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 together.
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.
2. 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.
Get more tips with our healthy eating pages
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. Engage socially with others
Why not volunteer with Age NI? It doesn’t how much or little time you have, you can get involved in your local community and meet new people.
Age NI volunteers do everything from driving to visiting people living alone. You could be serving customers and helping to dress the window in one of our stores.
Or you could work behind the scenes sorting through donations or helping with basic administration.
We also welcome book or antique enthusiasts in our shops to help price donations. With your help we can deliver more services to people in later life.
Find out more about volunteering
5. 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.
6. Get regular health checkups
Speak to your GP if there is a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis or glaucoma. This helps identify any problems before symptoms arise.
Don’t ignore invitations 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.
Get more in-depth information about looking after your body
7. 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.
8. Avoid excessive sun exposure
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.
Find out more about precautions to take in warm weather
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 health.
Get more information and advice about depression
10. Pay attention to your pension, and get expert financial advice
There's never been a more important time to get your finances checked out. Your pension could be working harder for you and your savings may not be in the best place.
Talking to an independent financial adviser is the best way to get impartial advice about your money matters and ensure that you are getting everything that you're entitled to.
Get more information and advice about pensions
Read our savings advice