Anti Aging- Lifestyle Changes
by Edward F. Group III, D.C., Ph.D, N.D.,CCN
We all change physically, as we grow older. Many of our changes are caused not by the aging process but by disease, the environment, and lifestyle. The good news is those physical changes occurring from these factors can be prevented or slowed down by taking action now.
People who live an inactive lifestyle lose muscle mass and flexibility as they age. However, older adults can keep their muscles strong and improve their health by exercising and keeping active on a regular basis. Yoga, tai chi, water exercises, and daily stretching are some activities that improve flexibility. A healthcare provider should be consulted before starting a new exercise program.
Skin changes with age. It grows thinner, takes longer to heal when injured, gets wrinkles, and loses some of its elastic quality. Many changes to the skin that seem to be from aging are actually changes caused by damage from over-exposure to the sun. Wearing a 30 SPF or higher sunscreen now can help prevent skin damage and problems later in life. Use lipstick or other lip protections that have sunscreens, too.
Subtle changes in vision and hearing usually are a part of aging. As we age, our vision may slowly decrease. Glasses, or possibly surgery, can often correct the cause for this. Hearing loss may develop gradually and often goes untreated. It is important to have vision and hearing evaluated each year.
As the body changes, medications may need to be adjusted and alcohol and caffeine intake limited to no more than 1 drink per week. As we age, these substances stay in our system longer. Alcohol also has a more rapid effect on the body than when we were younger.
A person’s response time slows with age. To some extent, this is normal. When people stay both physically and mentally active, reaction time changes at a slower rate. This helps maintain independent functioning, such as driving.
Making changes now to a healthier lifestyle can minimize the changes that occur with aging.
Everyone ages, however, there are several things you can do in order to tackle anti aging in a healthy manner. By making certain lifestyle changes you may be able to prevent health problems, or keep them from getting worse even if they run in your family. In fact, research shows that genetics plays a smaller role in health related problems than was once thought. Lifestyle changes have a greater impact on your health than genes do. Even if you have a chronic disease you can make lifestyle changes to help you preserve your day to day living and health.
Although it would be nice, there is not a particular formula to maintain health. The best approach is to develop good habits and keep with them.
Maintaining Your Health
Keep your body moving is an essential factor in maintaining your maximum level of health. You should find an activity you enjoy that involves moving. Power walking is an excellent way to exercise. Others may enjoy swimming, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, dancing, bike riding, or roller-blading. Exercising does not have to be vigorous in order to have positive results. Housework, yard work and gardening can raise the level of your heart rate and prove beneficial also. If these activities are done on a regular basis, your heart, lungs, and muscles will become stronger day by day.
Eating right can also play a profound role in maintaining your health. Make sure your body gets the nutrition it needs. By doing so, it will in turn help you to maintain a healthy body weight, prevent problems such as constipation, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and treat diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential to staying healthy. Below is a Body Mass Index chart to help you determine your healthy weight. Regular exercise, eating healthy meals, cutting out tobacco, and limiting alcohol consumption (1 drink for women and 2 for men) will also help you maintain good health. There are also certain supplements that have helped reduce aging or at least prolong the aging process in older adults.
Above I emphasized keeping the body moving to prolong good health, especially in older adults. As seniors, we often find ourselves going through more changes than we have since puberty. Learn how you can cope with the many physical and lifestyle transitions related to aging, and discover why this stage of life is called the golden years.
Did you know that seniors are the fastest growing population in the world? According to the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the United States is experiencing a dramatic increase in the numbers of people who live to old age. This phenomenon is creating challenges for Americans of all ages as they cope with Social Security, health care, housing, employment, and other important national issues.
In 2000, approximately 605 million people were 60 years or older. By 2050, that number is expected to be close to 2 billion. At that time, seniors will outnumber children 14 and under for the first time in history. There is power in numbers. As a group, seniors have tremendous economic and political clout. According to researchers, people 50 and over control 77 percent of all financial assets in the United States, own almost 50 percent of all credit cards, and account for more than 50 percent of discretionary spending power – 2.5 times the average per capita.
You have the power to help shape the laws, policies, products and services that will profoundly affect the quality of your life. Get involved with activities that will help keep you active. By keeping yourself active, you will renew your spirit and body at the same time and this will make you feel young. By feeling young, psychology speaking, you will help the body cope with aging dramatically.