Food, fitness and health in your 60s and beyond

By March 31, 2019 Health & Nutrition

Over 60? Discovery Vitality shares an article here that encourages youthfulness through a holistic approach to your wellbeing no matter what your age is. Here’s your guide to managing your diet, exercise and health. Team RetyrSmart

Food, fitness and health in your 60s and beyond

Over the decades, the Italian actress Sophia Loren was celebrated worldwide for her distinctive grace and style. She once mused, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap into this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

You can also bring creativity into caring for your body, and work to defeat age by prioritising your health and wellness. This is the ticket to enjoying mobility and independence as you get older. We asked some experts for guidelines on how to enjoy your best health in your 60s and beyond, and here’s what they had to say.

Don’t let vitamin or mineral deficiencies get the better of you As you age, you’re more likely to develop deficiencies in vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium. “Try as much as you can to meet your nutrient needs through food, but if in doubt, consult a dietitian or doctor who can help you determine if supplementation is right for you,” suggests Candice Smith, Head of Vitality’s Nutrition Strategy. These are her diet tips:

* Reduce your cancer risk by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables (these are high in phytochemicals – plant compounds that help protect against cancer) and less processed meats.

* Immune function decreases with age. Help counter it with zinc-rich foods (like seafood, beans and lentils, and nuts and seeds) and folate-rich foods (like dark green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, and legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils).

* Older adults often struggle with constipation. Choosing high-fibre foods over refined products can help prevent or relieve it.

* To counter any loss of taste and smell, flavour foods with a variety of salt-free spices and herbs, lemon juice, or vinegar.

* Eat oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines) at least twice a week to reduce your chances of developing heart disease and to slow down cognitive decline.

Focus on regular low-intensity activity, mobility and balance

In the 60s, musculoskeletal problems are common. Regular exercise can reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and certain cancers. It’ll also help you to stay independent and give you the confidence to perform daily tasks.

* Do 4 to 6 sessions a week of exercises like walking, cycling, stair-climbing, hiking or swimming.

* Use free weights, elastic bands, body weight or machines for strength-training.

* Daily balance and core strengthening exercises will help reduce the risk of falling, and improve your gait and posture.

* Stretch regularly to maintain sufficient joint space and flexibility, which can help reduce the wear and tear inside your joints.

* Exercise is also beneficial for better brain function and can help prevent memory loss, cognitive decline and dementia.

* If you’re unfamiliar with a specific exercise, or are unsure of suitable exercises for your age, ask a bio kineticist or personal trainer for assistance.

“Staying active can add years to your life. A combination of cardio, strength and balance training can help maintain muscle tone and make everyday tasks easier. Plus, with regular exercise, you’ll likely have more energy, confidence and cope better with the daily stresses of life,” says Mari Leach, a bio kineticist at Discovery Vitality.

Keep an eye on your risk profile with preventive screenings We asked Dr Deepak Patel, Principal Clinical Specialist at Discovery Vitality, how you can keep best an eye on your health status. He suggests the following screenings as some of the preventive measures you can take:

The Polish poet Stanislaw Lec once remarked, “Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.” So be your own masterpiece – use your experience and lifestyle to inspire those around with the youthfulness of your attitude, body and mind!

* Reduce your cancer risk by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed meats.

* Daily balance and core strengthening exercises will help reduce the risk of falling, and improve your gait and posture………………