Ten Tips For Veterans To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

Are you an ex-veteran wondering how to stay fit after retiring from the military? So, you’ve fought on the frontlines and braved life’s toughest challenges – but the battle isn’t over yet! 

It’s time to embark on a new mission: maintaining a healthy lifestyle after service. It is time to say goodbye to your evening beers at the golf course and embrace a healthy workout routine. 

Yes, it can be hard to stay fit, especially when age catches up to you. The transition from veterinary life to civilian life can be tough, especially if the military is what you have known your entire life. Also, later in life, PTSD and other mental health issues can be a problem. 

Moreover, if you have been exposed to toxic materials like lead, iron, and asbestos during your time in the military, over time, the consequences can be life-altering, drastically impacting your physical health.  

However, this simple guide will help you incorporate healthy habits. 

  1. Veterans and Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos was widely used in various military applications, including shipbuilding, construction, and automotive work. That means many veterans, especially those who served in the Navy, Coast Guard, Army, or Marine Corps, may have handled or worked around asbestos during service.

If you have symptoms of chronic coughing, shortness of breath, unexplained chest pains, fatigue, and respiratory complications, it could be a serious underlying issue from the asbestos exposure. Get yourself checked up ASAP for asbestosis or mesothelioma. 

Support networks and legal options are available for veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma. Whether it’s medical care, disability compensation, and other benefits to seeking legal recourse, Mesothelioma Hope sort out most of these problems. 

  1. March to the Beat

Wondering how to stay healthy without going through rigorous workouts? Do not worry!  

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to be a drill sergeant! You do not have to crawl through the trenches because even a few sit-ups and pushups will suffice. Whatever your body can handle! 

Remember those days when your sergeant had you marching in perfect formation? Well, channel that discipline into a fitness routine! Set a regular workout schedule; you’ll march to a fitter beat before you know it.

  1. Mess Hall Makeover

You may miss those MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), but it’s time to trade in the battlefield rations for some nutritious grub! Opt for a colorful and balanced diet with fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. 

If cooking is not your forte, you can also opt for simple meals rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and calcium. Bonus points if it’s easy to make in the barracks!

Oh, and remember to hydrate! 

  1. Stress reduction

Combat stress was your arch-nemesis during service, but now it’s time to take it down! Engage in activities that help you decompress and relax, like meditation, yoga, or hobbies you enjoy. Conquering stress will be a piece of cake – or, should we say, a slice of MRE pound cake!

Deploy some deep-breathing exercises to disarm stress. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a moment, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this tactical breathing drill whenever stress attempts to infiltrate your calm zone. 

  1. Operation “Me-Time”

Like you planned military operations, schedule some designated “me-time” in your calendar, and carve out some downtime for yourself, just like those precious moments in the foxhole.

Put away those phones, tablets, and laptops and engage in activities you enjoy, whether reading a book, going for a walk, or tackling a hobby.

Remember those hobbies you had to leave behind during service? It’s time to recruit them back into your life! Let your passions lead the way, whether it’s painting, woodworking, or playing an instrument.

  1. Recon on Rest and Recovery

You’ve learned the importance of resting between missions, right? Well, that concept applies here too! Your body is sending you valuable intel on when it needs recovery. Pay attention to signs of fatigue, soreness, or mental exhaustion, and adjust your activities accordingly.

Ensure you get enough sleep to recharge your battle-weary body and mind. Make it a priority to get 7-9 hours of quality shut-eye each night. Remember, a well-rested soldier is a sharper soldier.

  1. Mental recovery 

Combat missions can take a toll on mental well-being. Engage in activities that help you unwind and clear your mind, such as reading, journaling, or spending time with loved ones.

As you would consult a specialist for physical injuries, don’t hesitate to seek professional help for mental health concerns. Talking to a therapist, counselor, or mental health professional can be instrumental in your recovery journey.

  1. Call in the Reinforcements

Remember your battle buddies? Time to reconnect with them! Social support is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Plan regular catch-ups or fitness challenges with your old comrades – because who else can understand those war stories better?

Remember, your fellow veterans can still be your greatest allies in the war against stress. Reach out to your battle buddies, talk, and lean on each other for support.

  1. Commune with Nature

Nature can be a powerful ally in your “me-time” mission. Scout out a tranquil outdoor location – a park, a trail, a beach, or even your own backyard—any place where the beauty of nature can surround you.

Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, listen to the rustle of leaves in the wind, and breathe in the refreshing scent of nature. Let the elements wash away the stress and tension.

Remember to unplug from technology during your nature rendezvous. Let your senses be your guides, not screens or notifications. 

  1. The Mission: Stay Positive!

Positivity is your secret weapon! Embrace a can-do attitude, and when life throws grenades your way, laugh it off! A little humor goes a long way in diffusing tricky situations. Wondering how to do that? All you need is a little practice and mindfulness. 

Counter negative thoughts with positive ones. When a negative thought emerges, reframe it with a positive perspective, just like you’d adapt to changing situations on the battlefield.

Also, remember your circle can have a major effect on your thoughts. Hence, infiltrate your social circles with positivity warriors. Surround yourself with people who lift you and inspire you to be your best self.


In conclusion, developing new habits is like mastering a new mission for ex-veterans. Apply the same dedication, discipline, and never-give-up spirit you displayed in your military service. 

You can conquer these new challenges and lead a fulfilling and successful civilian life with determination. Your mission starts now!