5 ways for older people to maintain a healthy mind and body

Retirement is a time of new opportunities and a chance to create a happier, healthier later life.
healthy mind and body

As you get older, you may find that you have an increasing amount of free time (as the kids leave the nest, you change your working hours etc.) and this becomes especially true, once you retire and all your time becomes your own. While this might be some people’s idea of bliss, it can potentially be problematic if you aren’t prepared for the transition of the daily work-home routine, to having nothing to do.

Inactivity can have a fairly negative effect on the mind and body and it’s important that you plan before retirement as to how you will remain active in mind and body, as you become older.

This doesn’t mean that you just need to avoid putting on weight (though it is important) – you need to stay mentally sharp and maintain as positive an outlook as possible. Staying active is directly linked to maintaining a positive outlook, as consistent exercise enhances the production of brain chemicals which can affect your mood and lift the spirits.

Once you have your attitude in gear and find yourself in a good frame of mind, you’ll be able to see that getting older is a great opportunity to explore your interests and passions.

Venture out, see the world & do new things

It’s often said that when you retire, you should, find a new hobby or learn a new skill, travel but more importantly look after yourself. The British Seniors team are in agreement on this point as they’ve previously written about some of the things you could do to improve your life. Embarking on new challenges and learning new skills is a great way to ensure that you’re keeping your mind active. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous i.e. you don’t have to take a kitesurfing holiday in Cornwall, for instance – as long as it’s fresh and stimulating.

It could be as simple as starting a new jigsaw or trying a different walking route that requires you to pay attention to where you are. On the other hand, you could just hop into a car and go on an impromptu road trip or better yet, book a flight to a place you’ve never been to before. There are all sorts of extremes, but the main idea is that you remain encouraged to push yourself, do new things and live in the moment – be present.

Maintaining social contact

There are many people growing old alone and by default, may grow into rather reclusive ways. While everyone has different preferences and personalities, it’s important to maintain social contact with your friends and loved ones. There have been numerous reports advocating the benefits of social contact and affection, how it affects the mind and improves your mood. If you’re reading this article and perhaps are going through a rough time, possibly feeling lonely – get out of the house or get in touch with your friends and family, it might make all the difference and lift your spirits.


Nothing makes you feel as good as giving back to society or helping to change someone’s life. Sign up for a voluntary group, form part of a charity, volunteer to babysit your grandchildren. Integrating yourself more in the community, could be a great way to meet new people, make new friends and will help to ensure that you’re maintaining social contact all the while, helping to improve someone’s life.

You are what you eat

It’s an obvious recommendation, but it still holds. There’s nothing wrong with the odd treat or two, a small cake at tea and the like. But as you get older, it can be easy to slip into unhealthy habits as far as your diet is concerned. Having more time on your hands in the kitchen though, should really act as more of a motivation to try new things and find more exciting ways to keep a healthy diet. It’s important to be aware of your eating habits as you age especially, due to the fact that your immune system might be more sensitive making you more susceptible to illness. For this reason, it’s recommended that you consume all the healthy fruit and veg that you can and keep taking those multivitamins and supplements of course, especially if you already have certain deficiencies.

Ensure you’re as well-rested as possible

Don’t get too carried away with all your spontaneity and social activities; do remember to get a good night’s rest.  Once you’re retired, it shouldn’t be a problem to get the required rest;  all you have is time after all. But plan your days properly and plan to be in bed the right time, as getting the recommended eight hours of sleep has been reported to be especially useful for the purposes of improving your memory, increasing  your mental agility and moderating your stress levels.

Venture out, get physical, remain social, eat well and rest. Retirement does not mean that your life is over, for many, life may have only just begun.  

This article was written in collaboration with British Seniors, Over 50’s life insurance provider. Recently featured in Express’ personal finance news, they’ve launched a Lifetime Payback Guarantee product which might be worth considering if you still haven’t taken the plunge to invest in the required life insurance cover..

Last modified: June 10, 2021

Written by 3:35 pm Home & Lifestyle