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5 ways to stay healthy after 50

Posted on 25 September 2019

There’s no denying it: staying healthy can be tricky.

Between work, family commitments and day-to-day chores, fitting in a workout or cooking a healthy meal can seem daunting.

Getting healthy can be fun, and have a really positive impact on your later years.

To help you build a healthier, happier life, we’ve collected our five favourite tips for getting started.

Remember – it helps to start small.

Whether your aim is to eat more wholegrains or go swimming twice a week, you can build yourself up gradually.

You might want to chat to your doctor before making any big changes to your diet or fitness.

Here's our top five tips.

  1. Eat right
  2. Find an exercise
  3. Challenge yourself
  4. Stay social
  5. Focus on your mind

infographic about staying healthy

1. Eat right – and treat yourself!

It’s easy for people to say ‘just eat healthier’. What’s harder is knowing what to actually eat!

A good start is the Mediterranean diet. This means lots of vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, fish, unsaturated fats like olive oil, plus less meat and dairy.

And don’t worry – it doesn’t mean cutting out that chocolate éclair or glass of wine completely. Just enjoy them every now and then.

Tip:
You don’t have to change your whole diet at once. To start, you could just try swapping unhealthy snacks for pieces of fruit.

2. Find an exercise you really enjoy

Any exercise routine is easier to stick to if you really love it. To find out what you might enjoy, ask yourself:

Can you do the exercise close to home? Do you like to exercise alone or in a group? What sports did you enjoy when you were young? Is there a sport you’ve always wanted to try?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll know what classes and groups to look for.

Or if you’d rather just head out solo, you can just grab your trainers and go!

If you've seen our followers' favourite video of Tandem cyclists Betty and Graeme, you'll know it's never too late to enjoy cycling.

Tip:
Facebook is a great way to find local exercise groups near you. If you can’t find one that’s right, you could even start one yourself.

3. Challenge yourself

Keeping your mind active is just as important as keeping your body active.

You don’t have to try huge, scary challenges, either.

Even just cooking a new recipe can get your brain ticking.

Why not try a crossword, go to a local talk or watch a TV documentary?

If you’re craving something really new, try learning a language or reading up on a new subject.

You could even join a book club, which would introduce you to new people, too. For inspiration, check out these retirees whose hobbies may surprise you.

Tip:
It’s always fun to learn a new instrument. These days, you can often pick up affordable second-hand instruments online.

4. Stay social

Spending time with people we love is great for our mental health, and it helps to keep our thinking sharp.

It’s recommended we spend time with someone every day. So if your friends and family are close by, try and see them as much as possible.

Another way to be sociable is to try volunteering or join a local group.

There are lunch clubs, rambling groups, pottery classes…the list goes on! You’ll meet people of all ages, which can be really energising.

Tip:
Why not try an over 50s social networking site? They can be a great way to meet new friends.

5. Focus on your mind as well as your body

Getting older can be a wonderful time of your life.

But sometimes coping with change can be hard, whether you’re faced with children leaving the nest, retirement, or moving away from friends.

The important thing to remember is that being over 50 doesn’t mean losing your health and happiness!

To help your mental health, try and express your feelings as much as possible.

Talk to friends and family, and try and focus on the positives.

And if you’re feeling low or anxious, you can always chat to your doctor.

Tip:
Try keeping a diary, so you can write your feelings down, and write a daily list of things you’re grateful for.

Sources:

NHS Obesity | Walking for health | Running tips | Diet | Nutrition | Stopping smoking

BBC - Food | Health

The Recovery Village | Sport England | Gransnet

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.