How to add years to your life and feel great
There are many lifestyle factors linked to living longer that are in your direct control. The secret to longevity is in taking steps to prolong your life, as early as you can and not leaving it too late.
Read on for some lifestyle choices that could add quality years to your life.
Spending time with friends and people that are special to you may help all of you live longer, together. We don’t need research to tell us that relationships add more meaning to our lives. We do know that loneliness has been shown to have dire physical and mental health outcomes.
Loneliness, social isolation can impact longevity, studies find | Relaxnews | August 8 2017.
At the same time, an 80 year longitudinal study at Harvard University has shown that good relationships and embracing community helps us lead happier, healthier and longer lives.
For ageing parents, as adult children move on with their own lives the neighbourhood you raised them in is not what it once was. At the same time, friends that are reaching retirement age may choose to travel more, or move away. For these reasons, staying put can feel isolating.
Making a decision to move into a community that is purpose built for retirees reaching similar stages of life, means never being alone unless you choose to be. Retirement village living offers an instant community that is yours for the taking, if you want it.
Enjoy finding meaningful purpose
Sustained wellbeing means feeling good about yourself and your life over a long period of time. Having a sense of purpose in your life, contributes to a feeling of wellbeing and studies have shown that people that care for other people for example, enjoyed a sustained sense of wellbeing which in turn can contribute to adding years to your life.
At the same time, people with a sense of purpose in their lives are more likely to take healthy steps toward prolonging their life.
Feeling a sense of purpose, doesn’t have to mean being employed or being Chair of a not-for-profit organisation. A sense of purpose can be achieved by focusing on the positive impacts you’re making in your home or community.
At our RCA Villages, our Active Health and Active Management programs are designed to enhance the lives of our residents. When you live in a community of like minded people, there are plenty of formal and informal opportunities to explore and discover meaningful purpose in your day to day life.
Be active and encourage others to join you
The more physically active you are, the less stressed you tend to feel. Strength and flexibility training will help protect you from injury. Cardio activities like walking at a pace to lift your heart rate, jogging, running, cycling, swimming or participating in a team sport or training group will enhance your cardiovascular health, helping protect you from heart disease, increase your immunity and move oxygen around your body efficiently. Living in an area where it’s easy to access opportunities to exercise and participate in organised and informal sporting activities, makes incorporating physical activity into your days, easier.
Have fresh healthy ingredients in easy reach
There are a zillion diets that will claim to add years to your life. Keep it simple. Stick to the outside aisles of your grocery store to ensure that you’re bringing mostly fresh ingredients into your home, and less processed foods and additives that could contribute to health concerns.
Aim to have raw or lightly cooked vegetables; fruits; wholegrains and pulses; and nuts or seeds, taking up most of your serving. In the majority of food choices, the closer a food is to its natural state, the better the quality of minerals and nutrients you’ll benefit from.
Choose to live within easy access of fresh food markets, or consider ordering farm gate ingredients online. When healthy ingredients are on hand, it is easier to make good food choices when you’re putting a meal together.
Grab a piece of paper. Write down a list of all the tasks, activities and obligations in your life that generate negative stress. Then write a list of all the tasks and activities in your life that make you feel good. Take the first list, and work through each task one by one to work out a plan to either remove the task from your life, or reduce its negative impact on you. What you’ll be left with is a plan to focus on the positives in your life, and reduce negative stressors.
A common stressor as we move toward and through retirement is ongoing house and garden maintenance. The cost of maintaining an older, larger-than-you-really-need property can be stressful, as can the physical effort and time obligation necessary to stay on top of it.
Retirement village living means shared grounds and communal facilities that are maintained for you as part of your contractual arrangement with the village.
The latest Property Council Retirement Census indicated the average cost of a retirement home is just over two thirds of the median cost of housing within the same locality.
What that means, is that you’re not just benefiting from less property maintenance commitments, but you may find yourself with extra cash on hand for your health and lifestyle needs.
If a less stressful, healthy and active lifestyle that includes good relationships with friends, family and community are contributing to adding more years to your life, is it time to reassess your priorities?
Book an RCA Village tour
If you’re weighing up your lifestyle priorities, come and visit one of our villages to find out what a retirement village lifestyle looks and feels like.
Wyndham Grange Village, Tarneit: Free call 1800 195 758
Main St Village, Pakenham: Free call 1800 77 22 02
Cardinia Waters Village, Pakenham: Free call 1800 11 29 55
Point Cook Village: Phone 9394 6799
Martha Cove Village, Safety Beach: Free call 1800 195 758
Beleura Village, Mornington: Free call 1800 445 666
Image: shutterstock.com | 122705515