Like a fine wine, we all want to get better with age. But how can we stay happy, healthy and fit as we grow older? It turns out that starting healthy habits now, whatever your age, will not only benefit you in the short term, but for the rest of your life as well. Here's our top tips for ageing well:
1. Sleep well. When you think of health, is your first thought sleep? Because it should be. Even if you eat well and exercise regularly, research is finding that sleep is a key part of overall health, and it's often being neglected. That means you should be getting your eight hours a night. You'll feel better, be in a better mood, and your body will be better equipped to heal. Some research has even suggested that people who sleep more live longer - so give yourself that extra hour in the morning!
2. Exercise your brain. You can slow age-reated mental decline by keeping your brain as active as your body (which is to say, exercised regularly). Your favourite brainy activity, whether it's a puzzle, crossword, writing or problem solving, will help keep the grey matter in top shape. And it's never too late to start - even people in their 70's and 80's can benefit from regular mental exercise.
3. ...and exercise your body. Yes, this one might be obvious but it's an important one. Staying physically active is important to keep your body in top form for as long as you can. Resistance training (such as weights or water exercise) is particuarly good for keeping your muscles strong well into your later years. Exercise is also important for your brain health - it's been found that regular exercise can help avoid Alzheimer's disease. And it also releases seretonin, which is a hormone that boosts our mood and keeps us happy for longer!
4. Give up sugar. Limiting your intake of sugar will reduce your risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer, which gives you a better chance of living longer and healthier. Quitting the sweet stuff will also help you literally look younger by banishing those wrinkles! Use Norbu instead of sugar in your morning cuppa and cooking for an easy way to swap the sugar.
5. Keep your friends close. An important part of ageing well is keeping a strong network of friends and relationships around you. Studies have found that feelings of isolation and loneliness are common as people age, and this is bad for both mental and physical health. Maintain your friendships, and even go out and meet new people!
6. Stressful events over your lifetime can cause you to develop the signs of ageing more quickly. While we sadly can't control these, practising mindfulness and meditation has been found to help counteract some of the negative effects of stress. Not only will you feel better and more focused in your day-to-day life, but managing stress can help you live longer.