”Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”
Getting older is something we all do from the moment we are born, we can’t escape it. What we can do is focus on ageing well. According to the Irish Examiner, it is predicted that there will be around 1.1 million people over the age of 65 living in Ireland 15 years from now.
We’ve all heard the saying ”getting older is mandatory but growing up is optional” right? Well, the same can be said for the way we age. We all want to age well, and it’s stated that 20% of our longevity is determined by our genes (nothing we can do there) but the other 80% is up to us.
That’s why we are here today, we want to share some of the most important building blocks for ageing well.
Building Blocks for Ageing Well
Healthy eating is the way to go when it comes to ageing well. This isn’t anything new. We all know we should stay away from the chocolate, the biscuits etc. but to be fair, everything in moderation is ok.
Below is a summary of the HSE’s healthy eating guidelines:
- Eating more fruit and vegetables – up to 7 servings a day
- Try to limit your intake of high fatty, sugar or salty food and drinks
- Portion sizes really do matter. Use the food pyramid as a guide for your serving sizes and you can’t go wrong.
There are many studies that have linked little exercise to an increased risk of chronic illness and short life.
We’re not saying you need an intense 40-minute workout. Something as simple as a 20-minute walk, a cycle or a swim can really benefit you and your body.
COVID-19 has put a stop to gyms and public pools so there are still ways to stay active at home with online tutorials in yoga, Tai chi and muscle movement.
Exercise is good for weight maintenance, muscle tone and stress reduction. Nothing clears the cobwebs away like a walkabout.
Mental health matters, we have learned just how important our mental health and wellbeing is over the last 14 months with COVID19.
Taking care of your mental health and keeping your stress levels down goes a long way in helping you to live and age well.
- Check-in – spend time with friend and loved ones. Meaningful relationships and a good social network improve both your physical and mental wellbeing. Not forgetting your longevity of course.
Check-in with them via over the phone, zoom or in-person (once lockdown is over). You will feel much better because talking things through and sharing how you feel always helps.
Don’t forget your furry loved ones too. Having a pet has been linked to lowering stress and blood pressure levels as well as bettering your mood.
- Accepting your age – There is evidence to support that those who have a positive attitude about ageing, live longer. Ageing is inevitable and learning to embrace it will truly make all the difference.
- Do the things you enjoy – Take the time to do the things you love. This will ultimately fuel your happiness. Whether it’s a cuppa by the fire, a walk in nature or taking up a new hobby. Take the time for yourself.
There you have it, the top 3 building blocks that can you help you on your way to ageing well. For more on how best to age well it would be good to consult your doctor.
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