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10 tips for ageing better

We know it’s not just about living longer, it’s about living healthily and happily for longer. Follow our top 10 tips for ageing better.


1. Watch what you eat and drink

It sounds obvious, but having a balanced diet is crucial for good health, energy and preventing illness. An ideal diet should be low in saturated fat, with lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, oily fish, and small amounts of low-fat dairy and lean meat.

Don’t forget to top-up with lots of water to avoid dehydration, which can make you feel tired and confused. Tea, coffee and fruit juice will also help you to stay hydrated, but avoid sugary fizzy drinks.

If you drink alcohol, keep at least two days per week booze-free to give your liver time to recover from the toxic effects of alcohol, and don’t exceed recommended daily limits for alcohol consumption.

See our healthy eating guide for lots more information


2. Look after your teeth

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Floss helps to prevent gum disease by removing pieces of food and plaque from between the teeth.

If it’s left to build up you might notice sore or bleeding gums, and gum disease can also be linked to diabetes, strokes, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Have regular check-ups and, if you wear dentures or have a bridge, ask your dentist to check that they fit properly.

Find out more about dental care


3. Stay active

Daily exercise helps you to stay strong and healthy. This will lower your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. If that wasn't enough, staying active can boost your self-esteem, improve your sleep, and give you more energy.

Government guidelines recommend that older adults do 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, as well as strengthening exercises twice a week.

If that sounds like a lot, start small and as you get stronger you will be able to work up to those amounts.


4. Make the most of your GP

It’s a good idea to get some routine tests done at the doctors to check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High readings increase your risk factor for stroke and heart disease but any problems are completely reversible with medication.

Whilst you’re there, why not ask your doctor about the seasonal flu jab? It’s free once you reach 65, or if you have a health condition that puts you at risk of more serious problems if you caught the flu. 

See our list of 8 health tests that could save your life


5. Get a vitamin boost

Lots of people have a vitamin D deficiency and don’t know it. In fact, it’s estimated that it affects half of the adult population. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cognitive impairment, bone problems and also cardiovascular disease.

Try to get outside in the sunshine for at least 15-20 minutes a day for a vitamin D boost. It can also be found in food such as eggs and oily fish. Alternatively, talk to your doctor about a vitamin D supplement.


6. Take care of your feet

Look after your feet by applying moisturiser to prevent dry skin and cutting your toenails straight across. Make sure you have footwear that fits properly and supports your feet.

If they're sore you may be tempted to stay in slippers, but a pair of trainers could be a good option as they are more supportive.

Contact your GP if your feet become painful, feel very hot or cold or if you have common problems like corns, bunions or ingrown toenails.

Get in touch with your local Age UK to discover what footcare services they offer

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7. Sort out your sleep

Many of us have trouble getting – or staying – asleep as we get older. This can leave you feeling tired and grumpy.

Avoid insomnia by cutting down on daytime naps, establishing a bedtime routine and going to bed at the same time each night.

Try a warm drink such as chamomile tea or hot milk before you go to bed.

Read our more detailed advice on how to get get a good night's sleep


8. Take the tests

As we age our hearing and eyesight can be affected, so it’s important to get them checked regularly. Hearing loss is common in older people so see your GP if you have to have the TV on loud or having trouble tuning into conversations. If you need a hearing aid, some are available on the NHS.

Have your eyes checked every year if you are aged 70 or over, and every two years if you are under 70. This means that changes in your vision can be corrected and any problems can be picked up before they seriously affect your sight. Eye tests are free if you are over 60.


9. Stay in touch

Spending time with other people can prevent you from feeling lonely or anxious. If you find that you are no longer able to do the things you used to do, try to develop new hobbies and interests or think about becoming a volunteer.

Use Skype to make video phone calls to friends and family who don’t live nearby.

If you are single, divorced, or bereaved and would like to meet someone, read our online guide to dating.

Find out more about befriending services


10. Give up smoking

If you didn't know it already, let us repeat it: smoking is bad for your body and your brain.

It's linked to a whole range of different health problems, including heart disease, lung cancer, and bronchitis.

The good news is that if you stop smoking, regardless of your age, your circulation, your lung capacity and your energy levels will improve. 

Get more information on ditching the habit

A small favour

All the information and advice we provide on the website is free and completely independent, as is our National Advice Line that is open 365 days a year.

But demand is going up. We are an ageing population and more people than ever are coming to us for support, which is why we need to ask for help.

If you are able to, just a small gift today could help us reach even more older people wherever the need is greatest.

Please support our work

For more information call Age UK on 0800 055 6112

Last updated: Oct 18 2017

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