There is a wise quote that says ‘aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength’. To make the most of that great opportunity, those over 70 might wish to make sure their bodies can be as healthy and as strong as their positive outlook. Here at Lifton Home Lifts, the team looks at ideas for how to give the older body a boost to keep some common complaints at bay.
The earlier in life we start to exercise the better, but that said, it is never too late to start. All too often after retirement older people can slip into a sedentary lifestyle, which becomes a hard habit to break. Introduce a daily walk to build general fitness, go up and down the stairs as many times as you can, and if you are looking for a bit more inspiration find an online fitness class. There are even chair-based work outs designed specifically for seniors who are less mobile.
The more we move, the stronger and healthier we are, and the longer we can enjoy being independent.
Maximise social interactions
Seeing people, sharing news, the art of conversation: these are all beneficial to everyone in so many ways. Living alone and without seeing people it is easy to become isolated and feel alone which in turn can lead to depression. Older people in particular are at risk of feeling low when social interactions lessen. Conversation is excellent exercise to help keep the brain sharp, and regularly hearing other people’s news is useful for keeping the memory working well.
Make it a daily routine to pick up the phone or use online face to face services to contact family and friends. If you have busy children or grandchildren you could ask them when it is best to call, and make a weekly appointment to speak with them. If you have friends nearby, arrange to walk with them to not only boost the mood but the energy levels too.
An exercise that is often overlooked, lifting weights is really important for older people. Muscle mass tends to decline rapidly as we age, and by doing simple daily lifting or punching movements whilst holding weights or even a tin of beans can make the world of difference to keeping our bodies strong. Having stronger muscles helps to protect our bones, keeps us flexible, and enables us to keep doing more of what we love into later life.
Supplement your diet
There are many supplements out there designed specifically for older people, containing nutrients that the body needs more as we age. The one that comes most highly recommended by professionals however, is vitamin D. Our bodies usually make vitamin D when exposed to the sun and it is great for bone health and preventing fractures. There is also some evidence it also supports muscle strength. When our lives require us to be indoors more of the time it’s unlikely, we make enough vitamin D on our own, so by ensuring we have a daily dose of the sunshine vitamin we can know we’re keeping topped up.
Make more fuss
As we age, sometimes we can feel overlooked by some medical services. It can also feel more difficult to stand up for ourselves. However, it is important that we know what good service should look like, and ask for that. As we age things do change with our bodies, but it does not always mean we should put up with that. Lots of ailments that come on with age need a diagnosis and can be treated. Do not suffer alone, rather take the step to call the GP and if you feel it is serious don not take no for an answer until you have a thorough consultation.