Taking care of your health as you age
Take care of yourself. The good news is that looking after your health as you age is very similar to looking after your health in your adult years. There are just a few differences it can be helpful to note.
You need to ensure that the quantity of calories you consume is in proportion to your lifestyle. Obesity is never healthy (and neither is being underweight) and it can be only too easy to start putting on weight a little at a time if you keep eating your standard portions while taking less exercise. You want to be particularly careful to moderate your intake of potentially harmful foods such as sugar and salt and to make sure you get plenty of calcium to keep your bones as strong as they can be.
If you're not into pure water, then stick to healthy alternatives such as fruit teas or decaffeinated teas and coffees. Avoid drinks which are high in sugar and/or filled with chemicals (like a lot of fizzy drinks). Be careful of fruit juice as it can be surprisingly high in sugar and also acidic.
Alcohol is not hydration. You don't necessarily have to give it up completely, just be aware that you may start to feel its effects more quickly than you used to and that you may need longer for it clear from your body. Consider going for “longer” drinks such as spritzers instead of wine or shandy instead of beer.
If you've been participating in a sport your whole life, you may be able to continue participating in it well into your old age, in fact perhaps the whole of the rest of your life. You may, however, benefit from taking occasional lessons just so somebody else can have a look at your technique and see if you have picked up any bad habits which could put you at increased risk of injury.
If you've never really been into sport or exercise, then it's never too late to start. If you've set your heart on learning a particular sport, then you can most certainly make enquiries about it and there's a good chance you'll be told that it's safe for you to do it at least up to a certain point. If you haven't then you might want to prioritize non-contact, low-impact sports. Swimming and golf are probably the classic examples of this, but there are plenty of others. You might also want to look at yoga.
Keeping your brain going
The brain needs exercise too and very similar comments apply to exercising your brain as to exercising your body. If you have a hobby you really love, then by all means keep doing it, just remember to keep challenging yourself rather than just staying in a familiar and comfortable rut.
If you haven't then there are plenty of options to suit all tastes and budgets. These could be anything from just making a point of reading new books to becoming a quizzer to seeking out exhibitions and talks. Keeping your brain active can also be a way to keep your social life active, which is important for your general sense of wellbeing. Even if you're struggling to get out and about in the real world, you can often still keep up with people on the internet, especially now smart devices are so affordable and very easy to use. If you don't fancy a smartphone (or you have friends who don't), you could look at a smart TV, which can let you make calls, even videocalls, over the internet.