If you want to enjoy a good quality of life for years and decades to come, then it’s important to get the fundamentals right. Leaving to one side sleep hygiene, diet and exercise are pivotal to ensuring good outcomes. But why is this, and exactly what does a good, healthy lifestyle look like?

Why is it important to stay active?

Physical exercise will lower your risk of a whole range of health problems, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. It’ll improve the condition of your bones and muscles, including those of your cardiovascular system.

You might also find that physical activity helps to relieve stress. Depending on the intensity of the activity, feel-good hormones will flood your system and disperse any negative feelings you might have been experiencing.

The right exercise will also help to reinforce your sleeping patterns, helping you to drop off more easily in the evenings. This particular benefit will depend on the timing and intensity of the exercise you’re doing. You might find that running late into the evening, for example, actually inhibits your ability to drop off.

If you’re exercising in a group, then you might find that you experience psychological and social benefits, too. The presence of the group dynamic might also provide you with the incentive you need to actually stick with the exercise.

Adapting as you age

As you get older, your body will naturally change. It’s sensible to adapt your exercise program to avoid injury and to settle into an appropriate level of intensity. Prolonged road-jogging sessions might result in hip and knee problems, as these are the joints most impacted. You can get around this with the help of hip replacement surgery, but generally speaking, prevention is the better option.

Certain kinds of activity tend to be considered high-risk. Switch them out for low-intensity ones like hiking. With that said, there are certain activities, like yoga, Pilates, and weightlifting, which are especially beneficial to older people.

Why is good nutrition also important?

As we get older, certain kinds of nutrients, and food, become increasingly important. Bone density is secured through minerals like calcium, and vitamins like D, which can be found in dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, and fatty fish respectively.

As you get older, your ability to absorb vitamin B12 will tend to decline, meaning that you’ll need to eat more of it to get the required effect. The same goes for potassium, which plays a significant role in regulating blood pressure.

If you’ve maintained good dietary habits throughout your life, then you’ll find it easier to stick to them as you get older. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, a little bit of protein, and a few carbohydrates, and you’ll give yourself a decent chance of living out a healthy, prosperous retirement.