By David Gledhill, Marketing and Communications Officer
Age does not preclude healthy living, far from it. Healthy living is more likely lead to a healthier, longer life and it is never too late to embrace it.
The key to healthy ageing is what you eat, how much you exercise and your attitude to life. Sadly many people appear to give up on healthy things ·as they get older – forsaking exercise because the bones are weary and turning to convenience food. The clue is in the name.
As we get older, some of us seem to believe that slowing down and giving up exercise is inevitable and a bit of weight gain, simply part of the process.
But ‘super agers’ have a different attitude, they tend to adjust their exercise programmes and their diets to fit in with their changing daily lives. What they don’t do, is give up.
It would be wrong to suggest that we can all be super agers, but that does not mean we should not aspire to be – think physical and mental health and don’t let your age deter you.
Super agers, think Helen Mirren, who is 73, and Charles Dance, who is 72, and keep them in mind as you read on, start making adjustments as they reach their 50s.
Middle age is when many people begin to take a long hard look at their lives and take steps, where possible, to avoid things that make them stressed. They change their focus from the pursuit of prestige and personal standing to seeking happiness.
Stressful, irritating jobs are, where possible ditched or changed out for equally fulfilling though less time-consuming work which does not leak into your own time. The dividing line between work and home becomes clearer. Holidays become more· relaxing, though not necessarily less stretching.
But don’t take that as switching off. Stress – a little and often is good for you and exercising your brain remains essential whatever your age. It is important that you continue to exercise your brain, as it, like the rest of you, needs to be challenged.
Scientists across the world are trying to pin down what it takes to become a super ager, but that is a bit like trying to pin down the meaning of life. Research suggests that moving out of your comfort zone is the key to staying mentally and physically young.
Instead of slowing down, embrace mental challenges – it is never too late to learn to play that musical instrument, learn that language or take up cryptic puzzling, it might just take a little longer to master.
Far from slowing down physically actually consider increasing the amount of exercise you particularly if your starting point is very little. Have a long hard look at your diet. Healthy eating takes longer, but putting-the right fuel in your body is essential – be that food or drink. It goes without saying that you should proceed with caution. If you have any concerns, then check with your doctor before heading out for your first marathon. you may find it all easier if you join a group.
Here at Ageing Well Torbay, we have our finger on the pulse of things that are happening across the Bay, particularly those that are suitable for older people and that could be anything from walking clubs to tai chi, yoga on the beach, vigorous dance classes, to cookery lessons.
It is never too late to join in. – If you want to find out more contact your local community builder – a full list can be found. here: https://bit.ly/2EDpbVZ or ring us on 01803 212638.