There is evidence that older women are more likely than men to suffer from chronic health conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. They are also more likely to develop dementia and other cognitive problems. While we can’t control everything when it comes to our health, in recognition of Women’s Health Week here are some measures women can take to boost their chances of staying physically and mentally healthy as they age.
Even if you feel perfectly healthy, you should see your GP at least once a year for a check-up. It’s also important that you stay on top of your preventative health by booking in health screenings, such as bone density, breast and cervical cancer and diabetes checks, at regular intervals. These screenings help boost your chances of picking up potential health problems in their early stages. It’s also a chance to have any vaccinations recommended for those over 65, including flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccinations.
Regular exercise is important for good health and has a whole range of benefits, including assisting you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, strengthens bones and muscles, increases brain function, lifts mood and can ease depression and anxiety symptoms.
In general, older women need fewer calories as they get older but still need high levels of vitamins and minerals. To make sure you’re still getting the nutrition you need, aim for five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit each day. Pair these with fibre-rich options such as wholegrain bread, rice and pasta and low-fat proteins such as meat, dairy and fish.
Stay connected to your community and activities you love by joining groups of interest or catching up with your friends and family regularly. Trying new things and challenging your brain can help you stay mentally active and feel socially connected to others.
Slip, slop, slap
Using sunscreen daily is not only the best anti-ageing measure you can take for your skin; it will also help lower your risk of skin cancer. For added protection wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when you’re out in the sun.