8 Things Veterans Can Do to Stay Healthy

A healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward improving your overall well-being and health. Maintaining a healthy life can help you feel better. Although it can be challenging if you are new to it, making a few changes step by step can improve health. Once you begin incorporating small changes in your life, it can motivate you to keep going to make more development.

When it comes to veterans, transitioning from active service to civilian life can be challenging for them. It is a significant change from following the military regulations. After leaving active military duty, veterans may struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Most of them may have forgotten to maintain their lifestyle because they are unaccustomed to civilian life. They might become lazy, skip exercise, and eat unhealthily.

Sadly, adopting an unhealthy lifestyle can result in a multitude of health issues. Veterans might become obese, develop diabetes and hypertension, and suffer from other chronic medical conditions.

With the following ways, veterans can maintain their well-being after leaving service.

1. Go For Regular Medical Checkups

When was your last medical checkup done? It must be during your service time. Military service members receive various benefits as compensation for their efforts during their service. Many perks are offered, including accommodation, excellent pay scales, and regular medical exams. However, due to financial troubles, they might neglect their health after service, increasing their risk of certain diseases, such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is caused due to increased asbestos exposure and may show symptoms after a long time, even a decade. Going for a regular medical examination can help diagnose the disease. Fortunately, you can file mesothelioma disability claims if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos-related disorder to get disability compensation benefits. This compensation can help you and your family afford living and medical expenses.

A regular medical examination is also necessary for veterans to maintain their vaccination records. They should ensure they are up to date on their influenza, hepatitis, and tetanus shots.

2. Opt For Healthy Foods

Making healthy food choices is a powerful way of self-care. Foods and drinks give your body the fuel to function normally, fight illness, and stay healthy. Choosing a diet that nourishes rather than damages your body may prevent you from chronic diseases and the need for medications.

Nowadays, food companies actively promote unhealthier food options, such as fast food. These foods can cause obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other conditions that could be your worst nightmare. Hence, you should always consume a well-balanced diet and avoid fast food and baked goods.

You can include foods like dark green vegetables, whole grains, fish, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, fresh fruits including berries, and soy into your diet. Also, don’t forget to consume liquids for hydration. You can take it in the form of water and fresh juices.

3. Quit Alcohol

Veterans may abuse alcohol as they suffer from stress or other mental health issues due to the struggle of adjusting to life after deployment. Over time, heavy alcohol consumption raises the risk of medical conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, liver disease, stroke, digestive problems, and cancer.

Studies suggest that excessive alcohol (more than 5 to 6 drinks at once or around fourteen drinks per week) can suppress your immune system, increasing the chances of infectious diseases.

Try minimizing your alcohol intake gradually and quitting it finally. Because you never know, even small quantities could be the reason behind your health problem.

4. Engage In Physical Activity 

Exercise is one of the ways to help you stay healthy and happy. Physical fitness is necessary for veterans to stay in shape and active, even after retirement.

Regular physical activity can enhance your muscle strength and endurance. Exercise helps deliver nutrients and oxygen to your body tissues. It boosts your cardiovascular system as well as lung health, providing you with more energy to manage everyday chores. Physical activity can also minimize the risk of many diseases, improve brain health, and help manage body weight. With regular moderate-to-vigorous exercise, you can stay fit and gain a plethora of health benefits.

5. Get Adequate Sleep 

The stress of retirement and returning to non-military life can impact the sleep patterns of veterans. They often experience sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

Getting enough sleep is vital to overall health. It can help veterans reduce stress levels, improve their mood, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Military veterans should sleep at least 7 to 8 hours each night to maintain their health.

For a night of undisturbed, peaceful sleep, avoid having caffeinated drinks and turn off electronic devices such as television, phones, and laptops before bedtime. Also, a proper sleep schedule, like sleeping at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning, can help a lot.

6. Don’t Ignore Your Mental Health 

Mental health is as essential as physical well-being. Many veterans suffer from mental health conditions like anxiety, stress, and depression. Consequently, they might turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or using drugs. These ways might be helpful in the short term, but they will complicate your health condition in the long term.

Finding healthy ways is crucial to deal with mental health conditions. Some healthy coping methods can help veterans deal with these emotions, including journaling, exercising, or spending time with a loved one.

7. Try Relaxation Techniques 

Relaxation techniques are beneficial for your well-being. They can alleviate symptoms of various mental disorders, helping you enjoy a better lifestyle, especially after retirement.

Relaxation methods such as deep breathing, yoga, and mindfulness are excellent ways to facilitate stress management. They are not only about enjoying a hobby or peace of mind. Relaxation is a process that reduces the effects of stress on both your body and the mind, allowing you to cope with tension. Incorporate one of these techniques into your lifestyle, and you will notice the difference in your health.

8. Understand The Ways To Manage Your Finances

Financial stress can cause many health problems, such as high blood pressure and anxiety. Understanding your financial status and finding ways to manage it properly can help improve results and reach your goals. You can also get professional help to understand your finances and how to move forward.


Maintaining your health after leaving the military can be difficult as it is a big shift from a military lifestyle to civilian life. Although the adjustment takes time, completely ignoring your health during this period can cause trouble. It can take a toll on your health, increasing the chances of diseases from hypertension and diabetes to life-threatening conditions like stroke and cancer. Fortunately, you can ensure a healthy and long life with the little efforts mentioned above.

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