As we age, it’s important to understand the way our bodies change and what they need to thrive. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle ensures that we minimise the risk of preventable disease as much as possible, setting ourselves up for happy and healthy ‘golden years.’
So, what can we do to ensure we are leading the right lifestyle as we age? Here are our top 10 tips.
Healthy eating is essential to meet your body’s changing needs. You should strive to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, following the balanced plate of lean meat, colourful vegetables and a wholegrain. This ensures you get the right amount of nutrients your body needs, such as protein, fibre, iron etc. Everything can be enjoyed in moderation, but the bulk of your diet should be healthy for your body and in-turn your mind.
As we grow older, our bodies can begin to absorb nutrients and digest food differently. This as well as the impact that many medications may have on your absorption means that it is important to get your bloods checked throughout the year to ensure your iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D and other crucial nutrients are where they should be. If they’re on the lower end of the spectrum, you can explore changing your diet or your doctor may suggest dietary supplements. Having healthy bloodwork will ensure you can thrive day-to-day and will give your body the best chance at fighting off sickness and disease.
Exercise doesn’t need to be intensive in order to work wonders on your body. For the ageing population, staying physically active can be achieved in a number of ways. Taking walks, going for swims, doing light weights or participating in a yoga class are all great ways to maximise your cardiovascular and muscle strength in a way that works for you. Try getting a group of friends together and scheduling activities throughout the week or join a local gym that caters to those who require low-impact exercise classes.
If you tend to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes regularly, it might be time to reconsider these habits and work these out of your life. These two choices can cause a range of harmful conditions and diseases, not to mention impact your skin and mental health. Cancer, stroke and heart disease are huge risk factors for ageing people, and if these substances are consumed in excess, they can accelerate these health conditions. So, to minimise your chances of developing these issues, cut out or at least cut down on the alcohol and smoking and add a few extra years and zest to your life.
There are many reasons as to why getting older can be tough on our mental health. Maintaining your relationships and keeping your brain active with activities such as reading, writing or new hobbies can also help you maintain happiness and contentment. If you find that you’re feeling worried, depressed or stressed a lot of the time, it’s important to reach out for help. Whether you talk to a friend, family member or doctor, releasing these emotions is a great way to feel better overall.