6 Tips for Veterans to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted September 2, 2023 by in Health + Fitness

Transitioning from military to civilian life is a major milestone in a veteran’s journey. It brings a new set of opportunities and challenges in the individual’s life. In dealing with the new changes in life, it is also important for the veterans to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prioritize their wellness. Increased exposure to pollutants like gunpowder, extreme weather conditions, and a tough lifestyle can have a negative impact on both the mind and the body. Nonetheless, staying fit is vital for the veterans to ensure a good quality of life in older age. The following blog discusses some tips in detail. Read on. 

  1. Get Regular Medical Checkups 

During active service, military personnel get regular medical checkups to ensure their mental and physical well-being. However, once retired, veterans may start neglecting their health. This is why staying in regular touch with a doctor and getting proper medical checkups is important.

Veterans, especially, are susceptible to various diseases. For instance, mesothelioma is a common disease among veterans. The rare cancer results from exposure to asbestos, which is a primary component in military war weaponry. The symptoms of this disease, however, may take years or even decades to appear. Hence, regular checkups might result in early diagnosis and better treatment options. If you or a fellow veteran is suffering from this disease, resources such as mesotheliomahope.com can provide more information on the disease and the appropriate course of action.  

  1. Hire a Personal Trainer

Military personnel are accustomed to dedicated fitness regimens but may find it difficult to maintain the same lifestyle once they have left the service. However, veterans can hire personal trainers to help maintain a proper fitness schedule according to their strengths and preferences.

Following an intensive workout routine on your own can be dangerous. It can also be difficult to motivate yourself to maintain it. On the other hand, a personal trainer can help ensure discipline and motivation. Moreover, a personal trainer can also help create a workout routine according to your age and medical conditions. 

  1. Ensure a proper diet 

A proper health regimen requires a proper diet. Veterans are recommended to consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy to maintain a proper lifestyle. On the other hand, items such as sugar, fatty meats, butter, salt, and processed foods should be avoided. 

Without a healthy diet, you can face various health issues that can be detrimental in older age. For instance, a fatty diet can result in various heart problems, diabetes, and a weakened immune system. Increased sugar in the diet is associated with obesity and tooth problems. 

A healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to be extremely restrictive and cut down everything you like. Instead, you should start by consuming fresh and clean items prepared at home. Most importantly, you should ensure a balance of nutrients and antioxidants in your diet. 

  1. Get Proper Sleep

Veterans are usually accustomed to improper sleeping cycles, and you might end up following a similar sleep schedule in your civilian life. It can be difficult to break this habit after years of service, but it is important to fix your sleeping schedule.

It’s not only important to have an adequate amount of sleep, but it is crucial to sleep and wake up at the right time as well. At the start, you might face trouble fixing a proper sleep schedule. However, you should give yourself time and start slow. Try to cut down distractions affecting your sleep cycle, such as increased cellphone usage.

Habits such as reading a book before sleeping and dimming the lights in the room can also ensure a good quality sleep. Additionally, you can try meditation exercises before sleep to help wind down your brain. If problems persist and you find it difficult to sleep due to issues like PTSD, discussing your sleep routine with a therapist is imperative. 

  1. Connect with a Support Network 

Besides needing regular checkups and ensuring a proper lifestyle, all humans crave connection and socialization. A supportive and healthy social network can help in not only dealing with past traumas but also enhancing the overall will of the individual to live. Accordingly, as a veteran, you should also be open to making new connections with people around you.

Isolation is one of the most common causes of stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It can also result in premature death, which is why it is imperative to build up a support network around you. As a veteran, you can connect with people who have retired at the same time as you from the service. Reconnecting with past friends and family members is also a great idea. On the other hand, if you are unable to find people you wish to connect with, you can also reach out to local services or raise the concern with your healthcare provider, who can help you find a support network. Doing so will ensure you live a healthy, fulfilled, and happy life. 

  1. Ask for Help 

No one is completely prepared to transition to civilian life once they end their military service. However, do not be afraid of asking for help, be it from friends and family members or healthcare practitioners. 

There are various services available out there that can help you stream through the new stage of life. Mental health services can help you access therapy. Support networks can be great for meeting new people who have gone through similar experiences. There are resource centers that can guide you on various aspects of your new lifestyle. Accordingly, you should reach out for help when required without any hesitation, and if you know someone around you who is experiencing difficulties in the transition, you should be active in helping them out as well. Below is some information on understanding PTSD for veterans, so you what to look for:

Infographic provided by Veteran Car Donations, a top company for yacht donations

As a veteran, it can be difficult to adjust to a civilian lifestyle and adopt a new way of living. However, as you stream through the new phase of life, it is important to take care of your health and well-being. The aforementioned tips can help you stay fit and healthy as you age and transition to a new life.

You’ve served the country selflessly; now it’s time for some self-care!