We’re all getting older, and we all need to face the future. But how your body and mind fares as we reach our eighth and ninth decades could all depend on how we act now. Most of us know that we must prepare for our financial futures. We contribute to pension schemes and save money. We even work hard to ensure the mortgage is paid off before we retire. But are we spending as much time and effort ensuring our physical and mental future is secure?

Aging can wreak havoc on our bodies. The cells of our bodies continue to grow and die. But fewer are restored or renewed as the years go by. This is why the skin wrinkles, the muscles ache, and the hairs gray. Of course, there are many more physical processes that are inhibited or less effective as we age. And these are the ones we must be most vigilant about.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s drastically reduce our cognitive abilities. Both are far more common as we age. Neither will be forgiving, and life can become difficult. Sufferers are often dependent on around the clock care, and life spans can be shortened. While there may be no way to avoid these conditions, it is thought that the impact of them can be delayed. And there is renewed hope for an Alzheimer treatment improving the memory function of sufferers.

The body and the mind both benefit from good hydration levels. Regular exercise and mental challenges are also deemed highly beneficial. As we age, the body may tire more quickly. There will be aches and pains. But keeping the entire body as mobile as possible will help reduce the discomfort. It will allow you to be more active for longer. And a stronger body reduces the risk of falls and broken bones later in life.

A good diet now will serve you well in the future. Keeping your weight within the normal range reduces stress on your internal organs, joints and bones. As the body ages, your dietary needs will change. It’s worth considering these needs now so that you can be prepared. Nutritious meals provide essential vitamins and minerals for healthy cells. Over time, you may need to increase the amount of calcium you take to ensure your bones continue to be strong.

Older people often feel the cold more. This is partly due to spending prolonged periods of time sitting. It can also be due to weight loss or poor circulation. Regular exercise helps, but warmer temperatures may be useful for reducing the discomfort of feeling cold. The posture can also suffer as we age. Physiotherapy or specific exercises to help with the spine and core muscles can reduce the difficulties a poor posture can pose.

We can’t avoid aging, but we can reduce the effects of feeling old. Taking care of our bodies throughout our lives helps us to feel energetic and vibrant through to old age. An active social life and plenty of stimulating activities help to keep the mind active and young too. Take care of you now to enjoy the you of the future.