Written by Joel Dodds

As we get older, the importance of staying healthy and looking after our minds and bodies increases. With older age comes a higher likelihood of being affected by diseases like stroke, heart disease and diabetes, all of which we can prevent with the right approach to diet and lifestyle.

Living a healthier lifestyle during your retirement years can help you to cut back on expensive medical costs and live a happier and lower-stress life. Here are some simple steps to follow if you want to learn how to stay healthy in old age:

1.       Practice healthy eating habits

Eating the right foods can be more challenging as you get older, especially if you have a disability that makes shopping for food or home-cooking fresh meals more difficult. Old age may also bring changes to your metabolism and appetite that simply make eating less appealing. However, it’s incredibly important to eat a diet of high protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals if you want to stay at your healthiest. Ask a friend or family member for support if you need help preparing meals.

2.       Get your sleep

Getting older is a funny thing: you seem to want to sleep less at night, then find yourself napping sporadically throughout the day. This random sleeping cycle might not be the best thing for your health, so it’s worth reassessing your current sleeping habits and focusing on getting more shuteye during the night-time hours. If your mattress is an issue, look for the best mattress for seniors and make the investment.

3.       Socialise and enjoy life

No matter what your age, poor mental health can significantly affect not only your lifespan, but your quality of life. It’s easier to become isolated with old age, and you may be faced with a number of challenges, like poor physical health and losing a loved one. However, channelling your inner mental strength is important, even while it might feel hard. Reach out to family and friends, and make sure to stay sociable. Take up new hobbies and make the most out of life.

4.       Stay active

It’s natural that as you get older, you might not fancy a jog around the block every morning (although good for you if you do!). It’s often better to respect your current physical condition and go for an activity that’s more appropriate for you, such as a walk in the park, swimming, or practicing yoga, which has been found to have a positive effect on hypertension in seniors. Consult your GP before taking up a new exercise regimen.

5.       Train your brain

Just like our bodies still need physical exercise when we’re older, so do our brains. Older age brings with it the increased risk of cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s, and keeping your brain active can help prevent mental degeneration. Give word puzzles and crosswords a go if you feel like you’re spending too much time in front of the TV. Studies have even found that regular brain exercises in older people can improve cognitive functions and working memory.