Ageing – how you can live a healthy life in your old age

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How the human body gradually loses supple and glow and take on a fragile, lean and wrinkle form later on in life, is one of many facts of life that should interest everyone! All around, living things, notably; plants, animals, and humans, provide enough evidence about this physiological change in unique ways. What is even known to be inanimate, for instance a stone, rock, furniture, electrical appliance, clothes, bag, etc., also experience some form of physical change – a wear and tear or a decrease in strength and performance.

 

Ageing

As we grow older, our body changes too – our muscles, bones, organs, tissues, and cells begin to grow weak, losing some of its function. Once this natural deterioration sets in, it may lead to a number of health challenges. Dr. Bray of Medifem Multi-specialist Hospital and Fertility Center says only by adapting to certain lifestyle pattern can a person slow down ageing, and its related health issues. This lifestyle pattern promotes healthy ageing, which can be explained as “The good mental, social, and physical well-being of an individual, especially in older adults,” she said.

According to Dr. Bray, people shouldn’t overlook simple yet very important things like: exercising gently at most 2 or 3 times a week; having enough daily rest or sleep; eating a balanced diet and staying well hydrated; and going for a medical checkup at least once every year. She also advises older folks to engage in activities they enjoy and have enthusiasm at such actions as playing football, jogging, gardening, playing chess or going to the gym to do some aerobics. “They should also be optimistic about their health because our thoughts, feelings and emotions can impact how the body develops and functions,” she added.

The above activities are indispensable to living a healthy life in old age. Besides these lifestyle patterns, there are also some nutrients which are very much recommended because they greatly nourish the immune system and increase energy levels.

The first group of nutrients is Vitamins, preferably Vitamins C, D, B2, B6, and B12. These Vitamins helps in the formulation of collagen for the normal functioning of cartilage, which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue most experienced by the aged. Examples of this nutrient group include; beef liver, soy milk, egg yolk, natural fruit juice, tuna, salmon, cheese, etc.

The next set of important nutrient for the body’s nourishment is Protein. Older people need more dietary protein than younger adults for growth and maintenance of muscle mass. Sources of protein include beans, eggs, milk, lean beef, seafood, etc. Yet another nutrient group is Fibre. In order to derive optimal health in old age, it is recommended that more fibre be included in one’s diet. Foods such as beans, wholegrain, e.g. wheat bread, brown rice, popcorn, baked potato with skin, nuts, fruits and vegetables, among others, are great sources of fibre.

Dr. Bray further explains that sometimes people may not explore the natural ways of controlling ageing but resort to the use anti-ageing drugs, which contain certain chemicals that may cause some serious health complications. These complications may include; cancer of the kidney/liver, irritation/allergic reactions, skin rashes, pimples, acne, blisters, swollen face, etc. It’s important to understand that ageing is a natural and an inevitable part of life. Trying to reverse ageing by using some medications wouldn’t be the best option in the long run. What really matters, Dr. Bray advises, is to ensure that “You’re healthy and strong in old age by living a quality lifestyle. This means that you are mindful of what you eat and drink, you quit smoking and alcohol if you used to, exercising gently and paying regular visits to the doctor or hospital.”

 

Picture credit: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/healthy-eating-for-older-adults