Five Ways to Live Well for Longer
There are 5 areas things that you can focus on to stay independent for longer whilst remaining healthy and active. The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) originally highlighted these 5 key areas to focus on to live well for longer which we would like to share them with you…
It is essential that you keep on moving for the sake of your muscles, bones, joints and mind. A good level of mobility can help to ease pain and stiffness.
Don’t be put off because of your current activity levels, start small and gradually build up. Recent research from Public Health England (PHE) and The Royal College of GPs found that a brisk 10 minute walk is just as good as walking 10,000 steps a day.
Remember to listen to your body, rest when you need it and avoid activities that are going to leave you sore or in pain the following day.
Contrary to popular opinion mental health problems don’t have to be part of getting older. The Mental Health Foundation have suggested some practical ways to protect your mental health when you are beginning to plan for retirement:
- Keep busy – for many people when they retire they can feel like they have lost their sense of purpose. It is important to try new things and look to put the skills which you possess to good use, maybe by getting involved in a community project or charity work.
- Be a social butterfly - most of our day to day interactions happen at work, so once you retire you will need to look elsewhere for your social interactions. Be open to developing new friendships with both younger and older people. Also make sure you stay in touch with existing friends, modern technology such as emails, texts and Skype make this easier and easier.
- Talk about problems and concerns – if you have a concern then talking about it will help to ease those worries by helping you to make sense of a situation. You could try, depending on the problem, talking to friends, family, someone with specialist knowledge such as a financial planner, doctor or counsellor.
- Care for others – looking after grandchildren, partners friends or even neighbours keeps your relationships with strong and can have the added boost of making you feel needed and valued, whilst boosting your self-esteem; all of which are good for your mental wellbeing.
- Keep your mind mentally active – it is important to challenge your brain to keep it stimulated. This could simply be tackling a puzzle, reading a book or practising mental arithmetic.
- Enjoy yourself – make time for the things you enjoy doing, from new hobbies to old interests!
- Remember to take a break – just because you aren’t working doesn’t mean you aren’t busy there’s still lots of responsibilities, chores and a new type of schedule to keep up with. So remember to give yourself a break to refresh your mental batteries.
A nutritious diet will keep your body healthy and strong as well as keeping you looking and feeling your best. The NHS have published a full guide to eating well, here are a few of their tips:
- Eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day.
- Starchy foods, such as potatoes, wholewheat pasta and brown rice, should make up a third of your meals.
- Choose lower fat dairy products to enjoy the benefits of calcium, which keeps your bones health, without eating too much fat.
- Incorporate proteins (such as beans, pulses, fish, egg and meat) into your diet, as they are essential in helping your body to grow and repair itself.
- Aim to eat two portions of fish a week as it is filled with essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids.
Get a good night’s sleep
A poor night’s sleep can cause a range of problems including poor concentration, low mood, irritability and a weakened immune system, whereas a good night’s sleep will allow your body to rest, re-pair and re-energise. To improve your sleep try and get into a good routine and keep regular sleeping hours. Others ways to improve your sleep include having a warm bath before bed, listening to a relaxation CD or reading a book.
Boost your Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and unfortunately in the UK the sun isn’t strong enough to naturally provide us with vitamin D. Therefore it is important particularly during the colder months to take a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D.
Posted by: AislingBirch
Date: Wed, July 18, 2018