Everyone wants to stay healthy and fit for as long as possible. With a healthy lifestyle you can contribute a lot to it. The most important factors are nutrition, exercise, relaxation and sleep, the renunciation of stimulant poisons and a positive attitude towards life. A conscious lifestyle increases your chances of staying fit into old age. Here are 10 important tips on what you can do yourself to maintain your health and quality of life for a long time:
Hardly anything is more important for maintaining health than a healthy diet. A healthy diet is what counts:
- at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, preferably raw, in all colours and varieties
- Dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese daily
- Fish once or twice a week
- many vegetable oils and carbohydrates, including plenty of legumes
- for cereal products, it is best to choose the whole grain variety
- little meat and fat, also pay attention to hidden fats in, for example, sausages and finished products
- Use salt and sugar sparingly
- Cook food only as short as necessary and with little water and fat.
All this not only preserves our vital functions, but also strengthens the immune system.
Lack of water damages the human organism: Since water is not only an important part of the body cells, but also the main component of the blood, the blood can no longer flow properly if we drink too little. The entire body is not supplied with enough blood, brain performance and the ability to concentrate diminish. Suitable thirst quenchers are water, fruit spritzer or herbal tea. The German Society for Nutrition recommends that adults drink at least two litres of fluid a day.
Regular endurance sports are good for body and soul and the best way to get the body in shape and the organism up to speed. Sport helps to strengthen the body’s defences, reduce stress symptoms and prevents cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis. Even brain performance in old age is positively influenced.
Every kind of physical activity contributes to your well-being: The minimum to prevent disease is half an hour of light exercise five to seven times a week. It is never too late to start exercising. Even those who only begin in old age benefit practically immediately from the positive effects.
Lots of fresh air and light
Oxygen awakens life spirits and mobilises the body’s defences. Therefore – even in winter – go out every day to the fresh air. Another positive effect when we are outside: We get more light, which also improves our mood. In daylight, the nerve messenger serotonin is released, which brightens the mood.
Even in very bad weather, it is much brighter outside than indoors. In addition, light is important for the production of vitamin D – indispensable for strong bones.
Relaxation for balance
Stress, hectic and psychological stress eat away at the resistance; disturbances in the balance of tension and relaxation can lead to serious psychological and physical illnesses. So at the latest when stress and hustle and bustle take over, it’s time to shift down a gear.
Relaxation techniques such as autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation after Jacobsen or yoga can help to regain balance and serenity.
Enough and regular sleep
Sleep is a basic need that we must satisfy as regularly as food and drink. It is the indispensable basis of life and the prerequisite for development, well-being and health. During sleep, the metabolism is shifted down a gear, whereas the repair mechanisms work at full speed.
The immune system, digestion, the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and the brain need sleep to regenerate. Recent studies, for example, have shown that people who sleep too little on a regular basis have a much higher risk of having a heart attack.
Active brain jogging
“Move, bring blessings” – this saying applies not only to our body, but also to our brain. Just like our muscles, the brain also wants to be busy – for the rest of our lives. If the grey cells are not kept on their toes, they degrade. Conversely, the brain can be trained like a muscle. In order to stay mentally fit, the grey cells need daily training.