Monday, 27 August 2018

10 Secrets Of Healthy Ageing

I hate to tell you this but old age creeps up on the best of us. With so many of us living until the age of 80 and beyond, most of us want to live a long life but a healthy life too. So I've scoured some of the research and came up with 10 secrets of healthy ageing, so you can live your best life. 

1. Keep physically active



Regular exercise has a whole host of benefits to the body. As well as being good for the heart, reducing heart disease, the chance of stroke and diabetes, it has also been shown to improve memory and thinking skills. This study by Harvard found that if you walked briskly for one hour twice a week your memory and thinking skills can improve. Exercise also improves mood, reduces stress and anxiety. The trick is to find an exercise you enjoy and stick with it. You are never too old to take up exercise after the age of 50, 60 or beyond!

Weight-bearing physical activity is important too. This can reduce the rate of natural bone loss that occurs after the age of 35, so important to women especially. Aim to do exercises such as brisk walking, exercise with resistance bands or using a cross trainer twice a week.

2. Eat your 5 a day

Fruit and vegetables are a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Fibre helps prevent constipation and bowel cancer, and vitamins and minerals are the nutrients your body needs to work properly and stay healthy. If you find it hard to get your 5 a day, try incorporating homemade vegetable soups and fresh fruit smoothies into your diet on a regular basis as well as fruit juice which can count as one of your 5 a day. 

There are many ways of getting fruit and vegetables into your diet, why not try a meat-free day every week to encourage you to be creative in your use of fruit and vegetables? Buy a plant-based cookbook and try it out!

3. Choose fats wisely




All fats aren't created equally, so avoid saturated fat as much as you can as it can contribute towards heart disease and instead use polyunsaturated fat (sunflower and rapeseed oil) and monosaturated fats (olive oil) into your diet.  

There are many benefits of eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, or mackerel, and try and eat twice weekly or consider taking an omega-3 supplement.


4. Don't drink too much and avoid smoking

Smoking contributes to heart disease, osteoporosis, emphysema and stroke. If you are a smoker, you can repair some of the damage though, so it's not too late. There are many things such as nicotine patches, nicotine chewing gum and vaping that can help you quit and reduce the risk of smoking to your body. Many DR's surgeries can prescribe treatments and give advice to help you stop.

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, liver disease and more. To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. There are many things you can do to reduce your alcohol intake such as having some drink free days every week, having a soft drink between your alcoholic drinks, and trying mocktails instead of cocktails.


5. Be careful in the sun



Aim to get a healthy balance between getting enough vitamin D from the sun and taking precautions to protect your skin from the sun. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones so if you are housebound ensure you have a Vitamin D supplement in your diet.

The sun can cause skin cancer so be sure to put on suncream of an appropriate factor. From March to October in the UK, spend time in the shade between the hours of 11am and 3pm, and cover up with appropriate clothes, including a hat and sunglasses. For more advice check out the NHS site here.

6. Socialise

We are social creatures, and having a group of friends around you helps improve the feeling of well being. Try and meet up with friends on a regular basis. It's never too late to create new friends either, why not join the University Of The Third Age and learn something new whilst making new friends?


Local magazines and newspapers are great to find out about courses and your local education authority will run courses to learn new skills. 

7. Be mentally active


People who stay mentally active with hobbies, interests and volunteering often say they feel happier and healthier and learning new skills may help improve your thinking ability too.  Why not take up a new skill, such as sewing, photography, dancing or crossword puzzles. It's never too late to take up something that's mentally stimulating. 

8. De-stress

We've talked about how exercise can improve well-being and reduce stress but doing what you love can also help reduce stress levels too, so interests and hobbies are so important as you get older. 

Yoga and meditation have also been shown to help you de-stress. Yoga is brilliant for suppleness too and movement.  Check out local groups around you if you want to start yoga, whilst meditation techniques can be learnt online, which is brilliant if you do not have transport.

9. Look after your teeth



Looking after your teeth, by brushing twice a day and using floss and mouthwash is important to prevent tooth decay as we know, and help prevent the use of dentures, but did you know that research has been carried out that shows brushing your teeth could prevent a heart attack

It's important to get regular dental check-ups, as this can spot tooth decay and gum disease as well as signs of oral cancer. If you are on certain benefits you can also get free NHS dental treatment too.

10. Take regular health checks

Last but no means least, take regular health checks. Taking regular health checks are so important as if you have any physical or mental health problems they can be spotted at an early stage and treated before they get worse. You can get a free NHS health check every 5 years after the age of 40 so be sure to take it up.

This article is just a guide and a summary of current articles and research from respected sources. Always take your DR's advice. 


*Collaborative post

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16 comments

  1. Great tips - I try to avoid the sun as much as possible, but mainly because I hate the hot weather! It's so important to look after ourselves while we're young :)

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    1. The sun can be very ageing. It's important to balance sun protection with getting fresh air and exercise.

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  2. Fab tips - I need to exercise a bot more and eat healthier too! Thank goodness I do not smoke. Kaz

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  3. fabulous tips. I definitely know what I eat has an impact on me, and keeping the mind active is mega important :)

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    1. Keeping your mind active is so important as you get older.

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  4. I hear you on this one! I dont smoke and I dont drink alcohol so hopefully I should remain youthful haha x

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    1. Well done Melanie! I wonder what your vices are though, ha!?

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  5. Its really important to be physically active. A lot of people when getting older never bother

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    1. Our metabolism slows down so we do need to be active and eat slightly less otherwise it will be easier to put on weight

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  6. I know this post is aimed at helping when “growing old but all these points are brilliant no matter what your age, as they all have health benefits, from keeping active, eating healthy and of course mentally with socilising and finding ways to de-stress. I love colouring as a way of distressing.

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  7. There's definitely things in that last that I need to pick up on and start adding into my routine.

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  8. Some great tips, I'm trying to up my exercise as I get older as I think it's so important to be active.

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  9. Really amazing tips and perfect timing as we head into autumn and winter and things become a bit more depressing for a few months.

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