Staying Healthy As You Get Older
It has been 75 years since The Radio Doctor, Charles Hill, gave his first broadcast. Dr Hill, who also served as MP for Luton, was a broadcaster on the BBC during World War II. He became a familiar voice to thousands, dishing out regular advice to listeners on how to stay healthy during the war years.
With rationing in effect, he helped to keep the nation in tip top shape, using clear everyday language that the general public could easily understand.
Like Dr Hill, the staff at Melrose are committed to keeping our residents healthy in both mind and body. We run regular gentle exercise classes and serve up freshly prepared, seasonal meals in our dining room. Daily activities, alongside frequent day trips, keep residents’ minds stimulated, with crafts, puzzles and quizzes amongst some of the many pastimes they can take part in.
We also understand the importance of helping elderly people who live in their own homes to remain fit and well, and here we offer our top tips for staying healthy in older life:
Walks are a wonderful way of getting out of the house, taking in some fresh air and getting your joints moving. A gentle stroll around your local park, in the countryside or along the beach (if you’re lucky enough to live near the sea) benefits both mind and body. Plus, on sunny days, it’s a great opportunity to top up on some much-needed vitamin D. Walking just 30 minutes a day can greatly improve your health and lower the risk of everything from stroke to high blood pressure.
Not only that, but walking is a wonderful way to improve one’s mood and general mental health. In fact, even when you don’t feel like going for a walk, studies have shown that they still have the same spirit lifting effects. UK research has proven that walking in a scenic setting helps to put you brain into a meditative like state: triggering something called “involuntary attention”, where your mind is calmer and better able at holding attention. In addition, walking also causes the release of endorphins, which helps relieve stress and makes you feel happier.
That’s why, as part of our domiciliary care service, we can accompany clients on walks and trips to the shops.
Another idea for how to age healthy and well is to consider joining a nearby exercise class. Yoga and Pilates are both gentle and relaxing. These simple cardio exercises can help with flexibility and posture. For something more energetic, aqua aerobics is a good bet, as it gets you moving while the water helps cushion joints from any high impact movements.
If an exercise class doesn’t sound like it’s quite for you, there are plenty of sports that don’t involve 90 minutes of running around a pitch. Bowls, badminton, golf and even ballroom dancing are all great forms of exercise, and sociable too. If you want get started with more exercise, we've put together a few helpful pieces of advice to help you on your way.
You’ll notice that many of our suggestions generally have a social element to them. This is because getting out and about is the perfect excuse to meet new people and the improvements that this has on your physical and mental well-being can be staggering. The effects of loneliness on the elderly are well known, drastically reducing the quality of life for many, increasing the risk of disability, heart disease and stroke. In fact, loneliness is believed to increase mortality rates by 26%. That’s why it’s important that, when you’re exercising your body, you also exercise your mind with good company. We’ll all end up ageing better if we spend a little more time with one another.
When it comes to how to age better, making sure you’re eating right is crucial. What we put into our bodies has a huge effect on how we feel. If we’re eating badly, we’re likely to feel sluggish and low on energy. Not only does this affect your mental health but it’s also likely to affect your willingness to get out and get active too. Our freshly prepared meals will provide you with everything needed to keep you in prime condition.
If you want to know one of the quickest tips on how to get better, than take a look at your current health habits. Things such as smoking and drinking heavily, which might provide temporary stress relief, are actually likely to make you feel more anxious in the long-term, alongside increasing the risks of many serious illnesses. If you need help with quitting, there are a variety of charities that offer vital support.
As recommended by Age UK, keep a close eye on your feet to ensure you can keep moving. If you suffer from arthritis or diabetes, your feet can be particularly vulnerable to problems. It’s therefore important that you ensure you go for regular check-ups with your GP. Common conditions like corns, cracked skin and ingrown toenails can be easily remedied.