Top 10 tips to get healthy at 50+

Posted on: 28 July 2010 by Mark O'haire

Getting older doesn’t have to mean a decline in health. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle can bring many benefits.

healthy ageingGetting older doesn’t have to mean a decline in health. However keeping healthy often needs more attention and to be made a priority, much more than when we were younger.

Why do we age

Many researchers believe it is free radicals that create ageing.  Our body, even when functioning normally produces something called ‘free radicals’.  They are a normal by-product of taking nutrients in and eliminating waste.  Over time they have a deteriorating affect on our body. 

However certain aspects of our lifestyle, diet and living conditions can increase the amount of free radicals that are produced.  An example of this is smoking.  Those who smoke, age more quickly, not just there skin, but also die younger of diseases such as heart disease.

Improve your lifestyle

By improving the way that we live, we put less stress on our body, which means less free radicals.  This allows the body more opportunity to heal itself and for us to be healthier whatever age. 

1. Things to cut out

Reduce meat and dairy in your diet as well as refined foods.  If you do consume these make sure it is at least organic.  The chemicals and pesticides in our food add to our overall toxic burden increasing free radicals. 

2. Blueberries for your brain

Foods high in antioxidants should be consumed every day.  Especially good are berries.  In one study it showed that Blueberries improve the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, improving concentration and memory some five hours later.

3. Tea is good for you

Green tea can be especially good for you.  Packed with antioxidants, there are numerous studies indicated its cancer and disease protective effects.  Drink a few cups a day to get the benefits.

4. Exercise

It is vital for all of us at any age, it improves circulation, heart health and bone health.  We know that exercise improves longevity.  Many people discover relief from aches and pains such as arthritis as well as anxiety through regular activity.  It doesn’t have to be the gym, walking is excellent, as is swimming and cycling. 

5. Get involved

Those who apart of a community tend to live longer and happier lives.  Being isolated increases your risk of poor mental health and disease.  Make sure that you make contact with people every day or at least once week.  Whether that is with friends, or clubs or spiritual groups.  Those who do well don’t just rely on there family for social contact but those with similar interests too.

6. Use your head

As the saying goes ‘use it, or lose it’.  Use your brain such as with Sudoku and crosswords, or write a journal every day.  

7. Learn something new

Learn an instrument or even a language.  Look at the excellent courses run by the University Of The Third Age.

8. Take a multi vitamin and mineral

As well as having a good diet, taking supplements can be really useful. Pay special attention to vitamin B12, which tends to be low in older people and causes symptoms such as fatigue and recurring infections.

9. Hot and cold

Hydrotherapy is a great way of increasing circulation and vitality.  A simple method is when in the shower alternating between hot and cold, 60 seconds hot, then 60 seconds cold, and keep repeating.  Go careful if you have low blood pressure, if you do then just do this in the feet. 

10. Natures Remedies

Using herbal remedies can be a wonderful way of boosting vitality, immunity and health.  Rosemary, the common garden plant, if made into an infusion increases circulation to the brain and helps brighten our mood.  Dandelion coffee helps our digestion and appetite.  The herb Siberian ginseng helps increase energy and helps to reduce the stress of modern life.

By Philip Weeks, master herbalist

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