5 HEALTHY TO ADOPT
# 1 Do a few different types of exercise
A 20-year Australian study published in 2016 proved that, as well as improving your odds of ‘healthy ageing’ by seven times, taking up regular exercise at midlife is one of the best ways you can protect against dementia.
throw a few different types of exercise into the mix and you’ll protect the length of your telomeres, too. Shorter telomeres, which are the protective caps that sit on the end of your chromosomes, are associated with increased risk of a number of diseases, including cancer and diabetes.
Make sure at least one of your exercises is weight bearing, and that another involves being outdoors, to top up your osteoporosis-fighting vitamin d.
# 2 eat a mediterranean diet
This means plenty of fish, fresh fruit and vegies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and olive oil. eat these consistently, and over 10 years your heart disease risk will halve, because the diet helps lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. if you’re female, breast cancer risk may also fall by 68 per cent, and you’ll be 20 per cent less likely to experience hot flushes. and, according to a 2017 deakin university study, you’ll have less chronic disease, frailty and cognitive decline in later years.
too late for a change in diet to have much effect? Not true! a 2014 study found those people with the healthiest diets at middle age were 90 per cent less likely to develop dementia over the next 14 years.
#3 stay busy
Research now shows that the busier your lifestyle after 50, the stronger your brain’s processing speed and working memory will be as you grow older. the uS researchers behind the study say being busy may provide more of the learning opportunities that help to maintain brain strength.
# 4 set goals
Having something to strive for gives you a sense of purpose — and that can add years to your life expectancy, regardless of how late in life you find that purpose. one explanation is that having a sense of purpose subconsciously nudges people towards healthier lifestyles.
# 5 socialise often
A German study confirms the link between having an active social life and a lower risk of cognitive decline, as well as better ‘later-life satisfaction’ despite age-related health challenges.