We all know how important it is to live healthy lives in order to keep fit and well, but sometimes it can be hard to find the time or the motivation to get up and get going, or to kick those bad habits.
When it comes to exercise, the NHS recommends those of us aged 65 and over should be active daily and aim for at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week. Spread across one week, that is just over 20 minutes a day.
It isn’t all about sport and exercise though, leading a healthier life can be achieved by making simple changes to our everyday habits and routines. Reducing stress, eating a wider range of fresh food and quitting smoking can all make a huge difference.
So if you are in need of a few healthy lifestyle changes or some ideas to get more active, then why not try out our one-week guide to establishing good habits and creating a healthier, happier you for 2016…
Be active: Take a 20-minute stroll after lunch, it will aid digestion and achieve your NHS target for daily fitness too.
Health: Take a trip to your local greengrocers (you could tie it in with your lunchtime stroll) and choose enough fresh fruit and veg to get your 5-a-day every day this week.
Be active: Get out in the garden. After a decent mow of the lawn and some weeding, you will have easily achieved your 20 minutes of recommended active time.
Health: Make sure you are drinking enough water during the day – try to drink at least one glass with every meal.
Be active: Many of us help out by looking after grandchildren during the week, so get some fresh air and take them for a walk to find some interesting coloured leaves to make a picture.
Health: Find some good smoothie recipes and whizz up some of your fruit and veg for an instant health boost. Have the grandkids with you? They will love helping you try out different recipes!
Be active: Go for a swim at your local leisure centre. Swimming is a fantastic way to keep active as we get older, as the water supports our joints while we exercise.
Health: Identify your health vices and try to cut them down, or kick the habit completely. Perhaps you smoke, drink more units of alcohol than is recommended, or rely on caffeine a bit more than you should to get you through the day?
Be active: Try a yoga or pilates class, there are plenty of groups across the UK, or your local gym / leisure centre is likely to offer them. A great way to ease stress and anxiety levels too.
Health: Arrange a health check with your local GP if you haven’t had one in a while. Common health conditions in later life, such as high blood pressure, can be treated easily with medication to prevent further and more serious conditions from developing.
Be active: Nice weather? Take the dog, your partner or just yourself for an enjoyable walk around the park today.
Health: Did you know omega-3 fatty acids can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease and maybe even improve depressed moods? Oily fish, flaxseed oil, or milk and cheese from grass-fed animals will provide you with a healthy dose of omega-3s.
Be active: Walk to your local shop to buy your Sunday paper, rather than driving in your car.
Health: Get a good night’s sleep. Good quality sleep is so important for our health, and we should be aiming for between 6 – 8 hours a night. Reduce daytime naps, darken your room more and try to read for a while before sleeping, rather than watching TV.
Have you been living with a health condition?
Remember, if your health has suffered in recent years then you might qualify for enhanced terms on your equity release plan. Health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and even a history of smoking could all enable you to unlock a higher percentage of your property value – meaning more money for you.