How to take care of your health at any age

There's more to living a long and happy life than just random luck. By focusing on your health and understanding your changing needs according to different life stages, you can put yourself on the path to healthiness; and that doesn’t mean just physically, but mentally and socially as well. Here's how!

There's more to health than just food and exercise

When you start to think about your personal health in general, one of the first things that will probably pop into your head is: how much exercise should I be doing for my age? It’s a fair question, and one that needs to be factored into your overall health regimen. However, there’s much more to holistic health than just exercise.

You’ll also want to think about your:

  • Eating habits: What you put into your body is the fuel that’ll carry you throughout your day, so it’s no wonder poor eating habits tend to result in poor health more broadly.
  • Sleep schedule: Yes, your sleeping habits can chop and change depending on things like work, family life and everyday stresses. It’s important to understand your sleeping habits and make changes if necessary.
  • Mental wellness: Regular check-ins with yourself can help you get to grips with how you’re feeling mentally. Like most elements of your health, other things like exercise and stress can influence your mental wellness.
  • Stress levels: Work getting you down? Struggling to manage family life? Stress can do serious damage to your health, so don’t ignore it!
  • Skin health: Living in Australia means lots of beautiful sunshine, but it can also lead to skin problems as you get older. Make it a habit to check yourself for any new skin spots and get regular checks with your doctor to make sure none of them are malignant.
  • Social connectedness: When was the last time you reconnected with friends? Depending on your current circumstances, it might have been a while since you topped up your friendship meter. Throughout our entire lives, social connectedness has a big impact on our mental health.

To help you navigate the sometimes complex world of health at any age, we’ve broken down the most important to-dos by age groups.

1. Staying healthy as a child

Teaching children about healthy lifestyle choices from when they’re young will set them on the right path for the rest of their lives. And while you can’t condense an entire childhood into a single sentence, some of the most important things they should focus on for their health are: good food, lots of fluids, plenty of activity, and heaps of fun!

Parents who change their eating habits to be healthier will have a greater chance at influencing their children to do the same. Likewise, families that are active together will teach their children that exercise and fitness can be fun. It’s also a good idea to encourage social interactions and healthy friendships from a young age.

2. Taking health into your own hands as a young adult

As children grow into young adults, they start to develop their own routines and set themselves up for adulthood. In addition to all the usual things like making smart food choices, drinking lots of water, and keeping active as much as possible, young adults will also need to make decisions about things like their relationship with alcohol and tobacco. It’s at this life stage that you’ll also need to recognise the importance of mental health (including regular check-ins), and how you need to hold yourself accountable for your actions and decisions.

It’s about this time that you may want to start thinking about protecting yourself against the unexpected. In young adulthood, we tend to settle into our careers, meet our partners, and perhaps even think about starting a family, so you may want to consider protecting the life you’re building for yourself with life insurance.

3. Keeping healthy in middle age despite the busyness of work and family

Many of the things you took care of in young adulthood will continue into middle age, however, there are often added pressures. Maybe you’ve started a family and need to work more to ensure they get the life they deserve. Perhaps there are no longer enough hours in the day to exercise, or you find yourself making the ‘easy’ food choices that aren’t exactly the healthiest.

The best thing you can do at middle age is to stop for a moment and take stock. If things have gone off the rails slightly, that’s okay! The good news is that you’ve recognised it and can take active steps to change those habits. Maybe you’ll make a commitment to exercising before or after work, or on the weekends. And perhaps it’s time to pick up the phone and call those friends you’ve been neglecting. Improving your relationships will improve your mental wellness, which can have huge flow-on effects to your physical health as well.

4. Approaching your senior years in good health

As we reach our senior years, our bodies inevitably start to slow down, so it’s important you make changes to your lifestyle to ensure you stay healthy. That may mean reassessing your exercise regimen, making sure you have a balanced diet, looking after your teeth (and visiting the dentist more often!), ensuring you’re getting enough sleep, and speaking to your doctor about how you can stay healthy as you get older.

Perhaps most importantly, though, you need to stay on top of your mental health. The good news is that you may be approaching retirement at this point, which gives you much more time to spend with friends and loved ones, and to take up hobbies that interest you.

Take charge now

Are you healthy enough for the life stage you’re currently in? Even if you’re not, now is the best time to make some positive changes!

While you’re on the path to a healthier, happier life, it’s also a good idea to check in on your finances and check to make sure you’ve got insurance in place in case something happens. Choosi can help you compare various types of insurance.