Just because you might not be as spritely as you once were, there’s no reason why you can’t still enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Even if you find some activities too physically demanding, you shouldn’t feel like your options are overly restricted. So whilst you might not be able to take up contact sports or cross country running, there are plenty of other activities to keep up your fitness levels and help you enjoy a healthy retirement.
Healthy eating helps get you fit from the inside. As you get older your metabolism will naturally slow down, making it more difficult to keep weight off. However, this shouldn’t be viewed as a major impediment, just an opportunity to change your lifestyle. Whatever your age, eating healthily and engaging in regular exercise will have huge benefits on how you look and feel. It’s no good trying to do one without the other; to stay healthy you must pay attention to both your diet and fitness.
So what constitutes healthy eating? Well, making sure that you have your five a day is always a good start. Fruit and vegetables offer vital nutrition and also help process other foods. Avoiding excessive consumption of fatty foods and anything high in salt, e-numbers and other potentially harmful additives is also advised. The more natural your diet is, the healthier you should be.
But what activities can you get involved in to improve fitness and general well-being? Here are just a few ideas for over 50s.
Good for body and mind Improving suppleness, inner calm and physical strength, yoga is a hugely popular activity amongst people of all ages. As there are many levels of participation, from beginner to expert, there’s no pressure to do more than you are physically capable of achieving. However, one of the many benefits of yoga is that over time, you can achieve the freedom of movement to do more and improve your exercises.
In May 2011 news sources around the world reported on Tao Porchon-Lynch, who was officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest yoga teacher in the world – at the age of 93! So this not only shows how beneficial it can be to your long-term health, but also that there really is no age limit.
Exercise at your pace Hiking, walking and rambling all provide a fantastic way to keep healthy and see more of the country. As you get older, you may not have the speed to jog or enjoy sports that you did in your youth, but walking is a low impact and self-regulating activity. You can go as far and as fast as you want and even select your own routes. By heading off into the countryside you will also be able to enjoy the serenity of nature and exploration of new places.
Dive into swimming
This is another low cost, low impact pursuit that will get the blood pumping and help you to enjoy a healthier way of life as you head into retirement. As with walking, there is no need to try to set lap records, you can go at your own pace in the pool. As an aerobic exercise it can help to improve lung capacity and muscle strength, making other activities easier.
It’s physical and fun! Who said your dancing days are over? Ballroom and other forms of traditional dancing have seen a huge resurgence in recent years due to popular televisions shows like Strictly Come Dancing. As well as being good for your stamina and movement, it is also a great way of socialising. Remember, health isn’t just about being physically fit and able, it’s also about your mental well-being. So if you’re having fun, meeting new people and getting involved with different activities, you will naturally be more stimulated. This can only be a good thing.
So whatever activities you choose to take up as you get beyond the age of 50, remember to have fun, take care and don’t be afraid to try new things. Your health is extremely important and so eating properly and staying in decent physical shape are equally important, especially as you get older.