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Take control of your health

Monday, May 12, 2014


Getting older is a fact of life and something we cannot change. What we can transform, however, is our assumptions and views on ageing and, additionally, how we perceive our mental and physical wellbeing at all life stages.

This hackneyed image is increasingly being challenged and one of the most prominent discussions around this matter concerns self-empowerment. We are in control of our destiny and therefore, in taking control of our own wellbeing, you can live longer, happier and healthier lives.

The BBC is currently looking at the implications of an ageing population in a series entitled The Older We Get and has canvassed the opinions and analysis of experts on how 'we can influence the rate at which we age'.

Dr Lynne Corner, director of engagement of changing age at Newcastle University, says that while there is "no simple way or single answer to ageing well", it’s possible: "It really is a complex combination of lifestyle factors and of course good diet and exercise."

Key to studies is examining Japanese lifestyles because the Asian nation has the highest proportion of elderly citizens anywhere in the world, and, moreover, they tend to be in very good health.

Diets in the Asian nation tend to be rich in vegetables and fish, while physically activity is focuses on a blend of strengthening exercises and relaxation techniques, which can be achieved through yoga.

Other interesting insights into 'ageing well' focus on the importance of social engagement, with Dr Carol Holland, director of Aston University's research centre for healthy ageing, explaining to the broadcaster that older people who have a close unit of friends tend have more robust dispositions.

"More and more research on ageing shows the more friends you have when you are 50-60 years old, the less likely you are to be isolated in later life," she added. "And the less isolated you are, the less likely you are to be frail as the years go by."

This series of news stories comes on the back of research from the US, which reports that centenarians and baby boomers 'feel younger than their years', with the former saying they feel like they did when they were 55 and the latter saying the feel as they did in their early 80s.

This link will take you back to the Love Retirement homepage where you can find more interesting articles to read.

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