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Follow these 6 tips for a healthier and longer life

Although Singaporeans are living longer, they are running the risk to spend the last decade of their lives in poor health and disability, according to Global Burden of Disease Study 2010.

Singaporean men can expect to enjoy 68.1 years of good health and the last 10.7 years coping with poor health. For Singaporean women, it is 70 years of good health, plus 13.3 years with some sort of disability.

Dr Nguyen Minh Ha, ​Consultant, Department of Geriatric Medicine​ at S​ingapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group advises Singaporeans to start making the following lifestyle changes now so they can be disability-free and as healthy as possible in their senior years.

  1. Choose a healthy diet

  2. Include more servings of fruits and vegetables and whole grain foods in your diet. Reduce your intake of sodiumand saturated fats.

  3. Maintain a healthy weight

    Asians should aim for a healthy BMI of 18.5 to 22.9. A healthy BMI for Caucasians remains at 18.5 to 24.9.

  4. Stop smoking

    Smokers are more prone to heart disease and stroke, and have a 30 to 40 per cent chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

  5. Limit alcohol intake

    Men should have a maximum of two alcoholic drinks per day (maximum one a day for women). Heavy alcohol intake is linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

  6. Keep physically active

    Exercise at least 30 minutes, 5 days ​a week, or 150 minutes every week. Walking, climbing the stairs and doing household chores are simple ways to get the body moving.

  7. Manage stress and maintain good mental health

    Keep mentally fit even as you age by staying connected with your family and friends, and learning new things like a new language or musical instrument to continue growing and maintaining neural connections.​

​See previous page to find out why Singaporeans are living longer.

Ref: R14