The old saying that its ‘never too late’ is certainly true when it comes to leading a healthier lifestyle. If you think you might be too old to enjoy the benefits of adopting healthier living habits then think again, because even when we reach our 60s or older we can still significantly reduce the risk of chronic disease or disability by making some simple lifestyle changes.
At Barton Park Homes our residents have many opportunities to be active, whether its fishing in the magnificent purpose built lake at Willowgrove in Lancashire, or simply walking in the surrounding natural beauty spots at Bittaford Wood in Devon or Orton Grange in Cumbria. All of our Park Home spots are set in stunning, peaceful surroundings which provide a safe living environment and a good sense of community.
Friendships are easily made in our Park Home locations as residents are often of similar age groups, and this helps the well being of everyone. As we get older, our social support network becomes increasingly important and in retirement its valuable to have people nearby who you can count on. The happiest and healthiest retirees are often people who continue to enjoy good social networks and friendship circles well into their 70s, 80s and beyond.
So to help encourage you shake off the January blues, we have compiled our Top 10 Tips for Better Health in Retirement to get you on your way:
As obvious as it may be to most of us by now its important remember that exercise not only helps control body weight and lower blood pressure, but it can even help stave off memory loss. By exercising 45 minutes per day (which can even just be walking at a gentle pace) science has discovered that our memories can actually improve as a result.
2) Daily stretching
Inactivity leads to the shortening of muscles and increased stiffness, but stretching activities such as yoga improves flexibility and also helps relieve more chronic conditions.
3) Manage your weight
We all understand the importance of not being overweight to lower the risk of diabetes or heart disease, but the benefits extend far beyond that for us as we age. By keeping our weight down we even decrease the risk of certain types of arthritis as well as keeping our mobility at its best.
4) Preventive medical screening
Keeping an eye on disease indicators such as high blood pressure and early stage diabetes can have a real impact on the degree of disability people experience in later life. Being screened for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers are also vital as we age.
5) Be an Optimist
Many studies suggest that optimistic people not only live longer than pessimists but that they are also less likely to suffer chronic conditions such as heart disease. So don’t worry, be happy!
A US study of 10,000 people over a 50 year period found that people who volunteered had lower mortality rates than those who didn’t. But be warned, the same study discovered that people who volunteered for more selfish reasons or their own satisfaction didn’t benefit one bit by this lower mortality rate. It was only those who volunteered out of a desire to help others who reaped the rewards of extra years.
One alcoholic drink a day can keep the doctor away, well perhaps. Middle aged women especially seem to benefit from one drink a day as studies suggest they live for longer than those who don’t. Just remember that it is only one drink, and not two or three!
8) Prevent falls
As we become more vulnerable to falls, we must take care to prevent them where we can. Remove loose carpets or throw rugs, keep pathways clear of electrical cords or clutter and try not to walk around in bare feet as those who do are prone to slip more frequently.
9) Vitamin D
Essential for bone health and muscles our recommended daily intake for vitamin D increases as we age. When we’re younger we receive our required Vitamin D from our food and sunlight, but when we reach our 60s and beyond, supplements should be considered to help keep our bones healthy.
10) Keep a sense of humour
Laughter is often the best tonic and not without good reason. Not only is it good for lowering blood pressure but laughing activates something called T cells in the body. T cells are specialised immune system cells which immediately help the body fight sickness from the moment you start laughing. Funny isn’t it? Haha!