TELL TRINNY: Is it too late to turn back the years?

Q: My mother, who is in her late 70s, recently moved into a care home and has begun using a wheelchair after previously being able to use a walker. Seeing her physical decline has made me think more about the future – I’ve always been a bit slapdash about my health and I’m worried about ending up in a similar position. Is there anything I can start doing now to prevent this? 
Karen, Plymouth. 

tell trinny health
Illustration by Vanessa Branchi.

My mother has vascular dementia so I can relate a lot to this question. When I visit her and she’s just sitting in a chair unable to move independently, it makes me think about what will happen to me in the next 30 years. It seems as though you get to a stage where it’s too late to make your own decisions because your body has done that for you. I want to be able to keep making those choices.

Looking after yourself is really important, so make sure you keep agile and supple. I’d recommend trying a reformer pilates session, which will help you to lengthen and tone your muscles using equipment, so that you don’t have to rely on your body weight as much as you do with  mat pilates. If you are feeling a bit stiff or tight try using a foam roller (£15.99, mad-hq.com). You can roll it out on your legs, back, between your shoulder blades or on your hamstrings to ease muscle tightness and increase agility.

I also take Omeril exercise bands (£12.99, amazon.co.uk) everywhere I go because you can do stretches anywhere to help you open up. These options are especially good if you’re not the type of person who would enjoy going for a run.

Using a fitness tracker has made me more aware of how much I move around. For example, if I see I’ve only done 3,000 steps, I’ll make sure to add more movement into my day by walking somewhere rather than using transport.

It’s important, too, to ensure that your bone density doesn’t get too low as you get older. Then, if you were to have a fall, it shouldn’t be too debilitating. This Life Extension Bone Restore supplement (£23, victoriahealth.com) is brilliant. Also try vitamins in liquid form as they are easier to swallow and should be absorbed more efficiently, too. I like Aurora Nutrascience Liposomal (from £20, victoriahealth.com).

If you can, get your mother involved with your plans – she may like a simple fitness tracker for Christmas – and next time you go to visit her take a Scrabble board. It will stimulate her by helping her to remember words and to recall order (it’s just as crucial to look after your brain, too).

Q:  I’m finding that the colder weather is making my hair very dull and lacklustre. are there any products that you’d recommend to give it a lift?
Joanne, Bath.

You could try a good hair mask – they are expensive but well worth the investment. My favourites are Aveda’s Dry Remedy Moisturizing Masque (£20, aveda.co.uk) for brittle and out-of-control hair, or the PhytoDensia Fluid Plumping Mask (£37, lookfantastic.com) for hair that’s showing signs of age, lost its radiance and needs a youthful boost. My trick is to always leave a bit of it in after rinsing. If you can, I recommend using it at every wash.

Trinny’s Top Treat

Zara’s Rainbow Minaudiere, £29.99, zara.com

I can’t get enough of bright rainbow colours and this bag is just fabulous – it tops off any outfit. A minaudière is the French word for a small, decorative handbag. Even my phone is too big for this one – but it’s a great accessory.

To contact Trinny, email TellTrinny@you.co.uk. For more on Trinny, go to trinnylondon.com