Introduction to a Healthy Lifestyle
Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or healthcare professional.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is a non-negotiable element of your plan for a long, healthy, happy and prosperous life in your retirement years.
This article will introduce you to the key aspects of your life that this broad subject encompasses. For your ongoing education and personal action plan, I have sub-divided a “Healthy Lifestyle for people over 50” into six broad categories:
- The Right Nutrition for a Long Healthy Life,
- How Older People Can Lose Weight Naturally and Permanently,
- The Importance of Water – How Much Do I Need to Drink?
- How to Avoid Age-Related Diseases
- Exercise and Fitness-Transform your life & Live Longer
- Men’s Health
Each of these categories encompasses a number of important aspects of a healthy lifestyle, with a specific focus on the areas that are most important for older men.
In this article I will introduce the key aspects of the 6 categories above; so by the end of the article you will have a better understanding of what to expect from Design Your New Life going forward, as we cover each element of a Healthy Lifestyle in depth; providing you with a road map for your personal action plan.
1. Nutrition for a long healthy life
Nutrition is one of the most critical factors to living a healthy lifestyle. As we age our bodies change; the nutritional needs of people over 50 are different to those of children, teenagers, and younger adults. So good nutrition will play a very important role in how well you age.
In addition to adopting a healthy diet, with an emphasis on foods that have proven anti-ageing properties, you may want to consider using nutritional supplements (essential minerals, vitamins, supplements and superfoods} to ensure that your mind and body function properly. It would also be sensible to incorporate more organic foods into your diet plan and to ensure that you drink adequate quantities of water. There will also be some foods that you will need to steer clear of, or substantially cut back on.
Designyournewlife.com has sub-divided “Nutrition for a long healthy life” under the following sub categories: –
– Anti ageing diet
Adopting an anti-ageing diet will give you greater resistance to disease and illness, higher levels of energy and a sharper and clearer mind. An anti-ageing diet can also make you look and feel younger, and it is the single most important step you can take to slow the ageing process. Eating natural foods such as fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, and whole grains protects against many chronic diseases that could limit your life.
Fruits and vegetables, in combination with proteins to maintain your body’s cells tissues and organs, and adequate amounts of the right types of fats, form the basis of a healthy anti-ageing diet. They are low in calories and are nutrient dense, and they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre.
You should avoid refined foods such as breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals that are not whole grain. Be smart with your carbs and choose whole grains over processed white flour for more nutrients and more fibre.
The number 1 absolute must to avoid is refined sugar. It is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.
– Organic foods
Organic foods are growing in popularity, and all the health websites that I have the highest regard for recommend incorporating them into your diet whenever possible.
According to the website www.organicfacts.net “Organic food refers to food items that are produced, manufactured and handled using organic means defined by certifying bodies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its Organic Food Products Act.”
Simply stated, organic food is food prepared and processed without using any chemicals; that is, organic food production does not involve the use of chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides or chemical preservatives.
A typical 50 year old man will be carrying around a substantial amount of toxic sludge in his colon and a range of toxic substances including heavy metals around his waist, which has been deposited there over a lifetime. Your lungs, liver, kidneys and skin are designed to remove these toxins, but they are frequently stretched beyond their limits by our polluted world and an unhealthy western diet.
A healthy anti-ageing diet coupled with regular exercise is the best way to remove the toxins that have accumulated in your body over your lifetime and to prevent them from accumulating in future.
But we live in a world where we are exposed to more environmental toxins and pollutants than ever in human history, and after a lifetime of eating the typical western diet, full of unhealthy processed foods, most people will have an unhealthy level of these toxins and pollutants in their body . So it seems like common sense to periodically cleanse your system if you want to keep toxins from prematurely ageing you and making you vulnerable to disease. You can do this by periodically fasting, purifying or cleansing, or a combination of all three.
My research indicates that there are literally thousands of detoxification and cleansing programs we can choose from, most of which claim to be the ultimate solution. I will look in detail at the ones that seem most credible to me and publish regular articles providing my comments and links to those that appear to be credible.
– Nutritional Supplements and Superfoods
Recent studies show we are not getting the amounts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need from our modern diet. Nutritional supplements (Minerals, vitamins, supplements and superfoods) are products designed to supplement out diets to provide some of the vital nutrients we may be missing out on.
Supplements and superfoods can be part of your healthy lifestyle
As the name suggests, these supplements are not intended to replace our food intake, just to complement it with some of the vital elements that may not be present in the right quantities in our regular diet.
There are now thousands of published studies supporting the use of nutritional supplements (Minerals, vitamins, supplements and superfoods) and we are now also able to measure the positive effects that many of these supplements provide.
Which supplements should you take? Everyone is different and there are multiple factors to take into account when deciding which supplements are right for you.
But please remember that we are all different, and supplements that suit one person will not necessarily suit another. So please consult your physician or healthcare professional before using any supplements.
Supplements commonly used by older people include vitamin D3, vitamins B6 and B12, Omega 3 wild fish oils, multivitamins and glucosamine.
The growing number of superfoods, now widely available has provided a new source of incredibly powerful natural nutritional supplements. Goji berries, as shown in the picture above are higher in antioxidants than any other plant.
2. How Older People Can Lose Weight Naturally and Permanently
Extensive research from numerous highly reputable sources, has confirmed what I already believed to be the case; that for the vast majority of people, diets do not work in the long run. Of course there are exceptions, and these are the stories you see in the media and in advertising aimed at selling you a particular diet. It would be fascinating to see how the people featured in these amazing diet success stories are doing 5 years later.
A short-term diet is not the road to long-term sustained weight loss and good health. What you must do to make permanent changes, is to adopt all the elements of a “healthy lifestyle”. So it is no coincidence that that is exactly what I am recommending that you do in this article and on my website. Adopting a healthy lifestyle along the lines presented here, and sticking to it, will ensure that you progressively improve your overall health and will lead to a reduction in your weight, because you are now leading a healthy lifestyle and you have stopped doing the things that caused you to be overweight in the first place.
If, as part of your overall plan to design a long healthy happy and prosperous retirement life you feel that a structured diet plan would be the best course of action for you personally, I suggest that you take a look at the Atkins diet and a Mediterranean diet.
Both of these dietary plans follow a nutritional plan with fruit, vegetables, salads, lean meat, fish, nuts, and whole grains as their core ingredients. I will post links to the sites I used at the end of this article.
3. The Importance of Water – How Much Do I Need to Drink?
In addition to your anti-ageing diet, you need to remember that drinking sufficient water (Ideally spring or filtered water) is critical; it is the medium in which all your body’s chemical reactions take place, it transports your nutrients, oxygen and waste products and regulates your body temperature
4. How to Avoid Age-Related Diseases
Some common diseases associated with ageing are Atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Design Your New Life.Com” does not provide medical advice: there are a number of excellent websites that provide that information and advice. I have posted links at the end of this article to the ones have I used myself, either in my research or for personal use and am happy to recommend to you. I am not saying will be an exclusive list, but these all provide excellent and comprehensive information and support. If you have already found other websites that you think I should add to my list, please let me know by posting a comment at the end of this article.
Although I will not be providing medical advice, I will, both on “Design Your New Life.com” and in my regular email news updates, let you know when I see new information about any age-related disease or health issue that I think you should be aware of and will also provide a link for you to find more information, in case it is relevant or interesting for you or someone you know.
What I will also do is provide an ongoing stream of information to support the view that it is not inevitable that you will contract any age related diseases as you grow older; that there are simple habits you can adopt that will minimise the risk of contracting them:-
By adopting an ant-ageing diet, adding vitamins and supplements to your nutrition plan, drinking lots of clean water, detoxifying your body, stopping any unhealthy addictions, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and most importantly maintaining the right mindset and attitude about aging and your purpose in life.
Every one of these topics is and will continue to be key elements of the “Design Your New Life.Com” four part system, and I will provide information and ongoing updates on a regular basis on each of them. Remember that my website is designed to be your “One Stop Shop” for everything you need to design your personal plan for a long healthy happy and prosperous retirement.
5. Exercise and Fitness-Transform your Life & Live Longer
No matter what your age, exercise can provide enormous benefits for your health, and its importance increases once you are over 50. Regardless of whether you are healthy or dealing with an illness, there are many ways to become more active.
Exercise is a critical element of a healthy lifestyle.
Amongst it’s many benefits for mature people, regular exercise can: –
– boost your IQ and help you to think more clearly,
– increase your energy levels,
– enhance mobility, flexibility, and balance in over 50’s,
– improve your mind, mood, and memory,
– manage and deal with the symptoms of illness or pain, and
– even reverse or slow down some of the symptoms of ageing.
People who are inactive frequently experience numerous signs of accelerated ageing, including: a decrease in bone mass and density, poor cardiovascular tone, and increased incidence of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older, and once you get over the initial skepticism and learning phase and start to feel the benefits, it can actually be fun.
You are never too old to start exercising, and an ever increasing body of research confirms that a lack of exercise is a significant threat to your overall health and mental well-being, and will probably shorten your lifespan.
In addition to nurturing you physical and mental health, it is important to remember that consciously exercising your brain is just as important as exercising your body. Like your muscles, your brain starts to atrophy (waste away or shrink) through lack of use.
Here are some activities that will promote your brain health:
- Eating a healthy diet,
- walking, jogging, or cycling regularly to promote cardiovascular heath and good circulation,
- meditation or some form of relaxation technique,
- reading a novel or print media to keep you informed about what’s happening in the world,
- listening to classical music,
- learning a new skill e.g. a language or a musical instrument,
- playing games that require planning and memory, such as chess and bridge,
- solving mental puzzles and games, like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, even Monopoly,
- activities that improve your vocabulary such as crosswords and Scrabble, and
- doing simple sums in your head rather than reaching for a calculator.
If you have physical limitations, engage yourself in light physical activities that can help you maintain your vitality e.g. Gardening, D.I.Y. washing your car, cleaning and house maintenance.
6. Common Health Issues for Mature People
One of the most important health issues for over 50’s is an increased risk of contracting chronic and degenerative diseases and the consequences of a poor diet and lack of exercise.
In this section of the “design your new life system” I will consolidate relevant new information that I find on any of the websites and health news updates I look at regularly to:
- Keep you up-to-date with the latest developments in our understanding or treatment of the conditions that are either specific to men, or to which men are at higher risk, and
- provide ongoing updates on other issues that have a particular impact on men’s health and well being e.g. smoking, excessive alcohol use, stress.
– Why Don’t Most Men like to Visit Their Doctors
One of the fundamental problems exacerbating men’s health issues is that most men don’t like visiting their doctor or having tests done unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Unfortunately, skipping routine health checks and delaying visits to your doctor can be a matter of life and death. So I will also be trying to increase my subscriber’s awareness of the risks of not seeking treatment as soon as signs of possible problems arise.
Experts believe the failure of men to visit their doctors on a regular basis could be one reason why women live longer than men, and why men are more likely to contract serious diseases, often with fatal consequence
– What are the top health issues or concerns in developed countries?
According to Web M.D. The 10 most common causes of death in the USA (n.b. this is typical of most developed countries) are:
- heart disease,
- cancer (all forms)
- kidney disease,
- chronic liver disease, and
Many of the top 10 causes of death listed above are preventable, and can be treated, if found early.
– Health checks for over 50’s
According to the Mayo Clinic, most older adults should have regular health checks, even if you don’t believe you have any health issues, at least once a year. Medical check-ups help you stay healthy and to pick up early warning signs of disease or illness.
Doctors can detect many diseases in their early stages, including cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes and some cancers.
If you have high-risk factors, such as a family history of a disease, your lifestyle or any toxic habits, it may be more likely that you will develop a particular disease. Regular check-ups may help your doctor pick up early warning signs. For example, high blood pressure may be an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease.”
Everybody is different. You may need other regular tests not listed here depending on your personal or family medical history. Your Doctor should be able to provide guidance.
In this article, I have introduced you to the key elements of a healthy lifestyle, which as I said in the introduction, is a non-negotiable element of your plan to lead a long, healthy, happy and prosperous life in your retirement years. I have also posted the links I promised you below.
As I have mentioned, this article is just an overview of the key aspects of a healthy lifestyle, designed to provide you with a road-map for your personal action plan.
I hope that you now have a better understanding of what to expect from Design Your New Life.com going forward, as we cover each element of a Healthy Lifestyle in greater depth and through my regular email news updates and posts on my website.
I have posted the links I promised in this article below.
Last Reviewed in 2021 Copyright © 2014 designyournewlife.com, a division of DA Web Enterprises Pty Ltd
Resources for useful information on specific diseases and healthy lifestyle in general:-
Dr. Mercola’s website has a healthy bias to natural foods and shows you why an active, healthy lifestyle is easier than you think. It spells out how you can Take Control of Your Health! This is one of the most popular and informative health and well-being sites on the Web. www.mercola.com
WebMD – a highly respected resource, and provides valuable free health information, tools for managing your health, and support to those who seek information http://www.webmd.com/
The Mediterranean diet, according to Wikipedia “is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece, Spain and southern Italy” There is no official website so I will give you the link to one that I found useful and comprehensive: http://www.mediterraneanbook.com/
Both of these dietary plans follow a nutritional plan with fruit, vegetables, salads, lean meat, fish, nuts, and whole grains as their core ingredients.