As you get older you need to become more focused on your health, particularly with regards to your heart, brain and other internal organs. To do this you need to be careful about your diet, exercise and general health check-ups, as well as generally try to keep your mind and body active.

The following will list four key things you should do to ensure to stay healthy as you get older.

1. Eat healthy, nutritious meals

Older people need to be very careful of what they eat – making sure that they don’t have too much saturated fat and that they maintain good bone density. Generally, fish is a good choice when you need some protein like this baked barramundi with a Mediterranean twist, as it has good fats and the fish oil helps to keep your brain healthy. Dairy is also important to keep your bones strong. Swapping out carbohydrates for a healthier alternative will also help you control your weight.

A good way to keep track of your diet is to make sure that you cook most of your own meals with fresh ingredients. Of course, this assumes that you can do a lot of your own grocery shopping – if not, a meal kit delivery service can bring you fresh ingredients to cook for yourself. If you regularly eat out then it is best to try to eat a good mix of healthy fats, calcium and fibres – most of the time, anyway.

2. Exercise often

While you may not be able to run around like you did when you were in your twenties, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise regularly. Walking regularly is a good start, and is certainly better than doing nothing, but there are a whole range of activities you could be doing to help keep your body healthy.

You could go to the gym and do some light weights training to help prevent muscle degeneration and improve bone density, or swim for a gentler, full body form of exercise. You can even keep yourself mobile and relatively fit with home workouts!

3. See your doctor regularly

As you get older, touching base with your doctor becomes more important so that they can help you catch the early warning signs of certain conditions and give you advice on keeping healthy. Speaking to them about your diet, your level of exercise and ways to help you quit smoking (if you smoke) are all important to adding to your longevity.

Don’t be stubborn about seeing the doctor as you get older! Everyone’s health deteriorates naturally over time and part of living a long life is being proactive in addressing issues before they can get worse.

4. Keep your mind active with a purposeful activity

If you are going into retirement, you might be eager to spend the rest of your days sitting back and relaxing – after all, you’ve earnt it! However, there’s merit to taking up a ‘work’ like task that you enjoy or a hobby that can keep your mind active for a long time.

For example, a lot of people choose to start a small backyard farm or take up carpentry to build furniture for their friends and relatives. The most important thing is that you choose an activity that can give you something procedural to look forward to working towards so that each day feels unique and purposeful.

Despite the need for more definitive research, it’s been widely suggested that keeping your mind active is a good way to delay to onset of degenerative brain conditions like dementia. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you’re meant to stop stimulating and challenging your mind!

While there are plenty of specific diets or lifestyle changes that could also be included on this list, the four mentioned above are universally beneficial for all people as they get older. If you follow the advice above, you should be able to enjoy a long and happy retirement.