Whilst on holiday in Llandudno my son and I were walking on the promenade as you do and we saw a RADIO 4 caravan. We went up to the ladies and started chatting. The caravan was actually a travelling mini studio which along with two BBC editors was travelling around Wales for “The Listening Project.”
The Listening project is a partnership between BBC Radio 4, BBC Local & national radio stations and the British Library. Since 2012 they have been collecting/ recording intimate conversations between friends and relatives, to build up a unique picture of our lives today. Most are broadcast across BBC radio whilst all are archived by the British Library, preserving them for future generations.
I have listened to quite a few and most of the conversations broadcast are very profound covering from living with Alzheimers, to falling in love, to best friends with cancer.
So Dara, my 10 year old son, and I didn’t quite fall into the category of the usual people chatting but whilst looking through the booth the editors noticed how talkative Dara was, and asked us if they could record us talking about Dara’s best subject which is football and more specifically Liverpool football club. When our time was up, as they do at the end of each recorded segment, they ask each person what we’d like to say to each other.
Dara started and said I would like my mum and dad along with everybody I love to live forever.
I was very touched by this and it made me think about something I am very passionate about. I know we cannot live forever and most of us don’t want to…..but what I’d like is for us to live a reasonably long and happy life and to be the healthiest we can be!
By 2030 many women in England and Wales will live to nearly 90 and for men mid 80’s. In some counties women's life expectancy can go up to 92. Us the North come off worse as usual.!
So what can we do to keep as well as possible for as long as possible?
Here are a few things to consider as we get older.
Social isolation is a common issue. So it’s important to keep up with family and friends and local organisations and networks. What hobbies do you have? What is your passion and purpose? This is especially relevant as we age as we may find ourselves single after many years of living with another person and may find it difficult to be alone, especially at mealtimes. This in turn may lead to depression and losing interest in preparing or eating regular meals, or only eating sparingly.
We all should look at daily stress reduction practices. There are many to choose from yoga, meditation and even colouring in!
What else? After many years working in the wellness industry, These are the 6 things I believe to be most important:
1. Daily physical activity.
2. 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Yes 8 – 10 - A rainbow diet. This can be done with juices, blends, soups, salads, lovely vegetable stews.
3. 1.5-2 Litres of water daily and that doesn’t include tea and coffee. It can include decaffeinated herbal teas.
4. 3 servings of cold-water fish weekly, such as tuna, herring, salmon, mackerel and sardines.
5. Reinforcement of childlike experiences of life. Whatever makes your heart sing!
6. At least 8 hours of sleep every day.
The above is a start a good start to think about as we age.
Happy healthy ageing everyone !!