6 Simple Steps of Ageing Well

We all know this – ageing is inevitable. While we cannot reverse time and ageing, we can decide how we want to age in a manner that you can have full absolute control. We share these six simple things (and good habits) so you can start to look good and feel great.

1. Exercise regularly
Exercise helps us get in shape. We cannot agree more, but beyond looking good and staying healthy, do you know that exercise can also help us to mitigate risks of falls?

“Older persons suffer falls when they lose strength in their legs or have an impaired ability to keep their balance. Hence, it is advisable to keep up with exercises that help them maintain both strength and balance as age increases,” said Ms Susan Teo, Principal Occupational Therapist based at the Foundation’s Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing (HMCSA).

2. Reduce fall risks at home
Besides exercise, you can further reduce the risk of falls at home by making a few simple adjustments at home.

  • Keep floors dry to prevent slips.
  • Decluttering and keeping floors clear of any unused items to avoid tripping and falling.
  • Keep things within reach so as to avoid having to climb up and down.
  • Keep a night light around the common access way, for instance to the toilet, so that you can see where you are going.

3. Watch what you eat and drink
Going on a diet to lose weight is probably one of the hardest New Year resolutions to keep since Singapore is a food paradise. In addition, your body needs proper nutrition and diet as these play a huge part in your appearance, health and mood. Eat everything in moderation but stick to a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low in sugar.

Stay hydrated since our bodies are mostly made up of water. As age increases, you may not drink enough water because you do not feel thirsty like before due to a more sedentary lifestyle and less physical activities. When the body is dehydrated, the skin becomes dry and constipation may occur. You can also become easily fatigued. The Health Promotion Board recommends a daily intake of eight to 10 plain glasses of 250 ml each 1 . You can also choose unsweetened drinks such as Chinese tea. Avoid soft drinks or other sugar-sweetened drinks.

4. Keep up with your medical review with your doctor
Keeping up with your regular medical review and health screening with your doctor enables you to find out if you have a particular disease or condition even if you do not have any symptoms or signs of disease. Earlier detection allows you to manage the conditions with proper treatment at the early stage, which often results in better outcomes.

You can also consider identifying a primary care doctor who has insights to your entire medical history and treatment plan. In addition to chronic disease management, the doctor can work with you and your caregiver further on disease prevention, education and advice on self-care so as to avoid non-essential visits and hospital admissions.

5. Pay attention to grooming and hygiene
Looking good is feeling good.

One of the most important aspects of maintaining good health is practicing good personal hygiene. Personal hygiene not only keeps the body clean, it helps in infection control. 

The other aspect is personal grooming. Due to changes in lifestyle and needs with age, it is common that you put less emphasis on our appearances as we grow older.  However, how you look reflects your sense of self-esteem and dignity. Therefore it is good to stick to a simple grooming routine such as keeping the hair neat always.

Poor hygiene and unkempt looks could be indicative of cognitive or psychological risks. Hence, do keep a tab on other older people living around your community or among your friends who are ageing like yourself.

6. Maintain good relationships with family and friends
Friends and relationships are important. The Harvard Study of Adult Developmentii showed that those who kept warm relationships live longer and happier. They are instrumental to overall social emotional health and being socially active promotes exchange, peer learning and being curious.

i https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/456/Dietary%20Guidelines%20for%20Older%20Adults

ii https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_waldinger_what_makes_a_good_life_lessons_from_the_longest_study_on_happiness/transcript?fbclid=IwAR30xX1KhGG51IO3n4juQszsR28HxJEXg6tuve0jJXZmUk4AX9D-vrND_rg


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