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10.12.2018

Taking Care of Your Health As You Get Older.

As much as we like to ignore it, getting older (and all the changes associated with it) will always be a fact of life. And while you can’t exactly stop the hands of time, there are plenty of things you can do to remain fit and healthy, and to ensure you have the best possible quality of life for decades to come. Aside from your own benefit, taking care of your health as you get older enables you to better care for your loved ones – and we all want that. If you're over 40 (or perhaps even well over 40) here are both some unusual and some pretty common-sense ways to better take care of you despite the passing years!
Lee Min Ki in Because This is My First Life (2017).
Start with your brain
It’s impossible to stay motivated to look after your body if you aren’t first taking care of that big old computer upstairs! Staying mentally active is vital to boosting your mood and keeping your faculties sharp, and there are endless options to choose from. Puzzle games and brain teasers, picking up an old hobby like playing a musical instrument, writing or painting, or taking time to get back to nature are just a few examples.
Son Ho Jun in My Secret Terrius (2018).
Get regular exercise
We’re not talking about running marathons or hitting the gym for several hours a day here – although there’s nothing to stop you from doing just that if you want! A brisk 30 minute walk each day is generally recommended, although building up to this slowly over a week or two is perfectly fine too. What matters is that you get up and get moving.
Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min in Because This is My First Life (2017).
Starting a family later in life
For decades now, people have been putting off becoming parents until later and later in life – something made possible by radical advances in the field of fertility treatment and general medical care. Women well into their 40s and even 50s often have perfectly healthy pregnancies and are often in a better situation financially and emotionally to provide for their children than their younger counterparts. If you’ve always wanted children but felt you weren’t quite ready, then there’s no reason you can’t too – but this does make it even more important for both you and your partner to care of your health. Avoiding alcohol and quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight, and eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies are all excellent ideas anyway, but are particularly important for promoting fertility.
Women of Okinawa.
Photo credit: Bluezones.
Eat like the healthiest people eat
Most of us have heard of the famous Japanese Okinawans, who not just lived well into old age with the highest percentage of centenarians in the world, but also remained fit and active well into their so-called ‘old age’. And thanks to US military records, (as the US ran Okinawa until 1972) we know exactly what they ate. Largely focused around purple and orange sweet potato, their total diet was made up of a whopping 96% plant foods – which makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Fruit and veggies are a great source of antioxidants, and if fruits and veggies are 96% of what you're eating, you're getting a lot of them! Aside from this, they avoided processed foods, eating their food in its natural form, and were avid gardeners – getting a combination of stress relief, time in the sun and exercise all rolled into one!

Vital vitamins
While there’s no need for a multivitamin supplement if you're eating a balanced diet, there are two vitamins to keep an eye on as you age – vitamin B12 and vitamin D. As you get older, your body loses some of its ability to absorb B12 (which is vital for healthy blood and nerve function) so if you're over 50 you should be supplementing or incorporating B12 fortified foods into your diet. And while sunshine will always be the best source of vitamin D, it can be difficult for older individuals with limited mobility to get as much as they need, so it is recommended that those over 70 take a supplement.
Park Bo Gum while filming Love in the Moonlight (2016).
Keep an eye on your eyes!
After 40, people who have never experienced any problems with their vision before may start to find it more difficult to read fine print – and that’s perfectly normal. Visit an optician if you suspect you might need reading glasses. Wearing sunglasses outdoors is a good idea to prevent UV-related degeneration and incorporating lots of lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes and other red fruit in your diet (move over carrots!) can help prevent macular degeneration.

Aging might be inevitable – but there are so many good choices you can make every day to ensure you remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible – and that’s entirely under your control.

3 replies:

Mommy Levy said...

I agree with all the things you have mentioned to live longer. The 30 minutes exercise is hard to do at first but once you get used to it, it will be part of your lifestyle.

Juvyann Petilla said...

Such a timely read as I celebrate my birth momth. I will be 42 soon, but I feel young. Age only gets to me when I see child actors now playing mommy roles.

Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen said...

These are awesome tips to keep a healthy life. You really have to make time to exercise and be mindful of your eating habits to be able to keep your health.