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We are all patriotic at heart, and being able to serve our homeland is an undeniable honor and privilege. People who have the opportunity to defend their country and work for the well-being of their people deserve our respect, care, and support. It is also the nation’s responsibility to stand by these veterans– both during their active service and when they transition back to civilian life.

When these veterans are actively serving their motherland, they are exposed to severe challenges and harmful substances. War trauma, gunpowder, harsh weather conditions, and substances like asbestos can take a toll on their body and mind.

They have as much of a right to lead a healthy and prosperous life as any civilian (perhaps even more so due to their selfless dedication toward the safety of this nation). But health challenges can stand in their way. However, there are ways to cope with these challenges, and in this blog, we will share six health and self-care tips for veterans.

So, let’s get started!

  1. Regular Medical Check-ups

Military personnel should get medically examined every once in a while, especially after service, to ensure their health and well-being.

As a veteran, you must also be aware of any possible exposure to war trauma or harmful substances. For instance, many U.S. Army veterans were widely exposed to asbestos which was present in military weaponry. The arms industry wasn’t aware of its harmful effects in the 20th Century, and long-term exposure to it led to health complications like mesothelioma, a chronic disorder that damages the lining of the lungs.

Hence, it is essential for veterans with mesothelioma to seek medical guidance regularly and follow the instructions from healthcare providers diligently. Veterans exposed to asbestos face many respiratory challenges and need specialized medical care. Therefore, timely medical check-ups, treatment, and support are necessary to ensure a better life.

  1. Ensure Regular Exercise 

Regular exercise isn’t only about remaining healthy; it’s also vital for promoting happiness and overall well-being. Numerous studies have repeatedly demonstrated that regular physical activity is closely related to improved mental and physical health. Incorporating fitness into their regimen can be a game changer for veterans entering civilian life.

Regular physical activity has numerous advantages. Active people tend to have more energy and vitality and less susceptibility to various illnesses. As a veteran, you should especially engage in physical activity after you leave the military to maintain and improve your health.

We recommend going for any physical activity that appeals to you. It can be a stroll around the block, a morning jog in the park, or a lap in the swimming pool. This would ensure cardiovascular well-being, and your muscles and bones will stay strong too. It also improves your mental well-being by releasing feel-good hormones. No matter which mode of exercise you choose, the key is to remain consistent.

  1. Low-Impact Activities 

Maintaining mental and physical well-being entails more than just strenuous exercises; it involves preparing your mind and body to face life’s obstacles. Medical professionals emphasize the importance of yoga and Tai Chi, which increase overall health and resilience.

Yoga is known for its advantages on overall health and well-being. Incorporating yoga into your routine can yield positive results. It improves physical strength and flexibility and promotes a sense of calm and relaxation, which aids with stress and anxiety management. This newfound peace can positively impact your personal and professional relationships. Yoga emphasizes posture correction and different breathing techniques and contributes to your overall well-being.

Moreover, Tai Chi can be a fantastic addition to your daily physical regimen. Tai Chi, especially suited to retired military veterans, comprises systematic, slow movements combined with controlled breathing. This low-impact activity can help you maintain your fitness over time by putting less strain on your joints and bones. Therefore, it can help you enhance your physical health and achieve mental clarity and balance.

  1. Healthy Diet and Lifestyle 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle after military service is essential for your overall health. Please remember that every bite you take affects your body’s functionality and resilience in the long run. Veterans who have served in the military for a long time are aware of the need for a nutrient-dense diet. However, transitioning to civilian life can provide dietary challenges since you’re no longer as active as you were during service and might not follow a strict schedule or diet.

Also, there are numerous processed food options in today’s food market, many of which are unhealthy. Fast food restaurants and highly processed foods are everywhere, tempting you with the convenience they offer. However, it is critical to recognize that consuming them can lead to various health consequences, ranging from obesity to cardiovascular disorders.

Include at least five servings of veggies and fruits daily in your diet. Start your day with a protein- and fiber-rich breakfast. Choose light, nutritious snacks in the afternoons or mid-mornings to satisfy your hunger without spoiling your appetite. Furthermore, limit your alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol consumption can harm both your physical and mental health.

  1. Financial Management 

Navigating financial stress is a predictable struggle in retirement. The transition from active duty to civilian life can cause financial strain for retired veterans as they attempt to meet the financial needs of their families. If ignored, stress may result in negative consequences like addiction and anxiety, ruining mental and physical health.

Hence, financial management is critical for the well-being of retired military veterans. It is essential to thoroughly understand your financial situation and design a management strategy.

  1. Connect With Others

Building and sustaining social ties is critical for your mental health, particularly if you are a veteran. Make time to call family and friends if you are away from home. Video conversations or phone calls can be beneficial.

Group activities might provide solace for veterans. Joining outdoor groups or other similar gatherings can help you meet new people. Search for veteran-only support groups. These groups understand your circumstances and might give you a sense of belonging. You can locate other support groups by searching for groups on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps. The key is to stay connected.

Bottom Line

Maintaining health after duty can be difficult for many veterans. However, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting regular medical check-ups can help them stay physically fit. Furthermore, engaging with others and vocalizing their feelings and emotions might help individuals maintain their mental and emotional wellness. View this change positively; this may be the end of a chapter that was an integral part of your life, but it is the beginning of a new one where you can spend time with your loved ones, look after yourself and enjoy some well-deserved comfort.