Adopting a healthy lifestyle is important at any stage of life, but it becomes even more essential as we age. Age comes with increased risk of a number of health conditions – and these can be facilitated by a combination of unhealthy eating, lack of sleep and lack of exercise. However, it’s not always easy to make drastic lifestyle changes; some people lack the knowledge needed to do so, while others are physically restricted. Luckily, though, you don’t have to overexert yourself, or be an expert on the topic, to stay healthy. Often, it’s a matter of adopting a few small lifestyle changes that can have a significant impact when combined.
Exercise for 10 minutes each day
Remaining physically active has shown to have profound impacts on our physical and mental health. If you’re physically restricted, try to do 10 minutes of exercise each day. You can do whatever feels most comfortable – whether that’s fast-paced walking, or swimming. 10 minutes is much more beneficial for your health than doing no exercise at all – so try to move a little bit every day.
Remove technology 1 hour before bed
Whilst technology can offer a wealth of benefits to the older generation, it can interrupt the natural circadian rhythm when used late at night. As humans, we’re naturally wired to start feeling tired as the sun sets. The blue light emitted from screens interrupts this, preventing further production of melatonin (our sleep hormone). This not only makes it harder to fall asleep, but it reduces the risk of experiencing a good quality, uninterrupted night’s sleep. In order to sleep soundly, it’s important to put devices down at least one hour before going to bed – preferably leaving them in a separate room.
Try a relaxation practice
Yoga and meditation have gained particular traction across the UK in recent years. They not only offer an instant mood boost – they also help to clear the mind, and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Some are intimidated at the prospect of yoga; but contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be particularly flexible or fit to give it a go. Yoga can be adapted to suit all abilities – you can try chair-based yoga, or simple stretches. Meditation offers similar benefits, but it simply requires training your brain to become aware of your natural state, eventually granting you the ability to control your thoughts and emotions – rather than letting them control you.
Add vegetables wherever you can
There is increasing controversy over the notion of ‘superfoods’, and what exactly categorises them as such. Many nutritionists have recently placed particular importance on simply incorporating as many colourful vegetables into the diet as possible, since this has been shown to reduce a number of health risks. Try incorporating vegetables into as many recipes as you can – from main meals, to fresh bakes.
In today’s fast-paced world, it can be all too easy to forget to live in the present moment. However, this is often the key to living more peacefully and stress-free. Try to become aware of all the thoughts that are occupying your mind, and make an effort to focus on your current activity. Simple daily pursuits like brushing your teeth and taking walks can be done more mindfully; all that’s needed is an increased awareness of your surrounding sights, sounds, smells and tastes, and a conscious effort to banish your mind of intrusive thoughts.
Shift your perspective
Often, negative thoughts and feelings are a result of your overall perspective on life. Your attitude and thoughts can start to affect your behaviours and your body’s physical state. If you consciously start to think more positively, life itself will be a better place to live; you’ll feel happier in general, and your anxieties will likely start to subside.
At Huntington and Langham Estate, we like to ensure that our residents are as happy and healthy as possible. To find out more about our care, please click here.