8 helpful tips for staying fit over 60 from a longevity expert

By HarperLees

If you’re over 60, or are approaching it, keeping fit and healthy may be of great importance to you, especially if you have plans for what you want to do during retirement.

Whether it’s attempting regular exercise, improving your sleep, or monitoring your diet, there are many ways in which you can keep fit and healthy and improve your chances of living longer.

In fact, a famous longevity doctor has listed some helpful and simple suggestions on how to live longer and healthier. In recent years, Dr Peter Attia has helped a variety of celebrities make changes to their lifestyles to increase their chances of a longer and healthier life.

Indeed, with the help of Dr Attia, actor Chris Hemsworth underwent a series of genetic tests to see what the future might have waiting for him. Through the tests, they discovered that he had an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in later life. Following this, Hemsworth has been able to adapt his lifestyle to try and reduce this risk.

So, read on to find out the eight top tips on staying fit over 60 from one of the world’s most popular longevity experts.

1. Attempt regular exercise

One of the most effective ways of preventing cognitive decline is exercise. While many people believe that if they are mentally sound when they are older, they will care less about fitness. However, the two are directly linked.

What tends to be good for your heart is good for your brain, and vice versa. Primarily, that’s because good cardiovascular health will make sure your brain is getting the nutrients and oxygen it needs.

Similarly, getting out and about and socialising with friends and family has been shown to improve cognitive health. However, you won’t be able to do that if you aren’t able to move properly.

2. Take up hiking with a weighted backpack

Hiking with a weighted backpack can often help to build up your eccentric strength. By carrying a weighted backpack, you will allow your muscle to lengthen while under tension, due to an outside force (the weighted backpack) being greater than the force generated by your muscle.

In addition, working your muscles when they are extended, such as stepping downwards and off things, and improving control and stability around your joints, such as your hip, spine, and knees, will hugely reduce your chance of having a fall when you are older.

If you were to break your hip in later life, beyond the age of 65, there is a 50% chance that you will never regain full function.

3. Pay attention to, but don’t obsess about, your diet

While a relatively low-carb and high-protein diet is something worth considering, focusing too much on what you are eating can detract from the importance of maintaining muscle mass and exercise.

Peter Attia recommends trying to maintain a fine balance between your diet and exercise as, the older you get, the more you need to keep your muscles strong and stable enough for them to continue working when you are 80 or 90.

Similarly, it is important to be careful with any kind of extreme restrictive eating, like fasting, because it can wash you out and prevent you from exercising properly. Being somewhat over-nourished and having strong muscles could be more beneficial to you instead.

4. Enjoy alcohol but in moderation

In small amounts, there could be some stress-busting and nutritional benefits of enjoying a glass of wine or your favourite alcoholic drink. However, Peter does offer a caveat, saying: “Don’t get misled by surveys that report that healthy people drink in old age – they are drinking because they are healthy, not because it has made them healthy”.

So, if you are going to drink, do so in moderation and make sure that you savour every mouthful by drinking something you thoroughly enjoy.

5. Improve your sleep

Good sleep is crucial for every aspect of your life, whether you are six years old or 60. In fact, there is no part of your physical or mental health that isn’t negatively affected by poor sleep, so Peter advises that you get at least eight hours of sleep a night.

Similarly, it is important to try and do anything possible to improve your sleep quality, whether that’s fitting proper blackout blinds or banning your phone from your bedroom.

6. Pay attention to your mental health

When you’ve retired, it’s important to do everything you can to support your mental health. For instance, having good relationships with friends and family is as important to your lifespan as any number of squats and diagnostic tests.

So, pay attention to your mental health and do whatever you can to improve that, whether that’s spending more time with friends and family or discussing your mental health with a professional.

7. Consider exercise as training for later life

Look on exercise as a way to hit the goals that you have for when you are in your 80s or 90s. That might be picking up your grandchildren, putting your own luggage into an overhead locker on a plane, or getting out of a chair unaided.

Hitting those goals through general exercise will help give you incentive and make it feel more purposeful.

8. Get tested to know more about your personal physiology

Quite simply, the more you know about your personal physiology, the more you can take preventative measures to stay healthy.

There are a variety of tests that you can take to help determine your personal physiology, including a DNA test to see your propensity for Alzheimer’s, and testing what kind of cholesterol you have.

Many GP surgeries offer “wellness” and check-ups for the over-60s, so make sure you take full advantage of these.

Get in touch

If you’re already thinking about what you’ll do during retirement, or you have recently retired, we can help you effectively plan for the future.

We’ll act as a sounding board, offering you support and advice to help keep you on track to meet your retirement goals. Please email info@harperlees.co.uk or call 01277 350560.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.