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Oops --- I forgot to plan for vitality!

An ageing body is a very different body to a youthful body. But the good news is that with care we can slow ageing and achieve optimum health and energy.

An ageing body is a very different body to a youthful body.  But the good news is that with care we can slow ageing and achieve optimum health and energy.

How is an Ageing Body Different?

As we age, our metabolism slows, digestion falters, the brain shrinks, we lose muscle mass, have side-effects from medications and suffer inflammation.  Even if we think we are eating a healthy diet, medications or digestive issues may mean that we do not get the needed nutrients. All these factors can make us vulnerable to chronic diseases such as arthritis, thyroiditis, diabetes, cognitive decline and more.

These problems are not inevitable. There has been a recent explosion of scientific research which links diet to chronic and autoimmune diseases and brain function. The concept of ‘leaky gut’ explains how harmful molecules can escape from our digestive tract and make us more susceptible to an autoimmune attack on our organs. Research shows that we can reduce our risk of these and other diseases of ageing with the right diet and other lifestyle factors.

Why we need to take charge of our health directions

We want to avoid disease at every age. When we retire, poor health can drain our energy and motivation levels, preventing us doing what we want, when we want.

An ageing body needs a vitality plan. A vitality plan is the lifestyle change that can slow your ageing process, prevent chronic disease and better manage your health, now.

What are the six-steps of a Vitality Plan?

  1. Take a look at what you believe about your health and what you expect to happen as you age. What are your risk factors? If you don't know where to start, get some advice. You are sure to be surprised at how much new information has come out recently. 
  2. Take charge of your health. Turn knowledge into action. Develop and write down some goals and a strategy that works for you and will enable you to set out the actions you need to take.
    1. Set reasonable realistic goals, perhaps some steps towards a more effective exercise plan or a change to food options that are healthier or will lift your moods. It is a good idea not to make too many changes at once. Dietary changes are best made slowly to give your body time to adjust. You will have more success if you build your exercise gradually.
    2. Think of the barriers that will hold you back from achieving these goals. Brainstorm practical ways to overcome these barriers. You probably know the best way for you to overcome these barriers, if not seek advice. Old habits can hold you back. Changing habits can make things easy. Google Matt Cutts on TedX . He is inspirational and will show how, if you do something for 30 days it will become a habit and can change your life.
  3. Ask for support. Share your motivation with a partner, friend of health care provider.  We all need to make ourselves accountable and so it will help to get some support from a partner, friend or health care provider. This will keep you motivated and on track.
  4. Reward. It could be as simple as coffee or a walk with a friend. Or else it could be an active and fun adventure to take advantage of your newfound energy. 
  5. Review the strategy regularly to make any changes. As your knowledge and understanding of health increases or your situation changes you may need to do some fine tuning to the plan.
  6. Relax knowing that you have set yourself up to maximise health, vitality and an enjoyable retirement.   Kick up your heels and enjoy the benefits.



 'This article has been reproduced with permission from Gabrielle Leahy of Retire & Flourish Pty Ltd'

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