As we all know, taking pride in our appearance doesn’t go away with age – in fact for some of us it can become more of a priority. While we may have hoped that feeling conscious about our bodies would lessen as we got older, allowing ourselves more sneaky treats, this couldn’t be further from the truth – as research from Stannah’s latest Silver Census of over 1,000 adults has proven.
In fact, the research revealed that over a third (36%) of people aged 65 and above are more concerned about their body shape today than they were when they were younger. While this initially seems surprising, on second thoughts why should it?
It gets harder to maintain our body shape once we’ve entered our mature years, particularly if we experience health problems. Putting in a little more effort to maintain good exercise and eating habits is well worth it in order to remain feeling confident in your appearance.
Maintaining our weight is essential in preventing our body shape from changing too drastically, as metabolism and movement both slow down. It also helps deter the onset of later life health conditions, such as issues with joints and mobility. Eating well, as well as exercising regularly, is therefore even more important for those of us who wish to maintain (or re-gain!) the figure we had in our youth.
The latest Silver Census also showed that a quarter of over 65s have been on a diet in the last 12 months, rising to a third for women of this age. It was great to hear that seven per cent of over 65s feel like they are healthier now than they were in their youth, with more than two thirds attributing this to being more knowledgeable about how to eat healthily.
Over 65s are certainly engaging in the movement around healthy eating, despite marketing around this conversation still being mainly targeted at younger women. A new diet, with devoted fans swearing their allegiance, seems to emerge every week, but it’s important to remember that we are advised to approach any dramatic changes to our diet with caution.
Of course, in tandem with a good diet, exercise can make a huge difference to our body shape. Stannah’s research showed that more than half (58%) of over-65s consider exercise to be an important part of them looking and feeling good. Over half of the respondents in the survey who worried about not getting enough exercise were primarily concerned because they don’t want to gain weight.
Keeping active isn’t just important for maintaining a healthy weight – it also helps with our mobility, which forms an important part of our self-image. Regardless of your current level of fitness, there is a form of exercise to suit everyone’s abilities. At Stannah we’ve been working with occupational therapists to develop a series of exercises specifically tailored for people with limited mobility, because we understand that keeping our independence plays an important role in our self-confidence.
However you choose to exercise and whichever diet you follow, the most important thing is that you do your best to be active and eat healthily.