Like a fine wine, life can certainly get better with age, but there are important things to consider to ensure your health stays the very best it can be.

Our ten healthy habits will help you feel better mentally as well as physically.

Cut down on processed foods

Heavily processed foods are often very high in salt, which can lead to high blood pressure and weight gain. Try to cook the majority of your meals from scratch to control your salt and sugar intake and save those processed takeaways for a treat. Make an effort to be organised when you’re on the move as well to avoid grabbing convenience meals and drinks that are overly processed. Over time you will feel less bloated, more energised, and could also be protected against gum disease and tooth loss.

Vary your exercise

It can be hard to get yourself going, or if you’re in an established exercise routine it can be easy for your body to adjust and become comfortable with it. Throughout the week as a minimum, you should be aiming to at least 75-150 minutes of high intensity aerobic or cardio physical activity and also allow for muscle strengthening exercise twice a week. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of upping your exercise regime, start small and aim to limit the amount of time you spend sedentary every day, as even building up to a daily brisk walk which increases your heart rate will provide health benefits.

Don’t neglect your check ups

Your GP can carry out a range of regular tests which can help spot any health concerns early. Simple blood tests can check your cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index and risk of diabetes so are hugely important. If something changes with your body and health, always check in with your GP no matter how small, it’s better to get something sorted quickly before it could have more serious impact.

Maintain your eye tests

Even if your eyesight hasn’t deteriorated with age, it’s still very important to have regular eye checks with an optician. Their checks not only will check your sight, they can also detect early signs of eye disease.

Develop a heathy sleep routine

Whilst a bad sleep can make it hard to concentrate and leave us feeling irritable, regular poor sleep can leave you at risk of more serious health issues. Regulate your sleep patterns to make sure you get good quality sleep as much as possible. Stick to the same bed time and morning alarm as much as possible, including weekends to help your body establish a routine. Cut down television and phone use and introduce things each night to help your mind associate with sleep, such as using pillow sprays and listening to a mindfulness app. Avoid caffeine after lunchtime as it can stay in your system for up to 12 hours and impact your sleep.

Check yourself, regularly

It’s incredibly important for women to regularly check themselves for lumps in their breasts (and throughout the month as your body can change with your menstrual cycle) and for men to check themselves regularly for testicular lumps. If you do feel your body has any unusual changes, such as unexplained weight loss, bleeding, persistent coughing, new lumps elsewhere on your body, changes to moles or unexplained changes in your bowel habit, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible for further investigation.

Make time for mental health

In lots of ways, you may feel far more settled in your 30s and 40s than you did in your 20s, but this time of life can still present a lot of stress, with balancing family and work demands alongside potential health concerns amongst friends and family. It can be difficult to seek help early for anxiety and depression, but don’t be afraid to speak to your GP for support, they can steer you to counselling or psychiatric evaluation if needed. Block out time in your week to prioritise spending tome with loved ones, taking part in activities you enjoy and allowing time to simply relax and avoid burnout.

Be brave and quit

If you really want to have a big positive impact on your future health, then be brave and quit smoking for good. It has been proved that quitting smoking earlier can significantly reduce your long term risks of heart and lung disease and cancer. You will quickly notice the difference in how you feel, how you look and in your wallet too!

Get checked even if settling down

It’s still really important to check in on your sexual health when settling down into long term relationships. Speak to your GP or local sexual health clinic to arrange regular screenings, as they can pick up common infections which can cause complications if neglected.

Cut down the booze!

We all know drinking too much can impact our health, but the older we get, the more our bodies struggle to process alcohol. Make an effort to drink more water, stay hydrated and reduce your overall alcohol impact for a positive impact on your physical and mental wellbeing into middle age. By making little changes to your daily routine from our top ten tips should make a big impact on your short and long term wellbeing. If you have any concerns or want more advice from our tips, speak to a member of the Oval Medical Team for support.

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