Ways Veterans Can Stay Healthy and Fit

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Serving your country is a great honor, as well as a moment of pride. However, every veteran must retire one day from their services, and the transition from the military to a veteran life can be extremely difficult. Veterans also undergo stressful experiences and are exposed to harmful items like gunpowder and asbestos that can harm their physical and mental health. Veterans may also undergo depression and anxiety post-retirement. Nonetheless, veterans need to put their physical and emotional health first to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Accordingly, the following blog will discuss a few tips for veterans to keep active and healthy. Read on.

1. Exercise

Exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, and veterans should make an extra effort to stay active. Regular exercise not only aids in keeping a healthy weight but also lowers the chance of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Veterans can locate specialized workout programs at local gyms or VA clinics that provide discounts to active service personnel. Walking, cycling, swimming, or doing yoga are all pleasurable and efficient methods to keep active. Veterans can also hire personal trainers who can help them follow a proper fitness schedule according to their physical health and requirements.

2. Regular Medical Checkups

Routine health checkups are essential for the early diagnosis and prevention of various health disorders, a principle that holds special weight for veterans who have been exposed to an array of physical and mental health risks during their time in service. These brave men and women experience a unique set of challenges that range from psychological stress induced by the harsh realities of war to physical trauma and exposure to hazardous materials like asbestos. The latter is especially troubling, as contact with asbestos can lead to severe long-term health complications, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. The implications are so dire that numerous legal firms now specialize in aiding veterans to secure a mesothelioma settlement, among other forms of financial assistance, as part of their recompense for the health implications tied to their service. However, while legal remedies offer some solace, there is an urgent need for veterans to have access to private healthcare providers committed to helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

3. Balanced Diet

A healthy diet is crucial for the general well-being and physical fitness of any individual. During service, veterans are able to take a nutrient-rich diet to maintain their health. However, after retirement, veterans may start lagging, and without a healthy diet, they can become prone to various health issues like heart problems and diabetes. In this regard, dietitians or nutritionists can help veterans establish a food plan that is tailored to their individual requirements. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats should be part of a balanced diet. Avoiding processed meals and sugary drinks can also help you keep a healthy weight and lower your chance of developing chronic diseases.

4. Prioritize Mental Health

The importance of mental health cannot be ignored. Veterans frequently struggle with issues like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when transitioning out of military life. This is why it is recommended to seek mental health assistance and get counseling from VA medical centers and NGOs. To reduce stress and preserve excellent mental health, veterans can also practice mindfulness, meditate, or join support groups.

5. Manage Stress

Stress can have immense effects on the physical and mental health of an individual. And owing to their experience in the service, veterans can experience extensive stress in their daily lives. To handle stress, veterans can experiment with different relaxation strategies like deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation. Instead of resorting to unhealthy behaviors like smoking or binge drinking, it’s critical to discover healthy methods to deal with stress.

6. Get Quality Sleep

A good night’s sleep is really important to help with mental and physical health, as well as recovery from injuries and illnesses. Veterans who have been in battle or undergone military hardship may have trouble sleeping. However, with time, veterans can build a healthy relationship with their sleep cycle. A regular sleep schedule, a cozy sleeping environment, and avoiding stimulants like caffeine or electronic devices before bed can all contribute to better sleep.

7. Set New Goals

Setting new goals and achieving them can increase an individual’s motivation and self-esteem. Veterans can identify doable objectives related to their physical and mental well-being, which can keep them motivated towards achieving something new and, at the same time, attain a better lifestyle. Setting tiny, attainable goals, whether it’s to run a 5K, lose a specific amount of weight, or stop smoking, may give motivation and a sense of success. Moreover, achieving these goals can also be a great morale boost for the veterans who might feel that they are not adding a lot of value or doing something productive.

8. Connect with a Support Network

Every veteran faces difficulty in adjusting to a new lifestyle after retiring. However, veterans don’t have to go through new challenges alone. As a veteran, you shouldn’t be afraid of asking for help, either from your family members or healthcare practitioners. There are various resources out there as well that can help veterans transition to the new lifestyle. For instance, mental health services can provide therapy. Support networks, on the other hand, can be a great way of meeting new individuals who have gone through the same experiences.

There are online communities as well that actively speak about the challenges faced by veterans after retirement. Isolation is something that veterans frequently undergo as well, which is a common cause of further health issues like anxiety, insomnia, depression, and stress. However, interacting with individuals who have retired at the same time and reconnecting with past friends and family members can be a great way to fight off isolation.

Conclusion

Transitioning from veteran life to a civilian lifestyle can be very tough. However, veterans need to have a healthy lifestyle after retirement to avoid mental and physical health issues. Veterans can take proactive measures to be healthy and fit by exercising regularly, maintaining a balanced diet, seeking mental health support, and getting proper medical assistance. Adopting a new way of living can be difficult, but over time, veterans can adjust to their new lifestyle and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

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