Grant also said that on average we have 13 years of disability in the back end of our lives. That is a long time of not feeling 100%. I wonder if we could reduce this too.
So this brings me to the question, what can we do to look after ourselves so we age better? Well I believe there are 4 main things we can work on. (some of these are things that Grant Schofield also suggested):
- Get fit
- Eat better
- Sleep better
- Reduce stress
This is probably the most obvious one but also the most important one in my mind. With today’s sedentary lifestyle, we simply do not move enough. I live by the mantra: Try to move more things more often. This is a really simple thing to introduce. Just move more. You can do things like, take the stairs, not the lift, go for a walk daily, walk at lunch time etc etc. Here is a blog post I wrote on simple ways to add more movement to your day.
Of course doing more weight bearing exercise is important. This can be body weight, you don’t have to join a gym. Just find some sort of activity that you enjoy doing and do it. It’s that simple.
This is also fairly obvious but very important. Your body will never run well if you don’t fuel it properly. I am not a nutritionist, but my approach is to try and reduce sugar and processed food as much as possible, reduce my grain intake and aim to eat clean most of the time. The key here is most of the time. Treat yourself, you deserve it, don’t feel bad about it. This approach is what makes healthy eating sustainable. I love the 721 eating approach by 'The Robards Method'. It is well worth looking into.
As much as activity is important, rest is also just as important. Making sure you get a good nights sleep is crucial for a healthy body as this is when healing occurs.
Making sure you have a good bed and appropriate pillow for your preferred sleeping position are two key steps to having a good sleep. There is also some evidence to suggest that we should minimise screen time before bed.
It may even be as simple as going to bed half an hour earlier to get a little extra sleep. I would suggest that you look at how much you sleep, how well you sleep and then see if there are some things you could change that could improve it.
Our lives are stressful and our bodies do not function well when under continual stress. I know that saying to reduce stress is easier said than done, but, as with the first 3 tips, it is something to work towards.
Find out what you like doing to relax and figure out how you can incorporate it into your day. I know that my 3 happy things are; spending time with family, doing my painting and exercise. I try to do at least one of these every day. This keeps me sane and hopefully helps me de-stress.
The key with this is to try to minimize stress as much as possible and at the same time figure out what you like to do that makes you feel better and then do more of it.
As you can see, these tips are not ground breaking. You can easily try to incorporate a few of them into your day and hopefully you will start to notice some changes in how your body feels. Small changes now can easily add up to big changes in the future.
I do know that if you do incorporate a few of these into your life, your body will thank you for it.