Pete’s Blog – June 2019 - Healthy Ageing
This month I wanted to share with you the key points from a recently published book in which the authors share some easy lifestyle changes that will help all of us to lead a longer, happier life. The key messages in this book reflect our little mantra:- “Eat well, Move Daily, Hydrate Often, Sleep Lots, Love Youreself, Repeat Daily”. The title of the book is:- “The Age Well Project: Easy Ways to a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life” Streets, A and Saunders, S., 2019, Hachette Australia
The authors suggest, based on extensive research, that a happier, healthier old age is dependent on addressing four areas of our lives: what, when and how we eat and drink; where, when and how we exercise; how best to stay engaged, socially, intellectually and with the right attitude; and how best to manage stress, sleep and the environment surrounding us.
The 4 Cornerstones of Healthy Ageing
3. Staying Engaged
4. Creating the Right Environment for Good Sleep, Lustrous Looks and Enhanced Health
Of these four cornerstones, the most important appears to be that of making the time to move your body on a daily basis. “The magic bullet for good health is staying physically active”, JoAnn Manson, Professor of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School
Key Diet Principles
§ Learn the basics of the Mediterranean diet
§ Focus your diet on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, pulses and fish
§ Olive Oil is liquid gold – use it for cooking and salad dressings
§ Be good to your gut. Understand how critically important your microbiome is for your health
§ Cut heavily processed foods from your life; that won’t help you age well
Key Exercise Principles
§ Move Daily in a variety of ways
§ Incorporate weight/strength training into your weekly training regime
§ Variety of exercise is very important
§ Exercise in nature
§ Consider your constantly evolving bones, Exercise helps to keep them strong
§ Always consult your GP when starting a new routine and stop if it feels too much
Key Principles of staying engaged
§ Cultivate a wide range of friendships, including new ones
§ Learn something new and when you’ve mastered it, try something else. Ideally learn in company rather than alone
§ Read books of all genres; Every Day
§ Stay working, paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time.
§ Adopt a hobby, creative if you can.
§ Develop a growth mindset, one that is optimistic, grateful and purposeful
§ Care for someone, a partner, a dog, those in the local hospice. Someone needs you and science suggests you might benefit too.
Key Sleep Principles
§ Exercise every day, outdoors if possible
§ Embrace guilt-free afternoon naps
§ Change how and what you eat and drink in the evening
§ Allow time to unwind before bed
§ Invest in a new mattress and pillow (if needs be) and some essential oils
§ Turn off sources of blue light 60mins before you want to sleep
§ Allow fresh air into your bedroom and keep the temperature down
§ Keep regular hours
§ Make time for seven to eight hours of sleep but don’t fret if sleep eludes you
While most of these key suggestions are not altogether new, nor even that much of a revelation, together they demonstrate there is a growing body of scientific research that a healthy lifestyle is a paramount to leading a longer, happier life. Furthermore, the four cornerstones outlined above, need to be incorporated into our lives throughout our lifecycle. The more effort each of us puts into the practice of eating well, moving our body in a variety of ways, adopting a growth mindset and sleeping well on a daily basis, we should be able to continue to live life to its fullest well into our 90’s.