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health and fitnessWe all want to stay as young as possible for as long as we can, but there are some things Mother Nature will take into her own hands. As we get older, there are plenty of potential health issues that could rear their ugly heads, but even if we can’t entirely stop the ageing clock, we can definitely delay it.

With a substantial increase in budget-friendly gyms and access to tonnes of free healthy food ideas online, it’s now easier than ever to start work on your health and fitness. But how can you make sure the work you’re putting in now will have long-term benefits on your body for the future? Read on to discover the top 5 ways you can keep your health in tip-top condition for longer.

Turn exercise into a habit

You don’t have to stick to the same exercise regime for life, but it’s good practice to participate in some things which will be transferable with age. Yoga is a great activity for people of all generations, encouraging good circulation, flexible joints and mindfulness. Getting in the habit of going for a daily walk will also stand you in good stead for the future.

However, there are some exercises you may not be able to carry on into the future, which are still very important to do while you can. For example, weight-lifting can encourage the build-up of bone density and prevent joint conditions like arthritis. If you don’t seem to be able to find the time to go to the gym, you can easily invest in some weight-training gear for your home — like these Powerhouse Fitness free weights — so you can slot in a quick daily session, free of excuses.

Keep it clean

It’s important to clean up your eating sooner rather than later: as you grow older, your immune system weakens, making it less able to fight off any bacteria and viruses. So, by eating correctly now, this will have a knock-on effect for its strength in the future.

To ensure you’re not putting your body at risk, it’s important to follow the guidelines set out by health professionals. You will have been frequently taught and reminded to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but did you know that it is now recommended to have between 7–10? But, this doesn’t have to mean an endless amount of salads. Making small changes to your diet— like switching out your pasta and rice for beans and pulses — is easy, and will help you well on your way to becoming a better you. Find out more on the NHS site.

Drink plenty of water

Our body is in its most optimal and natural state when we are hydrated. Drinking at least 2 litres a day will help your body to flush out any toxins, loosen up your joints and improve your mental performance. People who neglect their water intake usually find themselves in the opposite situation, with lower energy levels and unable to perform at their very best.

As you age, your kidneys struggle to conserve your body water and you become less aware of your thirst levels. This makes you feel lethargic, meaning you’re more likely to reach for the pillow than a glass of water, encouraging dehydration and the complications that come with it.

If you find yourself avoiding water because of its simple taste, why not try an infuser bottle — like the Infruition water bottles — to personalise it to your own preferences and make drinking it more bearable?

Psst, lemon water has been found to kick-start your metabolism on a morning, aiding weight loss.

Look after your gut

As you get older, you’ll find that bloating and discomfort is more of a regular occurrence than you ever remember it being. This is all down to how healthy your gut is and can be particularly affected if you have a long history of being on antibiotics or experience high stress levels.

Improving your gut health is pretty easy and doesn’t have to cost you a thing, so why not start today? Taking your time to chew, eating the right amount of food for your body, as well as eating regularly are just some of the ways the NHS says aids your digestion. Additionally, avoiding foods that disagree with you and not treating every instance of indigestion with medicine will strengthen your gut and help you to get it back up to speed.

Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake

As the pressure mounts in your career, you might find yourself turning dependent on that free coffee at work. But don’t be fooled: although it might temporarily stimulate your mind, consuming too much caffeine can have risks of osteoporosis, increased blood pressure and irritability.

The same can be said for alcohol which has regularly been attributed to heart diseases like diabetes. But, this doesn’t mean you have to go cold turkey. Instead, try limiting yourself to a couple of drinks on a weekend, rather than after a stressful day at work. This will also help you to shed those couple of stubborn pounds!

Keeping a close eye on your health and fitness levels is a great way to ensure you’re at your very best currently, with knock-on effects for years to come. By taking the steps above, you’ll have your body working like a well-oiled machine for longer!

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