Anna Preston

Whatever you age you can have a healthy lifestyle

Does a healthy lifestyle mean foods you can't pronounce like quinoa and seitan, running a mile every day and cold baths along with endless suffering? Of course, it doesn't. A healthy lifestyle means focussing on the often little things that promote health and well-being whilst keeping everything else as a once-in-a-while treat.

Keep Active

Perhaps the easiest way to improve your health is to keep yourself as active as possible. Whilst we don't suggest you take up running you could join an exercise class for older people or go swimming a couple of times a week. Taking a daily stroll, even if it's just down the road to get a paper or a pint of milk is another easy way to keep your muscles active. Active muscles are stronger so you decrease the risk of falling.

Even performing some gentle chair-based exercise can help to improve circulation and lift your mood. There are chair based exercise classes or your doctor will be able to provide you with some leaflets to give you some ideas on what you can do without standing up.

Eat Well

Even if your appetite has diminished with age you still need to eat well. Try to have three meals a day - or if that isn't palatable then try breaking it down into six snacks instead. Make sure at least one of them is a hot meal - if you find cooking tricky then perhaps a home help could leave you something to warm up. Live in care jobs often include this type of activity.

It's still important to aim for your five a day. Soup is a great way to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet as they are well cooked and easy to digest. Don't forget you can include a glass of juice in your daily total which is useful if you find eating fruit difficult.

Keep Appointments

It may seem like you're never out of the doctor's, but it is important that you don't miss appointments with health care professionals. Even opticians and podiatrists can spot early warning symptoms in conditions such as diabetes that your GP can then be alerted to.

It goes without saying that you shouldn't skip medications. If you are finding it harder to remember to take your tablets then ask your pharmacist or carer if they can refill a daily medication sorter for you. Some versions even come with audible and visual alarms to alert you when the next dose is due.

Get Out

Depression and lack of motivation are side-effects of several conditions associated with aging or the medications used to treat them. Remaining engaged in society is one way to reduce the risk of becoming depressed. Many local areas have day centres for seniors so they can spend some time making friends and get a cup of tea and a warm meal. Often, they can provide transport to and from sessions which is useful if you are finding it hard to get out because of reduced mobility.

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