10 health habits to adopt during middle age

Posted on: 09 March 2017 by 50connect editorial

Make the most of your later years with these top tips for a healthier lifestyle post 50.

Middle aged women

We’re living longer than ever before, middle age according to one study, now officially starts at the age of 60 and can least up to at least 70. 

But whatever your actual age, middle age is often more about how you feel. To help you make the most of every day, we have some great advice from a team of experts, to help you feel the best you can.

Take a deep breath

“A great tip that anyone can do anywhere and at any time, is to make every breath count,” says Lydia Kimmerling .“If you are someone who thinks they can’t meditate, try making every breath count, instead. When your mind gets busy and you really want to calm your thoughts down, stop and take ten really deep breaths in through your nose and out through your nose.

“The way you breath changes the way you think: you can test this by breathing short and fast – you’ll notice that you start feeling anxious. Long, deep, slow breaths calm and slow your mind.”

Banish hot flushes

The menopause is something most women have to deal with at around this time in their lives. While there’s no magic cure for this condition, there are some options to help reduce the symptoms. “You can talk to your GP about taking HRT, but if it isn’t suitable for you, or you prefer not to take it, there are other, treatments available,” says Dr Brewer. “Ask your GP and your pharmacist about natural treatments, such as soy isoflavones, sage leaf extracts, and the traditional herbal medicine, Black Cohosh.”

Stand up straight

Improving how you feel, and giving your health a kick-start, doesn’t have to be hard. Personal Trainer to the stars and founder of www.Eqvvs., Nicola Addison, explains, small changes can make all the difference.

“Don’t underestimate good posture. Walking tall, lifting the chest and keeping your eyes focused on the road ahead will instantly remove pounds (lbs), and make you appear slimmer.”

Sunshine on hands

Top up on sunshine

“Make sure your vitamin D intake is good. At this time of year levels are low because we can’t make it ourselves because of the lack of sunshine,” says Dr Sarah Brewer, GP, Healthspan Medical Director.    

“Lack of vitamin D can cause tiredness, and lack of energy. It can reduce your immunity and can also affect your muscles. Many people find that if they increase their vitamin levels they feel more energised. During winter look at taking a vitamin supplement.’ Try Healthspan Super Strength Vitamin D3 240 tablets £10.95

Stepping out

Walking isn’t just good for your posture, says Nicola, “Walking is hugely underestimated for its health and fitness related benefits. Everyone should be walking for 30 minutes every single day. To start with you can break this down into three x 10-minute walks, with the aim of building up from there.”

This is a good approach if you’re starting any form of exercise “Little and often is key - try not to be intimidated by exercise,” says Nicola. “Set yourself easy, tangible goals to begin with. Simply doing 10 minutes of activity every day will drastically improve your health.” Nicola Addison is the owner of Eqvvs Training in Knightsbridge

Happiness 

Studies published in The Lancet in 2015, found that being healthy makes us happy, but it works the other way as well – feeling upbeat and positive, tends to coincide with feeling healthy.

Happiness coach Lydia Kimmerling The Happiness Coach says “Do more of what makes you happy to be healthy. Ask yourself “when am I at my happiest?” and add more of that into your life. If your answer is doing yoga, when was the last time you went to a class?

Or if your answer is being with your family, how often are you with your family giving them all your attention? If you want to be happier and healthier, adjust your life to make room for more of what makes you happy.”

Say bye to bloating

And if you suffer from that common complaint, bloating, Rob suggests a simple remedy. “Make yourself some fresh mint tea. It can relax your gut wall and help ease your bloating.”

Mindful eating

Eat mindfully

If you’re feeling rather sluggish and are overweight, losing some weight can be one of the best steps you can take to improve your health. “If you decide to start on a diet, the only one that’s going to be effective is the one that you can stick to, so avoid extreme diets,” says Rob Hobson, Registered Nutritionist and Head of Nutrition at Healthspan.

 “People who eat mindfully have been found to eat fewer calories throughout the day.” Mindfulness is a simple type of meditation, which involves focusing on your breathing, and can help you relax.        

 “Make sure that you sit down to eat, and focus on your food,” explains Dr Hobson. “And put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. “Eating mindfully means that you’re more likely to register the amount of food you’re eating.”

Look after your heart

Between six and seven million people in the UK take statins daily. Dr Ross Walker, leading cardiologist recommends that everyone who is taking statins should also take Ubiquinol, a form of co-enzyme Q10, to prevent muscle issues. Dr Walker also recommends it as an excellent product to support energy levels, and he says it can also be taken “purely for energy”.

Invest in your smile

Leading cosmetic dentist from London Smiling Dr Uchenna Okoye says: “Our smile is often forgotten when it comes to middle age but making sure your smile stays in place can be a long term anti-ageing investment.

Our gums shrink as we age, due to loss of collagen, so our teeth move and shrink back too. Speak to your dentist about getting a retainer fixed to prevent movement or invest in braces. Another key thing is to invest in your oral health by flossing and brushing and regular hygiene visits as poor oral health is linked to heart disease and diabetes. “

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