Getting Healthy for Your Golden Years

May 7, 2013 - Retirement is just around the corner for many people, as millions baby boomers head into the golden years.

If you're preparing for that next stage in life, it's important to keep your body and mind healthy

Otherwise, you could end up creating a ripple effect of other issues in your years of leisure.

Sharon Cooper and her husband Sam have been married for nearly 47 years, they both are retired, and three days a week they head to Best Fitness to work out.

"She wanted me to come, so I came to make her happy that's it," said Sam.

Sharon says working out and taking control of her health wasn't optional if she wanted to enjoy her golden years.

"It's a problem for me to even walk to get groceries ... So I'm trying to get to the point where I can do things like that, and spend time walking with my grandchildren and go places with them."

Doctors strongly advise that people in retirement get active, as the benefits of exercise affect more than just the body.

"We know that physical activity is not only important in weight control and blood pressure control, but we also know physical activity helps us to remain cognitively sharp as we get older," said Dr. William Betz, a general internal medicine physician at St. VincentHealthCenter.

He says exercise paired with social interaction helps make for a strong mind and body for seniors.

If you don't volunteer, stay active in the gym, or do something consistently to keep your mind sharp, experts say there could be serious consequences.

Financial advisors say if you don't take care of your health, you're setting yourself up for a financial disaster.

"If we have 80 million people in this country hit the nursing homes at one time, we are going to face a real crisis. The people who are financially prepared are going to have an awful lot better chance at getting the care they need than the people who aren't," said John Evans, financial advisor and owner of Evans Advisory Services.

Health and finances are directly related during retirement: if your finances aren't strong, you may not be able to  afford necessary medical care, and if you aren't healthy, you face extra expenses.

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