SIX TIPS

TO STAY HEALTHY OVER 50

From the time you are born, your mind and body begin to grow and change. Change is a constant throughout your life and is especially noticeable as you begin to age. The good news is you can deal with those changes if you look after your general, over-all health. Follow these six essential tips and maintain regular annual check-ups with your doctor.

1. Look after yourself with a good night’s sleep

Most doctors will tell you that eight hours of sleep a night isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can suffer from memory problems or even depression. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try a hot bath just before bed and sleep in a cool room. Turn the alarm clock away from the bed so you’re not distracted and stay away from caffeine in the later hours of the day.

2. Become a salad artist – no lessons required

Create a healthier you by incorporating your favourite super-foods into salads. Salads are a lighter, healthier option than many packaged meals we default to, as we get busy. Start with spinach, kale or dark lettuce and then let your imagination run wild: blueberries, grapes, sunflower seeds, garlic, walnuts, peppers, apples, tomatoes, and raisins are just a start. Research your favourite foods and let your taste buds be your guide. Make your salad a meal by adding some baked chicken or salmon.

3. Put a little brawn in your brain

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, approximately 550,000 Canadians over 65 are living with Alzheimer’s disease. That’s about 1-in-10 seniors. Fortunately, studies have shown that active learning slows mental decline. Make a commitment to keep learning every day: music or dancing lessons are a fun way to learn, study a new language or enjoy a stimulating book.

4. Maintain relationships–after all, we’re social critters

Almost a third of older adults live alone, which, not surprisingly, often leads to loneliness and social isolation. Make a point of staying in touch with family and friends on a regular basis. If that’s difficult, consider moving to senior’s housing with a built-in community and reach out to new friends.

5. Use it or lose it

Regular activity is a key component to your over-all wellbeing. The bonus to this is that your activity doesn’t have to be extreme, but it should be something you do on a scheduled basis. Your activities should be varied so they impact a variety of muscle groups and motor skills. Talk to your doctor then ride a bike, go for a walk, hit the gym or go for a swim. Making the decision to start is often the hard part but once you do, you’ll be surprised how good you feel.

6. Don’t forget the water

Nothing works harder on your behalf than a simple glass of water. Although everyone’s water intake requirements are different, signs that you’re not getting enough water could be fatigue, cramping, muscle weakness, confusion or headaches. Remember to keep up a regular intake of water that feels right for you.

Whether you’re fifty or eighty, it’s never too late to start incorporating these easy tips into your lifestyle. Even if you start slowly, it’s a start, and a step in the right direction. Good luck, have fun and stay healthy.