Many people look forward to concluding a lifetime of work with retirement, but retirement can lead to a drastic decline in health, especially if you Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Research shows that although retirement may initially reduce stress, it significantly increases the chances of depression, physical illness, and the need for medication while reducing overall health. The longer one is in retirement the more the risks increase. Why? Turns out the body and brain need regular activity and social interaction to stay healthy, and retirement robs some people of those necessary influences.
If your job is robbing you of health then it’s best to move on, but stopping work completely can actually worsen health and your Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism condition.
Retirement can increase loneliness
Regular social interaction has been shown to be vital for health and vitality. In fact, social isolation has the same health risks as smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity, and regular social activity has been shown to prevent dementia.
If someone’s social life happened primarily at work, taking that away can suddenly launch them into isolation and loneliness, keeping company with the television. If someone is living alone because they lost a spouse through divorce or death, the risk of depression increases.
Healthy social interaction is an important aspect to managing an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Retirement can decrease physical activity
Another risk with retirement is a sudden decrease of physical activity. Even if a person worked a fairly sedentary job, they were at least getting themselves to and from work and perhaps walking to lunch with coworkers.
When it comes to preventing disease and dementia and slowing the aging process, exercise is a magic bullet. Although a combination of strength training and high-intensity interval training are ideal ways to prevent disease and dementia, simply going for a walk every day is also highly preventive.
Although you don’t want to increase inflammation by overdoing it, regular physical activity is necessary to manage an autoimmune condition.
Retirement can decrease mental stimulation
The brain is like a muscle—use it or you lose it. Regular mental stimulation is vital to keeping the brain healthy and active, which helps lower the risk of depression, illness, and dementia. Working keeps the brain regularly engaged, especially if the job places higher demands on thinking skills. In retirement many are susceptible to spending days in front of the television, which does not stimulate the mind like reading, learning new things, and doing crossword puzzles and other games.
The brain is a major player in managing autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. It’s important to keep your brain regularly stimulated and challenged so you stay sharp.
Stay healthy after retirement to better manage Hashimoto’s
The key to staying healthy after retirement is to maintain a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, mental stimulation, and social activity. Volunteering, learning something new, setting new goals and challenges for yourself, and working in some capacity are ways to avoid the increased risk of physical and mental decline after retirement. These are all factors that help you better manage Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism as well.