Many people dread growing old – because it means that they get more wrinkles, love handles and the amount of aches and pains that they experience on a daily basis will also increase. As well, older people are at a greater risk of other health issues, too.
But this may not be the case – in fact, if you treat your body right, then you can continue to live well and also enjoy your life – as you age.
Here are some tips, especially for women, on how to age well – brought to you by the Mount Elizabeth Hospitals Group.
1) Embrace Change
As we grow older, we will not look or function the same way that we did when we were younger. So instead of trying to be your younger self, try and embrace the changes that are happening to you. For example you may have less energy than you did, ten years ago.
Thus, instead, you should go with the flow and embrace your body for what it now is, and you will learn to enjoy life more.
2) Eat healthy
As you age, it becomes increasingly important to get in the right vitamins and minerals from nutritious foods and making healthy eating a vital part of your lifestyle.
Sure, you may have eaten fast foods such as McDonald’s or KFC every day without any consequences when you were younger, but when you continue with these habits in your 30s or 40s, you may find that your body may rebel. For example, you may feel more sluggish and lethargic.
The reason for this is that fast foods or unhealthy foods often contain empty calories and not so much nutrients, thus your body has to work overtime to digest these. When you are young, your digestive system is in tip-top working order and so it will have no problems doing so. But for an older person, face the facts – your body functions are not in prime condition anymore, so this may be a reason for the feelings of tiredness.
So instead, swap the fast foods from your diet with healthier foods instead. These are foods that contain whole grains, as well as nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables as they contain essential vitamins and minerals that help you to feel fresh and more energetic.
If this is too big a change to undergo immediately, why not have one cheat meal of fast food a week, and for the rest of the time, try and swap say, white rice for brown rice and for that afternoon snack of KitKat chocolates, replace it with a bag of nuts instead?
And your body will thank you for it too – eating for example, nuts contain healthy fats which improve your blood vessel elasticity and lower your blood pressure.
3) Keep moving
As you age it becomes more vital than ever to continue to build your muscle mass and strength by working out regularly. If you neglect your exercise, you will be putting yourself at increased risk of osteoporosis – brittle bone disease.
Try to aim for at least 25 minutes of exercise for at least three times a week in order to retain muscle mass. Exercise can include anything from cardio sports such as running and cycling to strength and weight bearing exercises like dancing or tennis.
4) Go for check ups
Try to go for regular check ups as you age; because your body is no longer as young or supple as it used to be, these checks ups will help to nip any problems in the bud at an early stage before they develop into bigger problems. Some common medical problems that older people face, can include diabetes, pneumonia, hearing loss, balance issues and heart disease.
5) Keep your brain engaged
By taking up hobbies that stimulate your brain, such as playing an instrument, learning a new language, playing board games or dancing, these build up cognitive reserve which reduces your risk of dementia in your later years.
6) Have a strong social network
Having meaningful relationships helps to preserve your brain functions, which helps with depression, cognitive decline and also reduces your risk of premature death by up to 50 per cent. So as you age, try and put family time and hobbies high up on your list of priorities and continue to stay socially active.
This has been brought to you by Mount Elizabeth Hospitals Group. The article has been adapted from https://www.mountelizabeth.com.sg/healthplus/article/7-habits-of-women-who-age-well.