We are none of us too old or too young to help ourselves to better health. Every day whether we like it or not we all get that little bit older. Ageing is inevitable – or is it? Although we have no control over our destined life span – the quantity of our life – we do have control over the quality of our lives.
People are living longer today thanks to medical advances and a better standard of living. The 50 + age group are growing in number. There are more mature people over the statutory retirement age than ever before. Mature women are becoming more visible in society and thankfully I have observed, at last the image of age is changing for the better. Today many women of 50+ are independent, vibrant and have a real zest for life. The chances are that many will have a third of life still in front of them, which they will be able to enjoy if they have maintained their good health.
Ageing and inactivity is not the same thing, and sitting around too much using our brain instead of our brawn is causing many of today’s health problems. Heart disease, osteoporosis and stiffness in the joints are just some of the results. We mustn’t fall into the trap of disguising physical and mental problems as “just old age” because many of these problems are preventable. For example, one immediate way to avoid heart disease, lung cancer and osteoporosis (fragile bone disease) – is to stop smoking. Nothing ages faces and skin more than smoking, it causes lines and discolouration. (As does too much sun.)
We can all help themselves to better health by leading a more active life. We should take advantage of any opportunity to exercise, anytime, anywhere by moving more, by simply walking, cycling, swimming, gardening, – or letting the dog take us for a walk! It pays to take charge of your health – it’s your body and your life. Anyone can make more of their health by eating a well balanced diet. Eat less fat and sugar, and more fresh foods, fruit and vegetables. Cut down on the amount of red meat by substituting it with chicken or fish. Eating too much of the wrong foods makes the skin – especially the face – pallid and spotty. Fibre in the diet improves the digestion, figure and face.
Exercise helps maintain mobility and therefore, physical independence as the years go by. At 50+ women with families who have grown and flown, or women nearing retirement, will have more time to enjoy life, especially if they have maintained good health. They have more time to travel, meet new friends, to experiment with ideas or hobbies and to be generally more active. Why not make it a time to exercise the mind to return to study, to qualify, to update and perhaps make a career change. And most importantly use the time to finally conquer the Computer!