Ageing is inevitable, but how we adapt and support our minds and bodies over time can really impact our health and happiness. Wellbeing Coach Vicky shares her top tips for healthy, active ageing.
1. Stay Physically Active
Take part in regular physical activity for increased muscular strength, heart function and breathing and flexibility.
When we talk about regular exercise, UKactive and government guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 active minutes per week or 75 minutes vigorous minutes of exercise per week. This should be accompanied by 2 days of muscle strengthening exercises (such as resistance training) and for those over the age of 65, balance exercises are a great way to strengthen the body and to prevent falls.
2. Stay Mentally Active
Approximately 20% of adults over 60 suffer from mental ill health. Continuing to develop and learn new skills such as engaging your mind in a book, a puzzle, crossword or word searches are great ways to keep your mind active. Simple changes incorporated into your every day like such as using mental arithmetic instead of a calculator or practice using our memory rather than writing lists can help too. Join in on social events such as bingo, chess, card games or a hobby, individually or with a social support group.
3. Stay Connected
It’s really important to not feel disconnected from loved ones and the world, so try regular visits with friends and family (when it’s safe to do so) and keeping in touch via email or phone calls. Don’t exclude yourself from taking part in hobbies or new tasks, it can help develop friendships with people of all ages.
4. Learn To Relax
Find a hobby you enjoy and this could help with staying mentally or physically active, as well as help you stay connected with others who have a similar interest. Don’t feel guilty to take a break, that could be a short trip to the cinema, a weekend away or a cruise you’ve always wanted to go on.
Start walking or take part in more exercises, to increase your physical and mental health but also to increase your self-esteem, confidence, and make us more mindful. Consider relaxation techniques, mindfulness classes, yoga and pilates – sometimes relaxation can be as simple as reading a book, taking a bath or listening to your favourite music.
As you age your body produces lower levels of growth hormone, so you’ll likely experience a decrease in slow wave or deep sleep (an especially refreshing part of the sleep cycle). When this happens you produce less melatonin, meaning you’ll often experience more fragmented sleep and wake up more often during the night.
It’s vital we continue to have a good ‘bedtime routine’ for our 7-9 hours sleep per night. This might mean reducing screen time before bed, ensuring the room is quiet, dark and cool and ensuring we’re laying in a comfortable position, ideally with a neutral spine to prevent us waking up throughout the night and in the morning with any aches and pains.
To find out more about active ageing and how we support all age groups here at hero, get in touch using the form below.