How to make 60 the new 40

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We are feeling younger than ever, according to a recent survey. Here’s how to stay sprightly later in life…

Most over-60s feel about 12 years younger than their actual age. So says a recent survey, and more than a fifth claim to feel 20 years younger.

Activities such as playing sports, solving puzzles and spending time with their grandchildren have been credited for keeping them feeling young at heart.

Activity provider Treasure Trails surveyed 500 people over the age of 60, and 46 per cent insist they feel sprightlier than their parents did at the same age. One in 10 even claim to have more energy than their children.

Aaron Hutchens, of Treasure Trails, said: ‘Today’s grandparents feel younger than ever before.’

The majority feel old age doesn’t hit until the late 70s, and more than a third say it’s over 80.

The survey found that 28 per cent of over-60s exercise at least three times a week, 10 per cent play competitive sport, and seven per cent hit the gym or use home exercise equipment.

One per cent even enjoy adrenaline sports such as kitesurfing, skydiving, or downhill mountain biking.

So, how do you go about staying young in your 60s?

Get healthy

It might be easy to believe that because you’re in your 60s it’s too late to do anything to improve your health and fitness levels. But changes you make now can not only boost your wellbeing, but may also reverse some of the damage done in your younger years. It’s never too late to quit smoking, cut back on alcohol, get your weight under control and start exercising.

Stay positive

Having a positive attitude helps with stress management and can improve your health, as research links optimism to increased life span and greater resistance to illness and depression. Positive self-talk can lead to more productive behaviours and improve how you experience life.

Enjoy sex

Studies have shown that sex is beneficial in helping to lower blood pressure, improve the immune system and relieve stress and anxiety. Research also claims that regular sex can make you look younger. So, stay active in the bedroom.

If there are issues around sex — for example, sexual function or lack of desire — that are affecting your relationship and overall sense of wellbeing, talk openly with your partner, or speak to your GP.

Embrace change

How you feel about getting older can have a huge impact on your happiness and zest for life. Don’t buy into stereotypes of how someone in their 60s should behave. Stay tuned into the lifestyle of younger people. Enjoy sports, take an interest in technology, wear the latest trends. Don’t listen to the voice in your head that says you’re too old to embrace something that brings you enjoyment.

Practise self-care

Ageing is inevitable. But that doesn’t mean you have to age in a way that makes you feel unhappy in your own skin. You can still look and feel healthy and vibrant. Styling your hair, applying make-up, and wearing stylish clothes can boost your mood and your confidence.

Take care of your emotional and mental wellbeing by staying sociable. Spend time with family and friends or join a local hobby group or sports club.

‘I don’t feel my age’

‘I’m 65 and I have the energy of someone much younger. I go line dancing once a week, attend a gardening group twice a week, join in a quiz on Fridays, and help at local coffee mornings and community events — I’ll always be running a stall or helping someone with crafting. This year, I’ll be taking part in a carnival, dressed up as a Dalmatian.

‘If you have a young mind and keep it open to all sorts, the rest will follow. If something makes me happy and I enjoy doing it, then I do it. It doesn’t matter if I’m 40 years older than everyone else taking part. I can do it, so I will. My two daughters are in their 30s, and they run out of energy long before I do!’

From Sue Gregory, 65, of Sutton-on-Sea, Lincs

Edited by Laura Riddell

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