3 important lifestyle factors women need to pay attention to as they age include metabolic syndromes, Arthritis and Osteoporosis, but we also need to prioritise our emotional and mental wellbeing.
It is a term thrown around so often it’s become white noise for most of us, what actually defines A Healthy Lifestyle? A google search will say 'at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, 2 Litres of water, 5 serves of vegetables, minimising red meat and processed sugar'... But these are just the foundations - the basics that are a given of general health but these alone will not provide happiness, and emotional wellbeing throughout life as we age. As well as these foundations, we need to focus on our mental and emotional health. For women it’s essential to pay attention to our relationships, a strong sense of community and family, strong connections with other women, and continuing to use our minds - whether through employment, stimulating conversation, joining a club, or study.
"If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."
- Eubie Blake, the great ragtime composer and pianist who was still performing at the age of 99, the year before his death.
How to age well and take care of yourself for a Healthy Lifestyle
1. metabolic syndromes_ There are simple things we can do to maintain metabolic health. Increase healthy fat intake - omega 3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats, and eliminate trans fats, and processed sugar. Increase light exercise, gentle walking, water aerobics, and swimming. When it comes to diet, the solution is simple_ Eat foods that are as close to their original form as possible - the less processed a food is the better it is for you.
2. Arthritis: Avoid overuse of harsh repetitive exercise, maintain a healthy bodyweight so as not to put excess strain on joints. Correcting foot pronation and wearing the correct footwear can help reduce the potential for excessive stress on joints, particularly knees and hips.
3. Osteoporosis_ Low Bone mass, and poor bone health resulting in decreased mobility and independence, falls and injury is a major cause of age-related disorders. Having at least one serve of red meat per week, clinical supplements, and low-impact weight resistance training like walking in a swimming pool improve bone health.
Try: Calcium, Vitamin D, light exercise, laughter, strong relationships with other women, water, antioxidant rich diet, alternate day calorie restriction (ADCR)
Organic produce contains more of the essential enzyme Superoxide Dismutase, a enzyme that combats oxidative stress, free radical damage, and diseased cells.
Minimise: Processed sugar, non iodised salt - trans fats, frozen or pre-prepared foods, alcohol intake, Stress, anxiety, mental overload
4. Mental and Emotional Wellbeing_ Stress, anxiety and mental overload are related to memory loss, and emotional wellbeing as we age. Strong, meaningful relationships are essential for emotional wellbeing at every age, but particularly as we get older. Group activities like bingo, or joining a club can go a long way in giving us a sense of community and minimising depression. Keeping our minds active with engaging conversation, crossword puzzles or sudoku is good for brain health.