Staying Healthy for Life
Although the risk of disease and disability increases with age, poor health does not have to fill your later years in life. Many chronic diseases can be avoided through preventive measures. The secret to aging well is to establish a healthy lifestyle early, and stick to it as you grow older.
Eat Right and Exercise Frequently
Proper nutrition is vital to maintaining good health. Follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fiber, and reduce fat and sugar intake. Improving your diet could extend your life span and reduce the occurrence of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Being active is also important for health and longevity. Regular physical activity reduces your risk of dying from heart disease, and decreases your risk for colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Regular exercise also offers the following health benefits:
- Controlling weight
- Contributing to healthy bones, muscles and joints
- Relieving the pain of arthritis
- Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Decreasing the need for hospitalizations, physician visits and medications
Exercise does not need to be strenuous to be beneficial. People of all ages will benefit from moderate physical activity like taking a walk or swimming.
People tend to be less active as they age. Fortunately, people who are normally sedentary and have lost muscle mass can gain it back by increasing strength with moderate physical activity.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking, and more than 480,000 people die from smoking each year.
Tobacco use increases your risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Abstaining from tobacco is one of best ways to protect your health.
Maintaining a Positive Outlook
Your mind plays an important role in your ability to age well and maintain a high quality of life when you are elderly. Being engaged and maintaining positive social connections can help you retain cognitive function as you age. The following are ways you can help maintain a healthy attitude as you get older:
- Maintain positive self-esteem.
- Take control of your life.
- Develop and maintain quality relationships with friends, family, significant others and colleagues.
- View life as meaningful and be thankful.
Following a healthy lifestyle can help lead to a longer life. By eating well, exercising regularly and avoiding tobacco you can reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases and improve your well-being for years to come!