The things every woman in her 60s should do

Now that you’ve reached your sensational 60s, you want to maintain those good habits you developed at earlier stages of your life. You want to keep ahead of illness and stave off disease that could threaten your health, negatively impact your mobility or affect your way of life.

As you get older it’s common to experience changes associated with your bladder, your gut, your joints, your vitamin and mineral levels and even the amount of oxygen your body takes.

There are some simple steps you can take now that will set you up for the years ahead.

1. Get walking
A study from a few years ago found that women in their 70s who walked for three hours a week over a 12-month period were able to boost their intake of oxygen by around 15 per cent. Not only does the activity reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases, but it helps control your blood sugar, improve your joint function and bone strength, and keep your brain sharp.

2. Get your key nutrients
It’s always best to talk to your health care professional about the key nutrients you need as you get older. You might have low levels of vitamin B12 for example, which is linked to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and anaemia. You’ll also want to get your vitamin D levels checked as such deficiencies can have a negative effect on your bone strength as well as increasing your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.

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Read more: Six essential vitamins for over-60s

3. Get out and keep learning
When you stay engaged, you stay sharp. It’s as simple as that, which is why you want to exercise your mind as well as your body. You can do this by taking a new course, joining a book or card playing club, participating in a new sport or getting your hands dirty with some gardening. There’s an endless list of possibilities.

4. Eat fibre-rich foods
When you get the right amount of fibre in your diet you’ll have a much easier time moving your bowels, but it also means you will reduce the symptoms associated with diverticulosis. Apples, pears, beans, brown rice and whole grain pasta, and sweet potato are highly regarded for their fibre content.

Read more: Five simple ways to get more fibre in your diet

5. Get those essential check-ups
While including brain- and health-boosting activities as part of your routine, you also want to ensure you make the time to get the following tests:

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  • Eye exam every two to four years
  • Blood pressure check at least every two years
  • Pap smear and pelvic check every one to three years
  • Thyroid check ever five years
  • Mole check every year
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  • Mammogram every one to two years
  • Blood sugar exam every one to two years
  • Hearing check every three years.
  • Your doctor might get you to do other tests, like a bone density test or a colonoscopy, too.

    How many of these things are you doing on a regular basis? Do you have concerns about your health and wellbeing as you get older?