Be physically active
Engaging in physical activity not only provides a wealth of health benefits, but even as we age, doing so can lengthen our life expectancy and the number of years spent living free from disease or disability.
Regular physical activity can be incredibly beneficial for your health and wellbeing. It may help you to live longer, reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers and depression; it will also stimulate a good appetite while providing assistance with joint stiffness or arthritis-related pain. Additionally, regular exercise can even strengthen bones and muscles so that you are less prone to falls or fractures! Lastly – but certainly not least – being active promotes improved moods as well as feelings of general wellness.
For more elderly individuals, it is advised that they do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week in 10-minute intervals or longer. That would amount to 30 minutes five days per week for the greatest benefit. Those who are already involved in physical activity should strive to get about 75 minutes through vigorous intensity training for comparable advantages.
Everyone has different physical capabilities, which is why it’s important to find the right activity for you. While some seniors are already quite active, others may have reduced mobility or health concerns that limit their ability to participate in certain activities. Taking these factors into account can help ensure a safe and enjoyable workout experience!
Physical activity does not need to be strenuous to bring health benefits – what’s important is to include it as part of your regular routine. Even small changes each day will help – for example you could take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the shops instead of driving, or go for short walks. In general, the more physically active you are, the greater the benefits. However, if you have not been particularly active in the past, you should start gradually and build up the amount you do to minimise the risk of injury.
You might feel like it is a challenge, but we can all benefit from some regular physical activity, however small.
Take care of your teeth
As we age, oral health issues become increasingly prevalent and can ultimately limit our dietary choices. Difficult-to-chew meals are often substituted with soft foods, potentially hindering the amount of essential nutrients we consume. In addition to this, ill-fitting dentures may make it uncomfortable to eat altogether. If you have any doubts regarding your denture care routine, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your dentist as soon as possible!
Focus on limiting sugary consumables to meal times. Chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to fortify your teeth and, of course, make sure you brush them twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Similarly, it’s wise to attend routine dental checkups for further reassurance that all is well.
Smoking is a major cause of death and health problems in the UK. Beyond hastening biological ageing, smoking increases one’s chances of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cataracts and other age-related illnesses. It can also damage your skin prematurely and increase the risk for eye damage or poor gum health. Quitting this dangerous habit beneficially improves overall health at any time – so don’t wait – make a change today!
Tobacco smoking has been shown to interfere with the body’s ability of properly absorbing essential nutrients, in particular Vitamin C. Those who smoke have a higher rate of vitamin C depletion when compared to non-smokers due to their altered metabolism.
Get enough sleep
As we age, adequate quality sleep becomes increasingly hard to come by. However, attaining an excellent night’s rest is essential for maintaining our physical health and emotional wellbeing. Most adults need between seven to nine hours of slumber nightly in order to remain healthy; thus it may be advantageous to set up a regular bedtime schedule that prepares you for relaxation and rejuvenation each evening.
Creating a consistent sleep regimen is essential to obtaining quality slumber. Additionally, there are several steps you can take in order to guarantee your rest will be tranquil and uninterrupted, such as:
- Have a regular bedtime routine, such as relaxing with a book, listening to the radio or having a bath.
- Make sure that your bed and bedding are comfortable.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the evening.
- Do not eat a heavy meal late at night.
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark – ideally between 18°C and 24°C.
- Avoid using your mobile phone, tablet or watching TV for an hour or so before going to bed, as the light from the screen can have a negative effect on your sleep.
- Try to avoid napping during the day. If you do enjoy a daytime nap, try to keep this to roughly the same time each day.