The Five Ways to Well Being have been proven to be critical to a healthy retirement. I recently interviewed Dr William Bird MBE, GP and founder of Intelligent Health, for The Retirement Café Podcast and he explained how an understanding of these principles can create the building blocks of a successful retirement.
As a family GP, William has first-hand experience of watching patients’ health deteriorate within a year of retiring. In 1996 he started to get his patients more active by setting up the first Health Walk scheme. This led to him creating the Green Gym one year later as he realised that companionship and contact with nature were major driving forces in keeping people active.
This passion has led him to be a Strategic Health Advisor to Natural England and set up health forecasts for the Met Office. His ‘Beat the Street’ campaign uses children to get their families involved, has already run 95 schemes and helped 960,000 people become active.
The evidence for physical activity
With evidence clearly showing physical activity has more health benefits than any other single intervention, William discusses the importance of physical health and how this can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s, Dementia and other conditions.
William also discusses the importance of an anti-inflammatory diet on long term health.
In 2015 he was voted as one of the top 30 most influential conservationists in the UK by BBC Wildlife Magazine and was listed in the top 100 people making Britain a happier place by The Independent. In 2010 William was appointed MBE for services to health and physical activity.
Dr Bird talks about how health is a means to happiness and retirement is a great opportunity to show who you are and not what you did. He believes our bodies are meant to be active and we’re designed to be connected to nature.
You can listen to my fascinating conversation with William Bird, in episode 008 of The Retirement Café Podcast: