable extra pounds.

The good news is, that retirement affords us more time to examine the causes of these extra pounds, and to be able to make some changes in our lifestyle that will hopefully reverse the trend, or at least slow the gains.

One very interesting factoid about weight gain is that people who watch as little as 1 to 2.5 hours of television a day are at significantly greater risk of gaining weight. The reason for this is that heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolic rate are slower when we watch TV than if we were just sitting in a chair reading or knitting! So the moral of this story is easy - turn off that TV and go for a walk! Or set up your stationary bike or treadmill and exercise for a half hour while you're watching the news or your favorite reality show. (Actually, I think my blood pressure goes UP when I listen to the news these days!) Or work on some craft or project that will give your metabolism a little boost while you are watching TV. Every little bit helps!