How to look after your health in later life

Every day is special. In retirement, you can make time for yourself every day. When life gets busy, it’s easy to forget our own needs. With fewer work commitments comes the opportunity to take greater care of yourself to achieve a long and happy life.

Healthy ageing is everyone’s intention, yet some people age better than others. We all want to live a heathy, happy and long life. What are the secrets to ageing well?

There is much we can do to prevent ourselves from developing chronic illness and most of it involves nutrition.

Scientific evidence tells us that illnesses such as heart disease and dementia can be prevented. It may not surprise you to hear that many common ageing health problems can be resolved by following dietary and nutritional advice.

It’s important to follow a nutritional plan you enjoy, or you will not stick to it.

Healthy ageing

Start with healthy eating and include a daily exercise routine.

  • Never miss breakfast. Dr Rajendra Sharma recommends our diet should be made up of vegetables and fruit (50%), proteins (35%) and grains (15%).
  • Eat organic food, grown locally whenever possible. Abbey Leys Farm is the nearest to Willowpool. Find other local organic farm shops on the Soil Association website.
  • Start every day with a glass of water, preferable with a squeeze of lemon. Avoid caffeine in your first drink of the day. Drink caffeine when you are eating so that it works with your metabolism. Caffeine dehydrates the body so choose herbal tea or water instead.
  • After waking, do 3 minutes of breathing exercises like yoga or tai chi.
  • If you want to lose weight, keep a food diary and count your calories. Eat smaller portions and wait 15 minutes – you’re likely to feel full. Use the British Heart Foundation’s calorie calculator to find out how many calories you burn off when doing physical activity. Healthier food choices can save hundreds of calories a day. See the NHS’s Eatwell Guide and BMI healthy weight calculator.

Good news about sleep

Do not get up too early. Get up at your natural wake-up time. This may not have been possible in your working life, but now retired you can allow yourself the sleep your body needs without compromise. Help regulate your sleep pattern by eating foods which contain melatonin such as pineapples, bananas, cherries and oats.

What kind of foods help us stay healthy?

Most kinds of age-related illnesses are caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It need not be complicated to make changes to our diet which improve our physical and mental health. It doesn’t mean going without. It means including at your mealtimes foods which contain the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and fight disease. Nutritious foods give us more energy, and this makes us feel good. Plan meals around the nutritional value of food as well as its flavour and make healthier dishes your new favourites.

Of course, we like to enjoy a glass of wine or beer. And we’ll occasionally succumb to convenience food – perhaps a fast food snack with our grandchildren. Following a nutritional plan 80% of the time will help compensate for over-indulgence.

Preventative healthcare is better than curing disease. Prevention will give us the capability of enjoying our later years in good health.

Healthy ageing is not down to our individual genes. Good nutrition, avoiding toxins, taking regular exercise, relaxation, meditation and breathing techniques are important to our health and well-being. Days made up of productive activity and times of rest and relaxation contribute to good health.

Regular exercise keeps blood pressure at a low level which helps prevent illnesses like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, depression and anxiety. Resistance and cardio exercise, walking, yoga and workouts in the swimming pool help maintain good health. Exercising helps you maintain your metabolism, strength, fitness and balance.

Moving into the Lymm community will introduce you to people who will share common interests and goals such as fitness, making it easier to achieve your goals for good health.

Retire in luxury to Willowpool

Come and visit the Arbor Living park homes at Willowpool.

Book a viewing by phone or send an email and we’ll call you back when it’s convenient for you.