Our 10 tips for better ageing

30th March 2012

1. Eat a healthy diet

  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – aim for five portions a day.
  • Too much salt increases your risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Check food labels for the salt content, particularly in processed meats, savoury snacks, biscuits, bacon, soups and ready meals.
  • Too much saturated fat raises cholesterol and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Foods high in saturated fat include biscuits, cakes, pastries, sausages, meat pies, fatty meat and cheese.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol. Know how many units you are drinking, and speak to your GP if you find yourself regularly having a drink to help you cope.

2. Exercise

You don’t have to join an exercise class or the gym – things like gardening, playing tennis or bowls, or going for a brisk walk can be just as effective.

Just make sure you check with your doctor if you have a condition or haven’t exercised in a while. 

 3. Don’t smoke

It’s never too late to feel the benefits of giving up smoking. Ask your GP or pharmacist about local one-to-one or group support and anti-smoking medication.

4. Get regular health checkups

Speak to your GP if there is a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, This helps identify any problems before symptoms arise.

Don’t ignore invites for a flu jab  or cancer screening. NHS screening programmes for breast, bowel and cervical cancer are there to pick up problems at an early stage.

5. Protect your eyes

Take advantage of free NHS sight tests if you’re eligible. Have your eyes checked every two years, or annually if you are aged 70 or over.

6. Have a positive attitude about ageing

Research shows that older people who have a positive attitude to ageing, and who work with the changes it brings, tend to have better health and live longer than those who see only the negatives.

Devoting time to old friends and favourite hobbies is important – but remember to explore new interests too. It’s easy to meet new friends, try new activities or share something you enjoy in your local area.

7. Avoid excessive sun exposure 9. Get sufficient good-quality sleep

Getting a decent night’s sleep isn’t just about beating tiredness. Good-quality sleep has additional health benefits, such as reducing your risk of depression , lowering inflammation, helping stress and even improving your heart  While it’s good to get outside and enjoy good weather, it’s important that you take precautions when the sun is out. There are odd occasions when very high temperatures and humidity can present a risk to health, and many of us can be particularly susceptible to heat-related illness.