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Wellness Tips for Healthy Aging

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Getting older often means the onset of chronic diseases. Even just the age-related changes in the body without any disease can cause discomfort and disability to some extent. However, not every senior suffers from chronic diseases or are so impaired by age-related changes that they experience discomfort. The fact is that age is not a disease, although at times it is debated to be so, and there is no reason why a person cannot age healthily.

Ways to Age Healthily

There is no definitive route to healthy aging. The body’s various processes become less efficient. From immunity to regeneration, the reality is that the body of an older person is not the same as that of a younger adult. Nevertheless, it should not be a given that disease, discomfort and disability are inevitable. Healthy aging should essentially mean healthy living – practices that should start earlier in life and be continued throughout the senior years.

Exercise

Modern life often means a sedentary life. Technology in this regard has not the human body any favors. Simple measures can make all the difference for the elderly in preventing weight gain, reducing the extent of bone and muscle deterioration and exercising the heart. Exercise should be daily, or at the very minimum 3 times a week. Collectively, a person should get about 150 minutes of exercise per week. A combination of both weight training and cardiovascular exercise is necessary for the maximum benefit.

Diet

The modern diet is laden with refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. Essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are sometimes lacking. The key to eating a balanced diet is a variety of raw and cooked freshly prepared meals. The food pyramid provides an outline of a balanced diet but much of this is common sense. Limit the fats, balance the carbohydrate and protein intake and do not shy away from fresh fruit and vegetables. Eat regular meals – at least 3 large meals with 2 health snacks in between.

Stress

Stress is a broad term that is commonplace in the modern lifestyle. It can extend from physical stress to mental and emotional stress. Exercise is a form of physical stress but it conditions the body. However, physical strain on the unconditioned body can be detrimental. Mental and emotional strain has a wide effect on the brain, nerves and hormones. This impacts various organs and processes in the body in a negative manner. Stress management is a broad approach and should involve exercise, good coping skills, limiting work hours, while being active and leading a simpler lifestyle.

Substances

Ideally one should avoid stimulants and depressants such as tobacco, alcohol, overuse of pharmaceutical drugs and illicit substances. However, at times medication is unavoidable and the key to avoiding the adverse effects is to use it in moderation and as prescribed. Alcohol as well is a widely used substance and may not have adverse effects in the long term if used in moderation.

Health Care

The key to avoiding the deleterious long term effects of disease is prevention. Healthy living, a balanced diet, exercise, stress management and moderated use of substances are essential. However, this may not be enough, especially when considering the genetic factor of many diseases. Access to proper health care services is therefore important. Visit your doctor and dentist on a regular basis and immediately seek medical advice should you experience any symptoms. Follow your doctor’s prescriptions and advice closely and ensure regular screening for common diseases.


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