Getting older doesn’t automatically mean you can no longer do things that you once enjoyed. Keeping a healthy and active lifestyle leads to a happier and better quality life. Make time to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and look after your body. Here are some hints and tips for keeping healthy.
Keep physically active for body and mind
Keeping active on a daily basis keeps the body in a healthy condition; in turn, this helps combat chronic medical issues such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and much more. The government guidelines recommend 20-25 minutes of moderate exercise a day for older adults. This doesn’t have to be high-intensity exercise, it could be a walk or a swim, just something that gets the blood pumping. Guidelines also recommend doing strengthening exercises twice a week. You can find simple exercises you can do at home; there are many free ones online. Get some tins or bottles from the cupboard and find a routine that suits you.
These are only guidelines from the government just do as much or as little as you can. You have to start somewhere you will find the more often you exercise, the easier it will become. There are many clubs and classes at local leisure centres, find something that you enjoy and want to keep going to. You may not be able to do a pumping keep fit class like you used to, instead try Yoga or something less strenuous, listen to your body, don’t push yourself past your limits.
Have a healthy diet
Having a balanced diet is essential for good health; also eating right prevents illness and boosts energy levels. You don’t have to make a sudden huge change to your diet; for example, try eating wholegrain bread instead of white. Instead of having sugar in your tea or coffee, try to switch to a sweetener, or use a little bit less each day, and after a few days your body gets used to the reduction and you won’t need as much sugar to get the same sweet taste.
The best choice for most meals is to eat fruits and vegetables, oily fish, and lean meat with a balance of carbohydrates and pulses or legumes.
Water is so important, keeping hydrated is essential to good health; Water flushes out toxins and helps the whole body function.
Fibre is an essential part of the diet; men over age 50 should be having 30 grams of fibre per day; women over age 50 should be getting 21 grams per day. Fibre helps with weight loss and constipation it also reduces the likelihood of colon cancer and risk of diabetes.
The other problem we often find as we age is we lose too much weight, maybe you have felt a loss of appetite, if this is causing you concern, there is a great NHS guide
Reduce alcohol intake
Excess alcohol use can lead to liver problems and other health issues. If you drink alcohol, try to limit it, have at least two alcohol-free days a week and don’t exceed the recommended limits. These are 14 units per week for both men and women; this is around six pints of beer or ten small glasses of wine. Full details and further support can be found on the NHS website.
Get good quality sleep
Sleep is your body’s time to repair itself; the national sleep foundation recommends that adults over 65 should get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. As you age, you may find your sleep patterns change, go with this; if you need to fall asleep earlier then do so, if you find you can’t sleep then try camomile or herbal tea before bed. If you suffer from acute insomnia it could be something more serious, and you should speak to your doctor.
Get a health check
It’s a good idea to get an “MOT” for yourself, book yourself in with the doctor and get your blood pressure checked along with blood tests to check your general overall wellbeing. It’s better to find a problem when it can still be treated rather than putting things off until it could be too late. If you don’t feel right then visit the doctor and put your mind at rest.
Reduce your stress levels
Later in life, you may worry about things that wouldn’t even cross your mind when you were younger. Make sure all your paperwork is in order. Ensure your family are protected in case of any eventuality. We can help take the stress out of will writing, Lasting Powers of Attorney, funeral planning, and much more just contact us.
Staying in touch with friends and family
Having an active social life is important for good mental health. It´s reported that over 65 who have higher levels of social activity were more likely to experience more positive moods, less negative feelings, and higher levels of physical activity.
If you live far from friends and family, try using technology like skype or Whatsapp to stay in touch.
Give up smoking
Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health. You can add years to your life by stopping or reducing the amount you smoke. As soon as you stop smoking you will see positive effects. Your lung capacity, your circulation and your overall energy levels will improve. For help to give up smoking click here
Just because you can’t run as fast as you once could or don’t enjoy food as much as you once did shouldn’t mean you stop doing things you once loved. Your physical limitations may have changed, but you are still the same person at heart. It’s essential for good mental and physical wellness to keep active and have fun while doing so. For more hints and tips check out the NHS Practical guide to healthy ageing