As a nation, we’re living longer, with the average life expectancy for women currently 82.9 years. But nobody wants to live to a ripe old age existing on memories and regrets, unable to move or look after themselves any more. The solution? By making lifestyle changes now you could be one of those amazing octogenarians running marathons, jumping out of planes and living your best life yet. Here’s how…
Your mental wellbeing
Tanya Goodin, founder of Time To Log Off and author of OFF (£7.99, Octopus), shares her advice on having a digital detox.
‘UK adults touch their phones over 2,000 times day and we now spend over eight hours a day on screens – more than we are asleep!
‘Sleep is a big casualty of time on screens, with the NHS reporting increasing sleep disorders for all adults. Mental health can also really suffer if we can’t keep off screens.
‘Constant checkers of smartphones have been found to have much higher levels of anxiety than those who can leave their phones alone for longer. One experiment found that a group who spent a week off Facebook saw their happiness levels soar.
‘You should think about a digital detox as a healthy screen-free pause that you can fit into every day, and we really should be doing them daily. We should actively be looking for times and places where we can step away from screens.
‘At its simplest, a digital detox means spending time away from the digital world, in the real world. So we stop looking at our phones and we start looking at our surroundings and the people we’re spending time with instead. The benefits of regular digital detoxes are better sleep, less stress and anxiety, and improved relationships.
Several long-term studies have shown that the single thing we can do to increase longevity is to develop rewarding and sustaining relationships of all kinds (friends, families and loved ones). Putting down our screens and focusing our attention on those around us will deepen our relationships. And very probably extend our lives!’
Celebrity personal trainer Scott Laidler (scottlaidler.com) tells us which exercises help to prepare the body for later life.
✢RESISTANCE TRAINING ‘As our bodies age we tend to lose muscle mass, but you can massively slow down this process with regular resistance training. This can be done initially with your own body weight and then progressively with resistance equipment, such as dumb-bells, kettlebells or a medicine ball.
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