Healthy habits to form in older age

Without the routine of a full-time or even part-time job, it can be easy to let good habits fall to the wayside.  Healthy routines are often difficult to form and require effort, energy, and dedication to stick to them. In later life, good habits can form a basis of healthy living that can help prevent depression, sickness, and illnesses, and can lead to longer, healthier, and happier lives. 

We’ve put together some of the best habits you can form for a healthy and happy life.

Keep active

After months of being kept indoors following government restrictions, now is the perfect time to get back outside and enjoy nature as restrictions are eased and things are becoming safer.

Regular light exercise is crucial. As we get older, it’s important to make sure we’re active every day, whether that’s walking around the local area or getting involved in an exercise class. We recommend that every week you should take part in at least two forms of activities that help improve balance, strength, and flexibility, as well as 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity exercise. There is strong evidence that consistently active people have less risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression, and dementia.

At Inspired Villages, we have helped residents remain active and healthy during lockdown by hosting virtual classes, socially distanced outdoor classes and group walking challenges. 

If you’re looking for help to get back into exercising, read our blog on how to get back into exercising after 65.

Read what our Inspired residents say about the benefits of exercise

Two of our Inspired residents, Tony (64) and Anita (63) say, “For us, the benefits of playing golf are both physical, mental, and social. When playing, we are physically active; constantly turning, twisting, bending, and walking in the open air, for between three to four hours, covering nearly five miles in normally picturesque and pleasant surroundings.

“Mentally we benefit from being with like-minded people, sharing a common goal, concentrating – to the exclusion of all else – on the game of getting that little ball into the hole with the least number of strokes. A break from the norm; your concerns stay in the car park. Socially, the benefits of this interaction with a different group of people than those we would normally meet or the family, is also hugely important and rewarding.”

Get yourself a furry friend

Having a dog in your life can bring several different benefits, including improving your mental and physical wellbeing. A dog can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social interaction and physical activity. Pets can also have a positive effect on symptoms of depression and help reduce feelings of loneliness. 

If you are not ready to fully commit to owning a dog, why not borrow one from a family member or friend. Many of our residents look after dogs while their family members or friends are at work or on holiday. 

Move every hour

It can be easy to sit down for a bit and then find yourself sitting down for hours, setting an hourly alarm can be a great way to remind yourself to get up and get moving. This can be walking up and down your stairs a couple of times, or maybe completing a chore; like sorting your washing out or doing a bit of hoovering.

Investing in a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit or Apple watch, is a great way to monitor your daily activity and track your steps. It will also give you a nudge when you’re inactive, to remind you to stand up or get moving for a bit, or simply to keep motivated.

Stick to a wake-up time and a bedtime 

After years of getting up early, ready to head into work, you may be looking forward to being able to sleep in as late as you want and go to bed whenever you like. Even though this may work for some of us, many feel a lot better when sticking to a sleep schedule. 

Your body’s internal clock, known as your circadian rhythm, plays a key role in regulating your sleep-wake cycle. Aiming to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day will help regulate your body clock which will naturally help you feel more awake during daylight hours and more ready for sleep at night.  

How we can help!

One of the many benefits of living in an Inspired village is that we have wellbeing navigators who can work with you to reach your fitness goals, not to mention facilities such as pools, gyms with specialist strength-oriented equipment, and numerous activities going on to help you get into an exercise routine. 

If you’d like to find out more about us and the benefits and attractions of renting or buying a home in an Inspired village, get in touch today or read our blog on the benefits of living in a retirement village.

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