The US is home to approximately 16.5 million veterans who dedicated their lives to serving their country. While military service is an honor like no other, it has its repercussions. Veterans prioritize the country’s safety over their own well-being. And they are continuously exposed to situations that can be physically and mentally harmful to them. For instance, they are exposed to war and harmful substances such as gunpowder and asbestos.
Unfortunately, military service can lead to several health issues, and its aftermath is felt in full force post-retirement. Apart from that, old age brings its fair share of health issues too. So, veterans not only have to deal with poor physical health but also have to adjust to a completely new life outside of the military. All this can take a toll on their overall well-being.
Health and Fitness Tips for Veterans
There is no doubt that transitioning to a new life and dealing with health issues can be hard. So, here are some steps veterans can take to improve their overall well-being and make life after military stress-free.
Focus on disease prevention
As mentioned before, you might have experienced many harmful situations and been exposed to dangerous things in the military, one of which is asbestos. Asbestos is an incredibly toxic substance that was used for construction and other purposes till the 80s. And it was widely used by the military, especially the Navy.
Hence, 33% of mesothelioma cases consist of veterans, as this disease can take decades to develop. If you, unfortunately, develop this disease, you can be eligible for compensation. This is where the importance of legal consultation comes in.
When you’re diagnosed, you can take your case to a reputable law firm specializing in such cases. A good lawyer can be incredibly beneficial for you in your journey to recovery. They can assess your case and help you get financial compensation which can cover the cost of your treatment and offer financial support for your family too.
So, it is necessary to get regular health screenings to identify mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases before it gets worse. Apart from that, regular checkups can also help identify any other chronic or age-related diseases before they can do much damage.
Exercise is beneficial for everyone, regardless of age. But it can be incredibly beneficial for veterans. It is normal for veterans to feel stressed while adjusting to a new life. And exercise can be a good way to deal with that.
Many studies have shown that exercise can improve your overall mental health. Physical activity helps release endorphins, also known as the feel-good hormone. This can help reduce stress and boost your mood as well.
Similarly, exercise has several physical advantages as well. It can help you maintain your weight and reduce your chances of developing chronic illnesses. Exercise can also help in reducing and managing chronic pain.
You may have sustained injuries during military service, which can result in chronic pain. So, exercise can help you reduce pain and improve your quality of life. However, it is necessary to consult an expert, like a physical therapist, to help you learn which exercises might be suitable for you.
Eating healthy and exercising regularly go hand in hand when it comes to staying healthy and fit. And maintaining a healthy diet becomes even more important as you age due to your digestive system slowing down.
But maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you like and eat salads only. Instead, you can make little changes to improve your diet. For instance, you can add high-fiber foods to your diet, such as oatmeal, leafy greens, celery, apples, or other fruits and vegetables. It is also recommended to eat oily food or sweets in moderation to help avoid any digestive or other health issues.
You can also check in with your doctor and start taking multivitamins or supplements to boost your health.
Keep in touch with your loved ones
Military life is quite busy. Veterans are used to living their life according to rules and following routines. So, it is normal to get bored if you don’t have much to do after retiring. In addition, according to a study, around 56.9% of veterans reported feeling lonely after leaving the military.
Veterans often find the transition to civilian life difficult and struggle to reenter society which can lead to social isolation or loneliness. However, this can be quite harmful to your mental health.
So, it is necessary to stay connected with your support system and try to socialize as much as possible. You can use this opportunity to make up for all the lost time you spent away from your family. So, you can meet your family or reconnect with old friends. Similarly, you can sign up for social events like book clubs and movie nights to help you get reacquainted with society.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
As you know, military service can be hard on your physical health, but it can also leave a lasting impact on your mental health. During service, you might have seen some pretty horrible sights, which can leave a scar on your mind.
So, if you feel like you are struggling with your mental health or your psychological issues are affecting your daily functioning, you must seek mental health services immediately. A therapist can help you deal with trauma or any other psychological issues you may have in a healthy way. You can also get access to mental health services specifically for veterans if you have access to veteran healthcare.
Retiring from the military and adjusting to a new life can be quite hard. Moreover, years of military service can have a lasting impact on your physical and mental healthy which can make this transition even harder. So, you must do whatever you can to help you reenter society and live a healthy and happy life post-retirement. Veterans can improve their quality of life by following a healthy lifestyle, socializing often, and taking care of their mental health.