There was a time when reaching your half century was an achievement of sorts. Indeed, if you even made it to 50 in the Middle Ages you were doing very well. Today, happily, times have changed significantly and we are all living longer.
However, just because the media keeps telling us we have an increased life expectancy we really shouldn’t take it for granted. Everyone wants to enjoy their old age in good health.
Diet is of paramount importance. Everyone has heard about making sure to eat ‘five a day’ but are we all doing it? A balanced, healthy diet is the first step to maintaining a good level of physical fitness and wellbeing, avoiding the risks of obesity and reducing the chances of developing cancer, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and strokes.
Freshly prepared food which includes at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day is the best way maintain a balanced diet. Convenience ready meals and takeaways might seem an easy option but quite often they are full of fat, salt, sugar and additives and are best avoided where possible.
Caffeine and sugary drinks may give you an instant high but ultimately they will leave you dehydrated, which leads to decreased concentration levels and ultimately tiredness. Alcohol consumption should be limited according to government guidelines which currently recommend no more than 2-3 units a day for women and 3-4 for men, bearing in mind that one unit is roughly a half pint of beer or small glass of wine. Water is as cleansing for our insides as it is for our skin and it will not only will hydrate, but also flush out toxins.
Smoking leads to 120,000 deaths in the UK every year from illnesses such as heart disease and lung cancer. If you make only one life change then stopping smoking will be the best decision you ever made, not only for yourself but also for those around you. They are at risk from secondary smoke inhalation, which can cause heart disease, lung cancer and many health problems in young children.
Regular exercise does not necessarily mean joining a gym. There are many ways of building exercise into your daily routine and the benefits are many. It helps to maintain a healthy body weight, reduces the risk of heart disease and stress, increases energy levels, strengthens muscles and joints and improves mobility and balance.
Thirty minutes a day of reasonably rigorous exercise will prove an enormous benefit. Walking, swimming, dancing, gardening, vacuuming, taking the stairs rather than the lift and doing the housework are all great ways to keep fit. Exercise also offers the opportunity to socialise and meet new people, at a bowls club, tennis club, the local gym.
After retirement many people find the sudden lack of routine difficult to deal with so a new schedule which incorporates exercise is an excellent way to combat this and keep fit at the same time.
There is no time like the present to take stock of your eating and exercise habits and perhaps make a few small changes which could have a big impact so you can look forward to a happy and healthy second half century.
Of course, as much people might not want to think about it, over 50s life insurance is something everyone will need to consider at some point and unfortunately the older you get the higher risk you become to life insurers. However, a few simple life changes can not only enhance your 50s and 60s and reduce risks, but also pave the way for a happy and healthy retirement.