Find out how your later life could be healthy and active, bringing many benefits including protection against common chronic diseases.
According to a widely publicised BBC report, nearly half of people in the UK do not do any exercise at all. And yet, the same report also stated that:
- Elderly people who do 3 hours or more of exercise per week are likely to live up to 5 years longer than sedentary elderly people
- Physical activity is as beneficial as quitting smoking
The report was based on an activity study by the British Heart Foundation. It is part of a large body of evidence available that proves that remaining physically active into old age is incredibly important.
You may feel that getting older means you naturally slow down and are less able to maintain as much physical activity as you could in your younger years. This is true to some degree, but there is no reason to stop physical activity altogether.
Exercise not only keeps you trim, but it keeps you strong, helps prevent you from falling, helps you avoid bone loss, helps to boost balance and improve coordination. It can also help with your memory and help keep you protected against illnesses like diabetes. In all instances it can lift your mood, especially if you enjoy an activity with other people, like walking or dancing.
How To Be More Active In Older Age
If you have home care, your carer will likely be happy and eager to help you move more and keep active. If you’re still independent and don’t yet need help, it is more important than ever for you to exercise so you retain your independence. There are plenty of ways to do this which you can base on your current level of fitness. Even if you are often sitting down there are still ways to move. Here are some useful resources:
What About Nutrition?
Nutrition is of course, an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are challenges to maintaining good nutrition in older age because various factors affect your ability to eat well. Perhaps medication for a chronic illness contributes to a lack of appetite, or you had a spouse who cooked for you for years and they have passed away, leaving you unable to easily make meals for yourself.
Any nutrition hurdle can be overcome, and it is important to overcome these hurdles so that you get the nutrients you need. A balanced diet can help you avoid chronic illness, it can help you stay energised and healthy. If you have home care your carer will already be hard at work ensuring your meals are balanced and healthy. If you’re looking for inspiration and support for cooking balanced meals for yourself, there are plenty of great resources with tips and advice.
If you’re moving into later life and you want a healthy lifestyle but you don’t know how to get started, reach out. Speak to friends, family, your GP, your social worker and to local charities who can connect you to resources that will help you. There is a lot of help and advice out there, because old age certainly isn’t a barrier to a healthy lifestyle. With the right level of exercise and nutrition you can truly thrive in your later years.