Be a fit and healthy grandparent
You’re supposed to have a career, post on Facebook, travel and be the world’s coolest grandparent. But how do you stay fit and healthy enough to do it all?
It’s a joyous day when you learn the family will be enriched with a new generation. But it can also be difficult to see yourself as an elderly person who lives for quiet activities and rest. But is that true? The fact is that today’s grandparents are fitter than ever before. Here are some great tips to help you match your mental age from the inside out.
Healthy immune system
In recent years we have become aware of the necessity for vitamin D to maintain the immune system’s normal function. The main sources of vitamin D are fatty fish and sunlight. But since few people eat enough fish, and we have limited sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere, the NHS advises all Britons to take vitamin D supplements during the winter and even all year round if you don’t eat enough fish. Cod liver oil is an excellent vitamin D supplement with the added bonus of vitamin A and essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Healthy grandparent, healthy skin
The first commandment to keep your skin looking good is to use sunscreen year round. In winter it’s usually enough to use a day cream with an SPF but if you want to sunbathe, put on sunscreen too. Remember that around 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun’s UV rays.
The second commandment is a good diet. You can condition your skin from within by giving your body the nutrients it needs to produce new skin cells. One of these nutrients is vitamin A, which is found in liver paste, oily fish, eggs, margarine, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.
Knees and hips take extra strain when you jump on trampolines and run after scooters. At the same time, it’s often in your joints that you first notice aging. The best thing you can do to keep your joints healthy is to strengthen the muscles around them with regular strength training. Remember to get enough vitamin D as it’s an important vitamin for your muscle function.
The moment you realise you need reading glasses can be compared to the discovery of your first grey hair. Did you know that what you eat can have an effect on your eye sight? The fatty acid DHA and vitamin A contribute to normal vision **. Both can be found in oily fish and cod liver oil.
Healthy grandparent with a sharp brain
You may be at your intellectual peak, full of wisdom and with time to explore new subjects. And, as a healthy grandparent, this is how you’d like to keep it. Research shows that both physical and mental exercise can have an effect on keeping your mind sharp. Good exercise for your brain includes learning new subjects or skills, such as a new language, or ballroom dancing. In addition, your diet has a lot do to with the abilities of your brain. The fatty acid DHA from fish contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function **.
According to Age UK, three million people in the UK are estimated to have osteoporosis. You’ve probably heard it’s important to get enough calcium to maintain normal bone health. But did you know it’s equally important to get enough vitamin D? The body needs this vitamin in order to absorb calcium from food.
** Beneficial effects are achieved by a daily intake of 250 mg DHA.