4 lifestyle changes for better health as you age
Imagine you’ve just pulled the mail out of the mailbox. There’s a postcard addressed to you…from you! Your 70-year old self.
What do you think it says?
We understand life can be busy, and it’s easy to put your own health on the back-burner, while you’re busy looking after everyone else. But what you do in your 40s will significantly influence how you’ll live in your 70s and beyond. Believe me, I know.
Here’s some great advice from your future self, about four healthy lifestyle changes you can make now to improve your chances of living longer and ageing well.Set yourself up for healthy and active ageing with four simple lifestyle changes you can make at any age. #healthyageing #ageingwell #activeageing Click To Tweet
Postcard #1. Eat well
I know life’s busy in your 40s. Work is busy, and you’re busy running the kids to and from school, not to mention their after-school activities. The kids are growing so fast, and you make sure you feed them healthy food. But what about you?
Sure, you eat well at dinner-time with the rest of the family. But what about your breakfast, lunch and snacks?
Yes, it seems easier to skip meals or grab the most convenient thing — even if it’s not very healthy. But making time to shop and cook healthy meals is important. In particular, trying to follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines will really make a difference to your long-term health.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the odd takeaway, or a glass of wine on the couch after a long, busy day. But eating healthy food, most of the time, will help reduce your risk of developing common health problems, maintain a healthy weight, and give you more energy.It’s never too late to start eating healthy food, which can help reduce your risk of developing chronic health conditions, including #diabetesu003cbru003e #health #lifestyle #wellness Click To Tweet
Postcard #2. Stay physically active
Exercise. Yes, it can be tricky finding time to do it, can’t it? And when you do have spare time, chilling on the couch and watching TV seems more appealing.
But staying active in your 40s and beyond actually slows the ageing process. When I look in the mirror these days, I’m so glad I made the time to be active when I could.
Want to know my secret? I scheduled my exercise sessions in my diary and treated them like they were the most important appointments in the world — because they were. Regular exercise helped clear my head, improve my mood, and sleep soundly at night!
I always found walking was a great way to incorporate regular exercise but strength training is also particularly important in your 40s. As you get older, you’ll find that flexibility and balance activities become even more critical.
As I’ve aged, I’ve stayed active and I’ve never struggled with my weight. My blood pressure is healthy, my bones are strong, and I have a low-risk of having a fall. All in all, I’m pretty healthy.
Postcard #3. Nurture social connections
One of the things I’m most grateful for, which has helped me to have a long and happy life, is an active social life.
Connecting with others is so important. When I was younger, social connections seemed to happen on their own, through school, kid’s activities, and work. But as the kids grew up, and I worked less, I had to work at keeping my social connections.
I’m very glad I did because my friends have been wonderful in helping prevent feelings of social isolation, loneliness and depression, that many people my age experience.
Postcard #4. Get checked for pre-diabetes
Now this one is important. It may not sound serious, but pre-diabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. About 1 in 6 Australians has pre-diabetes — and most of them don’t even know it. But if you have it you need to know, because with the right lifestyle changes type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in many cases.
The best way to find out if you have pre-diabetes is to have a regular test (known as HbA1c), which can help detect the condition before it progresses to diabetes. Now you’re over 40, you should have an HbA1c test every year.
I know. You don’t think you’ve got time to go to the doctor or pathology clinic for a simple blood test. Well, you don’t have to. MyHealthTest offers simple, at-home fingerprick blood tests to check if you have pre-diabetes.
Because I’ve regularly checked my blood sugar levels with this test, I’ve never had a problem with type 2 diabetes. However, I know that if anything changes, I’ll be able to potentially address it, before it becomes serious.
I know that looking after yourself in your 40s is hard work. You’re time poor, you’re tired, and you’ve got thousands of things to do. But when you get to my age, you’ll be so glad you did.
Take care. ☺
What postcard would you write to your younger self?
Tell us in the comments below.
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