Tips for Ageing Well

As we get older, we might start to worry more about looking after ourselves. We might focus more on maintaining a healthy body, looking after our health and our appearance. But what are some practical steps you can take to age well?


Reduce stress


High levels of stress have been linked to more wrinkles, even a predisposition to certain diseases and serious illnesses. Reducing stress levels could have positive effects on your body and could potentially slow down signs of ageing. 


The Mental Health Foundation provides lots of helpful information on stress and how to help yourself through a period of stress. You can also try out some of the following methods for stress prevention.


Get a good night's sleep


Poor sleep can have negative effects on our hormones, exercise performance, and brain function. Not only that but it’s also associated with weight gain and increased disease risk. While a good night’s sleep can help improve your exercise performance, eat less and be generally healthier.


If you would like to help improve your sleeping habits, here are some tips to help you get a better night’s sleep.


Meditate


The emotional benefits of meditation can include:


  • Learning to be present and live in the moment
  • Building better stress management skills
  • Increased self-awareness
  • The ability to reduce negative emotions
  • Increased patience and tolerance


If you would like to give meditation a shot, why not try out a short guided meditation video on YouTube or download the Headspace App to get started?


Yoga


Yoga is thought to be an excellent means of reducing stress. Stretching is also great for our muscles, posture and flexibility.** There are lots of benefits of yoga for older people to make it worthwhile.


If you would like to try yoga, you could sign up to an online yoga class for seniors or you can look at some free yoga for older people videos on YouTube.


Reading


In a recent article from British Seniors, we discussed how spending six minutes of your day reading could improve your health. In fact, reading has been shown to reduce stress levels by up to 68%.


Open up when you’re feeling down


If you’re feeling stressed, chat to a family member or close friend. Sometime’s just getting things off your chest can do a world of good. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a professional, you could try an online therapy session.


If you’re feeling lonely, take a look at our article on how to maintain your social circle during retirement. 


Maintaining a healthy body


As we age, our body goes through a lot of changes. Ageing can affect our digestive system, our skin, hair and teeth. It can also affect our mobility, flexibility and cognitive abilities. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take that could help slow down the effects of ageing on your body.


Eating right


A nutritious diet can help you maintain a healthy body. Certain vitamins and nutrients are thought to help with some of the potential negative effects of ageing such as ageing skin, inflammation, digestive issues, memory loss and ageing-related issues. Here are some resources to help you get a better idea of which foods could do you good come old age:



Exercise 


It can be vital to do some form of exercise as you get older. The type of exercise you should do will depend on your level of fitness and your physical ability. It could be something as simple as taking a walk once a day or something more intense like swimming or cycling. 


Movement can help us stay flexible and strong as we age. Here are some helpful resources and exercise guidelines for older people:



Looking after your appearance


The effects of ageing are often visible on our skin, hair and teeth. But what can you do to help reduce signs of ageing in your appearance? 


Vitamins for healthy hair and skin


There are lots of vitamins and supplements that can help maintain healthy hair, skin and nails. Holland & Barret have a section dedicated to this but there is plenty of information online about which vitamins are best for youthful hair and skin


Always aim to get the vitamins and nutrients you need through a healthy diet and if you would like to start taking supplements, you should speak with your GP for more information on what’s best for you.


Stay hydrated


Keeping hydrated is good for our body but it could also help your skin - and hydrated skin could mean fewer visible wrinkles. If you’re not drinking enough water, make a conscious effort to drink more. You could start by drinking a large glass of water first thing in the morning to kick off the day.


Moisturise daily 


You don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy products. As long as you’re drinking enough water and regularly moisturizing, you can pick up a cheap lotion from your local pharmacy. Try to find a light day time moisturizer for the mornings and a night cream to pop on before bed. Here’s more on how to look after your skin in your 60s and 70s


Reduce or quit bad habits


Quitting smoking


Quitting smoking can have countless positive effects on your body. When we quit smoking, our bodies tend to recover over time. Our breathing can improve, we feel less lethargic and run down, we are stronger and healthier than before. You can read more about the benefits of quitting smoking here.


Not only does quitting smoking decrease our risk of developing smoking-related illnesses such as certain cancers, heart attacks and strokes, but it can also have noticeable effects on our appearance. Smoking can stain our skin, nails and teeth. When you quit, you are helping to reduce these negative effects. If you are thinking about quitting, the NHS have lots of useful resources on their website.


Reduce alcohol consumption


There are plenty of reasons to cut down on alcohol consumption. More energy, better sleep, better skin and a smaller waistline are just some of these benefits. Get to know your alcohol units and read up on facts and advice from the NHS.


Ageing gracefully with better habits


If you are willing to take some of this advice on board, you could find yourself feeling and looking better as you age. Small changes to your daily habits could make a big difference. As long as you eat well, sleep well, keep moving and drink enough water, you’re well on your way to ageing gracefully.


*17 Proven Tips to Help you Sleep Better at Night, Healthline, 2020

** Elderly Stretching Exercises Benefits Health in Numerous Ways