Although adopting a healthy lifestyle is essential for everyone, it holds particular importance for veterans. Veterans go through a lot during their career, from sustaining physical injuries to living in harsh conditions; exposure to gunpowder, asbestos and other harmful substances can deteriorate their health later in life.
Moreover, the transition phase during the second half of a veteran’s life can further affect their overall well-being. As a veteran, it is crucial to prioritize your well-being and happiness; otherwise, you might become a grumpy adult who likes to live in seclusion. That is not a healthy way to live.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle would get you through the transition phase and keep you happy and satisfied with your new life. Want to know how? Read on to learn more.
1. Get Yourself Checked for Exposure and Infections:
You must’ve been exposed to harmful substances or sustained an injury as a veteran. It would help if you got a thorough medical examination to ensure that you are healthy and there are no underlying diseases to get worried about.
Many veterans are exposed to asbestos throughout their careers, but the repercussions of this exposure are evident after 20-30 years. This exposure leads to several diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma – a terminal form of cancer.
For more information regarding veterans and mesothelioma, you should talk to an oncologist or visit a facility that helps veterans deal with this condition. As a veteran, you’ll have access to free medical check-ups, health benefits, and relevant legal claims.
2. Get Rid of Bad and Unhealthy Habits:
Substances like tobacco, alcohol, nicotine, and drugs can harm you in many ways. As a veteran who wants to live a healthy lifestyle, eliminate these from your life to reduce the chances of chronic diseases.
The same goes for processed food and excessive sodium in your diet. It can directly affect your heart’s health. Therefore, avoid consuming too many pre-made sauces and dips, as they contain a very high sodium content.
3. Adopt Healthy Habits for Healthy Lifestyle:
Many veterans have PTSD or combat stress post-service. It can happen due to severe trauma on the battlefield. Therefore, keeping your body and mind engaged in healthy habits to avoid depression and anxiety is an excellent idea.
Exercise regularly and reconnect emotionally. Seek counseling and get all the help that you need. Combine it with healthy lifestyle habits like mindful meditation and breathing exercises for mental peace.
Your healing process would not be complete without you facing your trauma. It can be an excruciating step but necessary for you to move forward. A healthy way to deal with trauma is to sit with those uncomfortable feelings and emotions and let them pass. You would eventually feel lighter and not overwhelmed.
4. Be More Social:
For veterans, adjusting to a new life could be challenging without a strong support system. It is common for veterans to want to be alone, so spending time alone to reflect can be very relaxing. At the same time, it is equally important not to neglect your loved ones.
But if you struggle to find time for anything, consider joining a support group with other veterans. It would make you feel less isolated to know that you are not alone. Volunteering in your community and engaging in social activities at the Veteran Center could be an excellent way to connect with others.
5. Consume Whole Foods:
Whole best foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, legumes, meat, and eggs aren’t processed or refined or contain chemicals like preservatives. They also protect you from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and heart diseases by physically altering your chromosomes.
6. Stay Active
Ensure an active healthy lifestyle by spending most of your day on your feet. It will keep your mind and muscles engaged and improve blood circulation, balance, coordination, and metabolism.
Constant physical activity helps strengthen your bones, muscles, and joints. It is what prolongs your lifespan. It is therapeutic for veterans who sustained severe injuries. Physical activity will help you heal faster and avoid injuries by reducing the chances of falling.
Additionally, if you find walking hard because of an injury or infection, taking regular walks could be a form of physical therapy you need to recover, unless your medical professional forbids it.
7. Pursue Your Passion
After retiring from service, veterans need a purpose to carry on. It is the perfect time to pursue your passion. Consider doing what you have always wanted to do but never could. Immerse yourself in arts and crafts if that is what you are good at. Perhaps, you could take a round trip across the globe.
Veterans can get access to resources to help them re-enter the labor market. You can use these resources to complete any pre-requisite courses and requirements.
Alternatively, you could rejoin the workforce by doing something you love. It could be challenging yet fun to take a different route in life. Learn to embrace the changes and enjoy them while you can. Most veterans start playing musical instruments or gardening after service because they never could during service.
As a veteran, you should start adopting a healthy lifestyle by focusing on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. At the same time, eliminate bad and unhealthy habits and replace them with healthy ones while getting yourself checked for any underlying health issues.
Be more involved in groups to improve mental health and stay active to improve physical fitness. You will feel better and live longer by eliminating processed foods and replacing them with whole foods.
Join support groups, church groups, and volunteering activities to indulge in your community rather than isolating yourself. Lastly, follow your passion and get your creative juices flowing by finding a new hobby to work on, or repurpose your life by devoting yourself to the well-being of your community.
These tips mentioned above can help you lead a balanced healthy lifestyle post-service and help you transition into the next phase of your life by prioritizing your overall health and improving your healthy lifestyle.