Fit for life
Staying active, a balanced diet and looking after your mental wellbeing are key to enjoying later life.
We all know that to maintain a healthy weight and help prevent illness it’s important to eat well and take regular exercise. But looking after your mental wellbeing is just as important, as it affects how you think and feel. So staying fit and healthy as you grow older means taking care of your body and your mind.
Just a small amount of extra activity can make a big difference
- Finding something you enjoy means you’re more likely to do it regularly.
- Chair-based exercises, which you can do sitting or holding on to a chair, can improve muscle strength and flexibility.
- NHS Choices has suggested exercises if you’re looking for ideas. Visit www.nhs.uk and search ‘exercises for older people.’
- Try taking a brisk walk once you’ve completed a task where you’ve been sitting still.
It’s possible to eat healthily on a budget, especially if you plan your meals ahead
- Stick to a shopping list so you buy only the items you need.
- Cheaper supermarket own brands are a good bet, and remember that frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables count towards your five-a-day.
- For fresh fruit and vegetables, it’s often better value to shop at a local market.
- Look for money-off coupons in magazines or online. Check for offers on storable foods such as pasta, cereal and tinned food.
Understanding what can affect your mental wellbeing could help you understand your feelings and look after your physical health, too
- Simply getting outside for a few minutes a day can improve your mood. Why not join a walking group where you can explore the local area and meet new people?
- Be kind to yourself and have a treat from time to time.
- Creating structure to your day can give your life meaning, but remember to take some time for yourself too and do the things that make you laugh and have fun.
- Keeping in touch with friends helps us relax and feel good about ourselves. Pick up the phone to old friends, or think about volunteering as a way to meet new people who share the same interests as you.