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The ageing process: staying fit and healthy for longer

Slowing down somewhat in older age is imperative. However, there is nothing to say you must give up and accept that. Staying fit and healthy for longer is the goal of many people in their later years, and this could be achievable for you, too.

Continue reading for our guide on how to stay fit and healthy for longer.

Eat and Drink Healthily

You have probably seen the face of someone who is listening to a newly pregnant person justifying their extra 3000 calories a day by saying they’re eating for two, right? Well, that excuse is pretty much the same as an older person saying that they are eating rubbish because it won’t impact them as they’re old anyway. Eating healthily is one of the best ways to sustain mental and physical good health for longer and can help you to lose weight, if you’d like.

No one is telling you that you shouldn’t indulge in a McDonald’s drive-thru every now and then, but if they are your main source of meals, you really need to re-evaluate your lifestyle. Ensuring you get your five portions of fruits and vegetables per day along with a healthy amount of protein, carbohydrates and fibre, with lower levels of sugar and unhealthy fats, is essential.

If cooking is becoming a chore for you, you could always share the workload with a friend or invite yourself over to family for regular meals. Alternatively, you could investigate the possibility of having some meals delivered on a regular basis. While this can be costly, if you live on your own, this could actually be financially savvy. And food isn’t the only thing that needs to be healthy. The drinks you have can impact either positively or negatively on your body. Getting enough water is imperative and can ensure that your internal organs are working properly.

Furthermore, limiting sugary drinks will help your oral hygiene. Finally, reducing the amount of caffeine that you undoubtedly get from tea and coffee daily can help you feel better and improve the quality and ease of your sleep.

Accept Change

While no one really likes to accept that their lifestyle will change as they get older, accepting this fact and making modifications sooner rather than later can support good health. For example, after being diagnosed with a certain medical condition, you are likely going to face challenges. Doing your research into the medical alert systems that would best suit your needs could help you in an emergency.

For example, if you were to have a fall or an attack of some sorts, pressing a button to alert someone else is much easier than being able to make a phone call or send a text message. While it might feel as though it’s a step closer to giving up, it really is a sensible option and one that should be fully considered.

Embrace Activity

A healthy lifestyle must incorporate decent activity levels. For many younger people, they can rely on their quicker and more efficient metabolism to get away with doing little to no physical activity. However, when the metabolism slows, they will often find themselves at a loss because they will suddenly gain weight and change shape. Ultimately, they will feel sluggish and unwell, too. Ensuring that you take part in regular physical activity is imperative for both your physical and mental health. Keeping active will boost you in terms of how young you feel.

Although things can get more challenging with your mobility as you age, that does not mean to say that you cannot find different types of exercise that will be suitable for your needs and is enjoyable. For example, you may simply like to spend time gardening. The pottering around, though not intensely active, will make a difference and keep you going. You may prefer to spend time looking round old stately homes or visiting seaside resorts. Whatever you enjoy, you can ensure that it builds up your activity levels.

Others may prefer to engage in dedicated exercise classes, such as dance, step or boxercise, even. Any decent gym instructor will be able to tailor moves to the needs of people with certain injuries or limitations, so don’t be afraid to ask. Of course, if you are going to change your lifestyle completely, it is always worth speaking to a medical professional first to ensure they are happy that it won’t have an adverse effect on your health, which going in all guns blazing sometimes can. If you know that you will struggle with the standing element of a lot of fitness classes, there are seating ones you could try or you may prefer to attempt one in a swimming pool, where the water takes the pressure off your joints.

One of the biggest bonuses of physical activity, aside from being fitter, is the endorphins that your body can produce. These are natural feel-good hormones that can literally change your mood instantly.

Enhance Your Social Life

Socialising does everyone wonders. Spending time with friends and family has unlimited benefits. It minimises the feelings of loneliness, which can impact negatively on mental health. It allows you to laugh and joke, which boost your mental wellbeing. Furthermore, it can give you things to look forward to. You could choose to combine socialising with fitness and take part in classes together or you could meet up for coffee and cake if you prefer.

Alternatively, organise short breaks away together where you can sightsee and soak up the culture of somewhere without worrying about anything else. Spending time your friends on a regular basis will certainly help you to feel younger for longer.

Sleep Routine

Getting enough sleep is imperative to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As mentioned earlier, reducing caffeine intake will help you to fall asleep much easier. Other things, such as avoiding television or other forms of technology the hour before bed will improve the quality of your sleep. Likewise, decluttering your bedroom, ensuring that you have a tidy room leading to a tidy mind can be helpful, too. A tired body feels like an older one. Getting enough sleep will certainly boost how young you feel.