Does this sound like too much to ask? If you’re over 50 and tired of hearing about the plethora of health risk increases that could now be heading your way, then maybe it’s time to change your perception. Rather than focussing on the negatives associated with over-50 health, why not take a step toward healthier living that leads to feeling young, looking vibrant and living life to the fullest (not to mention getting rid of many of those nasty risks at the same time)?
Making the change to an active, healthy lifestyle can seem daunting for anyone, and especially adults over 50, who often have additional stresses to cope with, such as children moving away, your career coming to an end or the passing away of parents. But with a measured approach supported by healthcare professionals, making the change could be the key to a healthy, long and full life in which you feel better than ever before. In this article, we look at two steps to healthy ageing: regular exercise and eating well.
Regular exercise is great for your mind, body and soul. Not only does exercise release endorphins that make you feel good while you’re exercising, it also has many health benefits that reduce the risk of disease and mobility decline.
Daily exercise can help control weight, maintain bone density and improve balance. Exercise also improves your muscle strength, making daily activities easier to manage and improves lung health and makes your heart stronger and healthier, decreasing risk of lung and heart diseases. In addition to these health benefits, the psychological advantage of feeling independent and in control of your life will give you a good boost in vitality.
Before beginning a program of exercise, be sure to consult your doctor or physiotherapist to discuss an appropriate program that accommodates any medications or health conditions you might have. And remember, it’s never too late to start, but be sure to start slowly! Depending on your level of mobility, a simple walk around the yard or a lap around the block could be enough to get you started on your journey to healthy ageing. The number of activities you are able to do will increase each day – so stay patient, follow the advice of your healthcare professional and stick to it!
At ILS, we offer a range of exercise equipment to help get you started on your journey to healthy ageing, including exercise balls, cuff weights and dumb bells. Take a look in the ‘products’ section above for some quality equipment to get you going.
Eating a Balanced Diet
Eating well over 50 is just as important for heart, lung and bone health as exercise. However, as you get older you might find that you lose your appetite or that food becomes bland as your tastebuds weaken. When this happens, it is easy to lose interest in food and forget the value of a nutritious meal. But beyond 50, it is more important than ever to make sure you pack as much nutrition as possible into every meal and snack. Getting enough essential vitamins, minerals and fibre will increase your energy and vitality; not getting enough can exacerbate illness and lead to general poor health.
Four quick tips for better eating include:
- increasing intake of high fibre fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains vital for supporting the digestive system and keeping you feeling active and ready for anything;
- staying hydrated – older adults are more prone to dehydration, so keeping your fluids up is a must, even if you don’t feel thirsty;
- eating food from all food groups to ensure you benefit from a variety of nutrients; and
- limiting intake of high fat foods which can be detrimental to heart health and weight.
Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly under the guidance of healthcare professionals will put you firmly on a path to healthy ageing so you can feel young, look great and live life!