Every body is different, so you may not feel it slowing down quite as much as someone else would, but common effects of ageing include feeling tired, weaker or creakier bones, developing hearing difficulties, impaired eyesight and experiencing a slower digestive system.
As time goes on, you may want to start looking at the things you can do to prolong a healthier lifestyle and get ready for retirement.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen life slow down significantly due to the Covid 19 pandemic, which may have put you on the backfoot slightly.
Not being able to socialise, travel or even go to the office has left many people feeling isolated and anxious to go back out into the world and carry on as normal. Our whole daily routines have changed, but it’s important to carry on looking after yourself in the best way you can.
If you have recently turned 50, or you’re heading towards retirement, you may also want to make sure everything is in place in terms of finances. It’s worth ensuring your pension schemes are all in one place well before it’s time to cash them in. You may also be looking for an Over 50s life insurance policy if you have not done so yet.
Life insurance can be a minefield if you’re unsure where to start. If you are Over 50, you may find that a specific Over 50s life insurance policy is best for you, your family and your personal circumstances.
Although the amount of cover available with an over 50s plan is significantly less than a regular life insurance policy, it is a simple and easy application process and there are some policies where no medical questions are asked.
At The Insurance Surgery, we can help you find the best over 50 life insurance for you. Many people ask us what is the best life insurance for over 50s or what is the cheapest life insurance for over 50s but a lot of the time it all comes down to your personal circumstances. You can read more about Over 50s Life Insurance here, or fill in our online quote form where a member of our expert team will get back to you to discuss your options.
We will help you find a policy that offers you the cover you need for funeral costs or to leave behind a cash sum for your family, with monthly payments that you are happy with. The monthly premiums will depend on the cover you take out. For example, if you want to pay a premium for the rest of your life or if you want to stop paying after so many years.
Usually, the most important reason why someone aged between 50 and 80 would want an insurance policy is if they are concerned about funeral planning. Many people want to leave enough behind for their family to pay for their funeral, and sometimes the best way to do this is through life insurance.
Depending on your age, we can find you an insurance policy to suit you and your needs with a funeral benefit option if that is something you are concerned about. The biggest draw for an Over 50s life insurance plan is that there is guaranteed acceptance.
The Insurance Surgery has a team of advisors who know the insurance market inside and out. As a specialist broker, 70% of people who have been declined elsewhere find life insurance through us.
Looking after yourself and keeping as healthy as you can has huge benefits when it comes to taking out a Life Insurance policy. The healthier you are, the less risk you are to an insurance provider. Therefore, your premiums will be lower and you have more chance of being able to take our a policy.
We’ve put together 13 tips to help you keep fit and healthy over 50:
1) Quit smoking
Everyone knows that there are a huge amount of health benefits if you were to quit smoking, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. The older you get, the harder it can be if you have smoked for a number of years.
Quitting smoking not only has countless health benefits but is also a great way of lowering insurance premiums as you then have a lower “risk” to the insurance company. Your heart will be healthier, as well as your other organs. Your skin, hair and teeth will be healthier too, and have less discolouration than a regular smoker. It also lowers your risk of developing heart disease and cancer.
If you need help to quit smoking, aids such as vapes and patches are readily available. However, if you do need to use these, bear in mind that insurers still class you as a ‘smoker’. Your GP can give you more support and help with quitting for good.
2) Eat lots of fruit and vegetablesEating your 5 a day is something that we all aim to do, but sometimes it can prove difficult. It doesn’t matter if it is fruit, veg, salad or juice and it doesn’t have to be fresh – frozen, canned and dried can be just as good! Making sure you eat as much fruit and veg as possible can be easy with some simple swaps.
It can be easy to introduce more fruit and veg into your diet by making easy exchanges or adding bits into the food you already enjoy. If you usually have porridge or cereal for breakfast, add berries or a banana on top. An omelette can be transformed with tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.
If you enjoy meals for dinner such as spaghetti bolognaise, pack it full of carrot, celery, peppers and spinach – it may even make it even nicer! You can still enjoy your favourite foods without having to give up snacks and chocolate.
Remember, a portion of vegetables is considered to be 80g. Homemade soups and smoothies are also a tasty way to get more fruit and veg each day.
3) Lose weightJust like smoking, this is something that is easier said than done. Moving more and watching what you eat can all help towards dropping a couple of pounds. Not only might you feel better in yourself and want to be more active with your family and friends, but you could also see a drop in your monthly insurance premiums.
If you need support with losing weight, your GP can help or they can put you in touch with support groups or slimming groups. The NHS website also has lots of resources to help you learn more about nutrition.
4) Hit your 10,000 stepsWalking has a huge amount of health benefits that will keep you looking and feeling younger and healthier. Getting 10,000 steps in a day can be easier for some than others, especially if you’re working in an office or at home instead of constantly being on your feet. Setting aside some time for a walk in the morning before work or an evening before dinner can help you unwind as well as helping towards a healthier lifestyle.
Not only can it work wonders for your mental health, but walking 10,000 steps a day is proven to strengthen your heart and helps you store less body fat as calories eaten become consumed differently. It also helps stabilise your blood sugar and improves the brain’s performance.
5) Eat starchy carbsStarchy carbs such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes are all great ways to fill up and avoid snacking throughout the day. Adding these types of carbs to a third of your plate at each meal can really help you follow a balanced diet.
High fibre options are best, such as brown rice. It’s also best to avoid high levels of fat such as creamy sauces, butter and lots of cheese.
6) Get on your bikeIf you don’t have far to commute to work, or think a trip to the shops can be done without the car, why not jump on your bike instead? It’s a great way of adding extra exercise into your daily routine without having to go the gym or do a workout. Some companies offer cycle to work schemes with added incentives.
You can burn almost 300 calories on a 30 minute bike ride depending on your weight. It can be a fun activity for all the family and also helps reduce your carbon footprint.
7) Reduce your sugar intakeWe all have a sweet tooth, so reducing that sugar intake may be something that you don’t think you can do. You can still enjoy a sweet treat as part of a balanced diet though, just try not to eat too much. Eating and drinking too much sugar can result in an increased risk of obesity.
As we get older, we may notice that overindulging a little can have a much faster effect on the scales than it did in our younger years.
Try replacing sweets and chocolate with natural sugars from fruit, and switch full fat fizzy drinks to diet.
8) Put down your phoneReducing your screen time has lots of hidden benefits. Not only is it brilliant for your mental health, but it allows you to unwind and spend more time with your family and friends without the constant need to be checking messages, emails and social media.
Over the last year or so, a lot of us have turned to technology to help distract us from the outside world, but it’s also been the key to keeping in touch with loved ones. It has provided everyone with connection and entertainment but it is important to keep a healthy balance.
However, now that life is slowly but surely going back to a new sense of ‘normal’, time away from your phone and laptop is great for a number of reasons:
– Reduces stress
After a day filled with Teams messages, Zoom calls and emails to answer, you can easily feel a bit overwhelmed. It’s good to try and put your phone down to enjoy time away from work to refresh your mind, especially as you get older. To try and alleviate some of the day to day pressures, have a regular ‘no phone days’ or put your phone in a drawer a few evenings a week, and enjoy relaxing or putting your time and energy into more productive tasks.
– Increase productivity
In a world where every news article, social media post and email can be seen at the touch of a button, it is so easy to get distracted by your phone. We are a nation of procrastinators, but technology hinders our productivity even further. By blocking apps that you waste time on, you’ll find that there are less distractions!
– Improve Sleep Schedule
Putting your phone down and away from the side of your bed helps your brain to relax before you go to sleep. Try to put your phone down for at least an hour before you want to go to sleep. It’s also worth setting your phone to dark mode for the evening and morning when you wake up as the blue light from a screen harms your sleep schedule. When you’re going to sleep, keep your phone out of your eyeline so you are not tempted by notifications.
9) Eat more oily fishFish is an excellent source of protein and can help you improve your intake of vitamins and minerals. Many people as they get older try to include at least two portions of fish into their diet on a weekly basis, including one portion of oily fish such as trout, sardines, salmon or mackerel. It helps add omega 3 fats into your diet which reduces the risk of heart disease.
10) Reduce your saturated fat intakeSome fat is good for us but it’s important to watch your intake. Saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood which can in turn increase your risk of developing heart disease, especially in over 50s.
It’s recommended that men shouldn’t have more than 30g of saturated fat a day while women should have no more than 20g a day. It can be found in typically “unhealthy” foods such as fatty meat, hard cheese, cream, cakes and treats, sausages and butter. Food with unsaturated fats such as vegetable oil and avocados are much better for you. Try and choose leaner meats and cut visible fat off meats like bacon to help reduce your intake.
11) Plan your mealsCreating a weekly meal plan for you and your family takes away the stress and arguments of what to eat each day, helps you reduce the waste from your fridge and allows you to keep on track with good eating habits.
We’ve all been in a situation where we look in the fridge and nothing jumps out, so we order a takeaway instead. If you have a set plan and know what you’re eating each day, it helps you to reduce overloading on salt, saturated fats and calories that you don’t necessarily need.
As you get older and want to slow down the pace of life a little, getting in the kitchen and experimenting with different foods and flavours is a great hobby to have. You can have a lot of fun trying new things and enjoy your culinary creation together afterwards.
12) Up your H2OWater is fantastic for your hair, skin and organs, so upping your intake can be nothing but beneficial. Even mild dehydration can affect you mentally and physically. Make sure you get enough water each day by setting a personal goal (most people aim for 2 litres a day). Some of the benefits include:
– Helps with your physical performance
Dehydration can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation and increased fatigue. It’s important to keep your water levels topped up, especially over the summer months when it’s warm outside or if you’re exercising.
– Affects energy levels and brain function Your brain works better when it is hydrated, both in terms of mood and concentration. It also helps to keep headaches at bay. It also helps if you feel tired or anxious and improves your memory and brain performance overall.
– Can aid weight loss Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism and satiety. Increasing your water intake can help you burn more calories on a daily basis, but it also helps you feel fuller for longer if you are trying to cut back and lose weight.
13) Challenge your brainKeeping your brain healthy and active is a brilliant way to improve your health over 50. As you get older, your memory isn’t quite how it used to be, so it’s important to keep it active. You can do this a number of ways:
– Hobbies that you enjoy – Frequent exercise – Board games, crosswords and Sudoku – Quiz games and bingo – Keep learning – there are so many free resources on the internet to improve your education for fun or for work.