10 Positive Lifestyle Choices for a Healthier Retirement

Countdown to Healthier Retirement-Rebel Retirement

Many of us are probably thinking about setting some goals for a healthier, happier retirement.

Maybe you’re planning to start a new exercise routine, or finally get serious about eating more vegetables and less junk food. That’s great!

For me? I’ve decided to dive deeper into my Kundalini Yoga practice. I love the way it makes me feel when I step off the mat – energized, focused, and ready to tackle the day!

But if I let my thoughts turn negative, all that supercharged energy can fizzle fast. When negative thoughts creep in, they derail even my best intentions.

Keep that in mind when I ask you, “Have you considered there’s a secret ingredient to staying healthy and happy in retirement that has nothing to do with food or fitness?”

Don’t get me wrong, exercise and good nutrition are super important. They’re like the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle. But there’s something else that’s just as important.

For centuries, wise people and medical practitioners have known that “thinking well” is a key to staying healthy and feeling good. It’s about having a positive outlook, staying grateful, and keeping your mind sharp and focused.

So, before we dive into my top 10 tips for a healthier retirement let’s look at a few examples of how “thinking” affects our health.

1. Mindset affects our health behaviors and outcomes

Stanford University professor, Alia Crum, Ph.D. wrote a fascinating article titled “Does the Mind Impact Health”.

In her work, she refers to a study she conducted on hotel room attendants, who have physically demanding jobs. The research focused on how one’s mindset can affect their exercise routine.

It was found that two-thirds of the participants in the study considered their everyday activities insufficient to be considered exercise. However, once the participants were encouraged to think that routine activities such as lifting mattresses, vacuuming, and pushing heavy carts are indeed good exercise, they began to notice significant improvements in their health.

They lost weight, reduced body fat, and reported lower blood pressure. The study showed that by changing their mindset and thought process, they were able to produce a noteworthy change in their overall health and well-being.

2. Can you think yourself well?

Dr. Lissa Rankin’s story provides enlightening evidence of the power of our thinking.

As a doctor working in an integrative medicine practice, she noticed that some of her very health-conscious patients were still getting sick, while others who were less attentive to their health were healthy.

Despite running a battery of tests to diagnose her unhealthy patients, she often found nothing wrong. This motivated her to ask her patients questions beyond the typical physician inquiries, such as how they felt about themselves and their lives.

She asked about their financial stability, their creative expression, and what they loved about themselves, among other things. The answers revealed that many of the patients who complained of aches, pains, fatigue, and other health issues were unhappy with their lives or themselves.

In contrast, the healthier, less conscientious group tended to describe their lives as fun and meaningful. This led her to conclude that an individual’s thoughts can have a powerful impact on their overall health and quality of life.

3. Positive thinking for a healthier heart

Mayo Clinic’s Cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Kopecky, agrees with research that indicates that positive thinking is good for cardiovascular health.

Negative thoughts are often the result of excessive stress, which can have an impact on the body’s functions. Dr. Kopecky suggests that being optimistic and positive can lead to better health.

He recommends a simple exercise: think of three things you are grateful for in the morning and three things before going to bed at night. The focus is on positive thinking.

In the accompanying Mayo Clinic Minute video, Dr. Stephen Kopecky explains how the power of positive thinking can benefit your heart. For additional information, check out the short article by the Mayo Clinic.

10 positive lifestyle choices for a healthier retirement.

In addition to developing a positive attitude and chasing aside negative thoughts, taking action for a healthier retirement through practice and good habits leads to success. Below is a list of ten tips for a healthy retirement:

1 – Hydrate: Water is crucial for optimal health. It lubricates joints and plumps wrinkled skin. Set a daily goal for drinking water and keep a (Amazon Link) water bottle handy to help you reach that goal.

2 – Walk: Walking is widely accepted as a great way to improve cardiovascular health, so make it a part of your daily routine. Aim for 4,000, 6,000, or 10,000 steps daily.

3 – Stretch: As you age, flexibility is one of the first things you lose. To combat this, stretch every day, even if it’s just touching your toes. You may find that stretching before getting out of bed leads to a happier day.

4 – Eat more leafy greens: Dark, leafy greens like spinach can contribute to better eye health. The carotenoids found in these vegetables show promise in reducing age-related macular degeneration.

5- Eliminate or reduce sugar intake: After indulging in heavy holiday meals and sugary desserts, a sugar-busting challenge can be a great way to start the new year.

6 – Listen to music: Music can boost your mood and may even enhance cognitive function in healthy older adults.

7 – Self-massage: Give yourself a daily self-massage to get the blood flowing. Start from the top down, massaging your scalp, shoulders, arms, torso, legs, and feet. Try one of these practices with Brother Insight.

8 – Practice prevention: Make lifestyle choices to prevent illness and promote a healthy retirement. Visualization helps to keep you on track. Visualize yourself making optimal choices for better health.

9 – Take charge of your health: Don’t let others plant seeds of poor health in your mind. Be proactive and make choices that benefit your health.

10 – Think positively: Physicians have long recognized that patients with a positive outlook have a higher “will to live.” Focus on the good things in life and believe that it’s worth living.


It’s a well-known fact that good habits can lead to a healthier retirement. However, our thinking can also have a significant impact on our physical health. While we cannot completely prevent illness or avoid death, our thoughts can play a role in how successfully we manage our health. This idea is not new, as a team of medical professionals at Stanford Medicine for Integrative Health once said: “The mind and body are inextricably connected, and their interactions can affect health in profound ways.”

Therefore, it’s essential to take measures to improve our health as we age, and maintaining a positive and optimistic outlook can make a difference. Research has shown that our thoughts and attitudes can indeed affect our well-being. Ultimately, a healthier retirement is something that many of us strive for, and it’s crucial to approach it with that in mind.

Updated: Rewritten for clarity, 04/18/24
Sources: Stanford Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Health.com, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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What are your thoughts on the power of positive thinking? Do your thoughts affect your health? Please feel free to comment below! And before you go, please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter, and like us on Facebook!

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