Health and wellbeing should be a focus for all
As a nation, we’re getting older. People are living longer nowadays, with the number of over 65s in the UK now well over 10 million. The fact that more people are enjoying longer and more active retirements is clearly a good thing,but having an ageing population does increase the dependency of older citizens on younger relatives and the NHS. As such, the more healthy and fit we can be as a nation as we head towards old age, the better the quality of our retirement is likely to be.
Most people know that participating in regular physical activity and exercise is essential to improving their health and their quality of life – but what else can we do as individuals to ensure we live long and healthy lives?
Staying active is not just beneficial for our waistlines. It also stimulates the brain’s ability to maintain healthy neurons and synapse connections. Exercise also reduces the risk of macular degeneration and the loss of clear vision.
Social interactions and intellectual stimulation in the form of puzzles also help to prevent cognitive degeneration. Though some of these activities can be solitary, they still play an important role in keeping us healthy. An American study concluded that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia was reduced by 47% for those who frequently read and listened to the radio.
A balanced diet is also critical for maintaining a healthy metabolic system as we get older. Diets consisting of high levels of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and low levels of fat and sugar, can reduce the risk of heart complications, myocardial infarction, type 2 diabetes, and even cognitive decline.
As we get older it is impossible to avoid sickness altogether, so it’s always wise to have a back-up plan. Making sure that we have convenient access to the most appropriate treatment will be an increasingly important part of staying healthy in retirement, as it will help us to remain fit and active in later life.
 Office for National statistics (June 2015) -
 National Eye Institute (2012) -
 National Institute of Aging (2002) -
 The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (2012) -