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Midlife MOT: wealth, work and wellbeing
Midlife MOT: wealth, work and wellbeing

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4 Help and support with keeping well

The principles of the five pillars will help keep your body and mind working well. Regular exercise will keep your blood circulating, bringing all the nutrients and oxygen you need to all of your organs. That’s particularly good for your brain, because it’s very sensitive to a lack of oxygen and glucose. Staying in touch with the world around you will keep your brain and body stimulated. And maintaining regular connections with friends and acquaintances will keep you socially stimulated.

The image is a drawing of a man and a woman (who has an arm around the man). Four speech bubbles are above them. One, above the man, has a heart in. One, above the woman, has a clock in.

You may find it motivating to keep track of your progress through a fitness tracker or you can keep a log yourself. Some of the trackers available will also monitor your heart rate and sleeping patterns. Seeing the improvements you’ve made over time can be encouraging. And don’t be discouraged if, from time to time, the progress isn’t always upwards.

Variety is also important. It will help you sustain the good health and wellbeing habits you already have and perhaps prompt you to learn something new. That could be a new sport, a new language, a new creative or volunteering project, or something completely different. Variety’s also important when it comes to nutrition because a wide diet with a good mix of nutrients is usually the best one for us.

And finally, always remember that when it comes to health and wellbeing you’re never on your own. GPs, pharmacists and consultant specialists can all be very helpful health and wellbeing partners. Consider how you can involve friends and family. Not only will you benefit and potentially stay more motivated but they may too. Perhaps you could plan out some new healthy menus with your partner? Or meet up with a friend to exercise. Take time to stop for a chat with your neighbour. Make the time to find out about joining an interest or activity group locally. All of these actions add up to make positive changes. Ultimately you’re in the driving seat. It’s up to you to make sure your health and wellbeing are a focus.

Activity 4: Reflection

Timing: Give yourself about 40 minutes for this.

Watch the Five Pillars of Ageing Well videos [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Ask yourself:

  • What are you already doing well?
  • What could you do better?

Take some time to think through your answers. These questions might help you:

  • If you haven’t engaged with any of the five pillars yet, which would you prefer to start with?
  • Which areas are you already working well with? Why is that?
  • Which areas aren’t you so on top of? Why is that?
  • What parts of your physical and mental health and wellbeing are you keen to change?
  • Do you want to learn and try new things? Make an action plan.
  • Are you ready to make different lifestyle choices?
  • Will those close to you help and support you? How can you involve them?
  • How can your employer support you? Are there activities you can join in with that will keep you motivated?