Healthy Ageing: Practical tips on how you can stay healthy NOW and as you get older
Taking Control of Your Health
Living a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong pursuit that can help you feel your best, particularly as you age. It's not something you should only begin to pay close attention to as you approach your golden years. But it is sometimes difficult to know what actions you can take to live your best life, especially when there are so many options and areas of life to consider. Below, you'll find some simple tips (presented by Carbon Nutrition and Dietetics) that inform you about resources and actions you can take today to become an advocate for your own health.
Start Incorporating Healthy Habits
Incorporating healthy habits into your life NOW. Your future self will appreciate it as you grow older to ensure a healthy ageing process. Try getting some light exercise by walking around the neighbourhood or joining a local gym.
Eat a healthy diet by ensuring you get nutrients from a variety of sources of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. If you are working or volunteering and don't have as much time to devote to exercise, you can still get in some physical activity by making small changes such as taking the stairs instead of the lift or going for a walk during breaks.
Organise Your Health Records
One of the best ways you can take control of your own health is to maintain a personal record of your health history. Hospitals and healthcare providers will hold on to your records whenever you make a visit, but it can often be a hassle to find the records you need if you are visiting a new provider. To get started, contact all of your health providers and request copies of you health records. Keeping all of your records in one place keeps you informed and ready to accurately discuss your health with doctors.
If possible, get to know the health history of your closest relations (parents, and grandparents). The best way to do this is by having open conversations with your family.
Knowing this information can help to identify if you have a higher-than-usual chance of having common disorders, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes.
Use Your Phone for Easy Access to Records
If you own a smartphone such as an iPhone, you can create PDF files of your important documents and save them directly to your phone. This can be very helpful when you are at a doctor's office and need to access your health records. Additionally, you won't have to rely on Wi-Fi coverage to access your files when you save a PDF to your phone.
Find the Right Health Professional
You wouldn't give your car to an eyelash technician to fix and if you wanted an intricate sculpture made, you'd want someone with a lot of experience in the field to make it.
Treat your health in the same way. Seek advice and ensure that your GP refers you to specialist services (such as a dietitian) if issues can't be resolved with a GP appointment.
It's also important to note that your GP may not necessary be the best first point of contact:
Need medical advice fast but it's not an emergency- call NHS 111
Need urgent medical care but it's not life threatening- visit an urgent care centre
Have questions about medications or have a minor illness such as a cough, cold, sore throat, stomach aches and pains- visit your local pharmacist
Following COVID, many practices are still offering virtual appointments, making attending appointments easier and less time consuming for you.
If you have the means to go private, making sure you find a health professional who can help you advocate for your own health is important.
Become an Advocate for Your Health
With just a few changes and plans, you can be well on your way to leading a healthier, more knowledgeable lifestyle. For additional help specifically on your diet, you can arrange a FREE consultation with Jasmine Carbon at Carbon Nutrition and Dietetics- Specialist in health optimisation advice and Afro-Caribbean cultural diets.