Staying fit and healthy in older age
For a lot of people, the thought of exercise as you get older is quite a difficult and a daunting prospect, lack of energy, flexibility, often surgery all make it quite a challenge to stay fit and healthy; but you know you can’t afford to give in; whether you like it or not it can be a downhill spiral which; if ignored will end up with you missing out on quality time with your partner and friends. If you retire at 60 (many can not afford that luxury) or 70 you are facing 30 years of retirement, that’s a huge chunk of your life which should be enjoyed not spent in a chair at home or in a home.
How you look after yourself when you are younger will have a big effect on your senior years as you age you will find it more difficult to move around, your energy will decline, muscles and joints will start to stiffen, arthritis may become more prevalent and your fitness will start to decline.
Of course it doesn’t have to be as dire as this may seem, taking steps now to address various factors in your lifestyle can have a beneficial affect on the outcome. Looking after your physical and emotional wellbeing can revitalize you enabling you to enjoy almost anything you wish to share with other’s.
Taking a look at the following steps to make sure you improve both your physical and mental health.
Your skeletal system will change as we age the structure of the bone will become less dense, making them prone to fracture also there’s an increased risk in women due to hormonal changes resulting in loss of vital minerals and increased risk of osteoporosis. Your muscular system will tighten lose flexibility and strength increasing risk of falls due to loss of balance.
Your emotional wellbeing can also decline due to several factors in your lifestyle such as excess alcohol, stimulants, obesity, leading to stress, anxiety and early onset for dementia.
Staying physically active can have the following benefits:
Your bones retain more of your strength decelerating bone and mineral loss
Your muscles stay stronger and more flexible
You are less likely to suffer with balance issues, causing falls and fractures, keeping you out of hospital.
Your mental wellbeing can be improved due to the increasing levels of mood enhancing hormones like endorphins.
We also know that regular exercise will decrease the risk of an early heart attack by 30% and many lifestyle related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancers, blood pressure and heart disease by 52%
All you have to do is be active everyday and spend 2 hours a day less sitting down.
The best part about this cure is it is free, you don’t have to spend lots of your pension paying for gym membership, when you can just go out for a walk.
Having said that there are a few important precautions to follow, have a medical and take professional advice before exercising if you have not been active for a long time.
Next don’t attempt to take on anything to strenuous at the beginning, do not race off or start laying a new path, be gentle on your self and take your time to work up to a new healthier and fitter you.
What will be your chosen activity, look around and see what is available and pick something you can enjoy preferably with others because exercising in a group will help you to keep returning, help you make new acquaintance’s.
There is a complete list of activities in my book along with a structured approach to improving your fitness and general health.