‘Getting old is inevitable. Ageing is optional’ Anon. Financial security, independence, personal health and safety are certainly factors that determine the lifestyle you have at any age. But the quality of life you have as you get older will also depend on your approach to ageing. Here are some simple tips to help you look after your mind and body.
Take care of your bones
Half of all women will break a bone because of weakened bones caused by osteoporosis. Spend time outdoors, take in the sunshine (when sunshine there is) to help calcium absorption and bone health. A vitamin D supplement may also help. Weight-bearing exercises with light weights can strengthen bones too.
Deal with stress
Stress contributes to every disease, directly or indirectly. It doesn’t just affect your mental health, it impacts your blood sugar levels, sleep and overall wellbeing. A few minutes of relaxed deep breathing several times a day can be a big help.
Regular exercise has many benefits, from improving muscle mass and boosting your mood to helping prevent memory loss. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking each day has been reported to stimulate the growth of new brain cells and cut the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Be sun smart
Sun protection is the only way to slow skin ageing and prevent skin cancer. Choose a daily cream with a minimum SPF20 (higher if you’re holidaying) and use it come rain or shine.
Get more beauty sleep
Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain, weakens the immune system and accelerates ageing. Aim for seven hours every night. Also avoid caffeine late afternoon and in the evening and moderate your alcohol consumption.
Have regular check ups
After the age of 50 it’s important to know ones key health statistics including weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and hormone levels. Have a check-up with your GP and ensure you have regular eye and dental checks too as both can pick up early health warnings.
Eat a balanced diet
We’ve all heard it before. A balanced diet with fewer refined carbohydrates (anything with added sugar and/or white flour) and which includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, white meat and fish, and a limited amount of red meat can help maintain a healthy body weight.
A positive outlook can boost feel-good hormones so enjoy life, laugh more and socialise with friends and family. Research shows that a good laugh can help manage stress and prevent the release of damaging hormones in the body. So treat yourself to the things you love!
Stimulate you brain
Just like our body, the brain is a muscle that needs exercising to avoid becoming sluggish. Learn new things, read, do a daily crossword or sudoku.