Healthy tips to aging well

Healthy tips to aging well

There are more than 76 million baby boomers today, according to the United States Census. But it isn’t simply seniors who must worry about their health. More people are being diagnosed with health ailments at an earlier age, so staying healthy is not just an issue saved for retirement.

With September being Healthy Aging Month, it brings awareness and an opportunity to take stock in what you can do to live your healthiest life.

Healthy aging does not only encompass your physical health. Medical officials say a holistic approach to life that focuses on physical, mental and social aspects of a person’s well being is essential.

Studies have shown that consistent stress may lead to more serious health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, ulcers and heart disease. The most recent statistics show more than 15 million people suffered from ulcers alone last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Stress is something that can lead to ailments like heart problems, depression and stroke. It really does create an imbalance in the body,” says Dr. Rajesh Iyengar, geriatric medicine physician at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “It all goes back to taking care of yourself. If you don’t, then you are prone to many risk factors.”

Dr. Iyengar says there is the simplest recipe for successful aging. Exercise regularly, limiting alcohol and living a non-smoking life continues to be the playbook for a healthy life, he says.

“People know that smoking is bad for them. They see the statistics about half a million people dying of smoking a year,” Dr. Iyengar says. “But people need the willpower to quit. They have to care about their health.”

Another reason why medical officials stress exercising is because keeping joints moving can help prevent arthritis. More than 50 million people in the United States have arthritis, according to the National Institute of Health.

“Exercising is the primary way to keep your joints loose and to prevent things in the future like falls,” he says. “I would also tell people to take vitamin D and calcium pills if they need it and to make sure they are seeing their physician regularly.”

When it comes to diminishing eye sight and hearing loss, Dr. Iyengar says there is a link between those two issues and memory loss. And with more people suffering from those ailments earlier in life, he believes this is a topic that more people need to take seriously.

“There are studies that are connecting vision and hearing problems where if you have both then in ten years you will start seeing more memory problems as well,” Dr. Iyengar says. “You don’t want issues years before you should be getting them.”

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Comments

3 Comments

  1. Great info. Definitely passing this on.

  2. Dr. Ashwani Garg

    Very good article, thanks for posting it. Many people believe that aging with disease and disability is their fate; however anyone at any age and any fitness level can improve their health by incorporating simple changes like the above, as well as with a healthy diet. If someone needs more inspiration, this 1 minute video by Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada will inspire someone to make some real changes to prevent disability: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo6QNU8kHxI

  3. this is in important and informational article. I wish I would have read it years ago. My wake up call has been my recent bout with stenosis which stopped me cold, caused intensive pain, and caused me to realize that the ball is in my court. Thanks to my Advocate Internist, and the Pain Management Physician, and PT I joined the Center Club today on.a deal too good to pass up. I am grateful because it could have turned out much worse, but I fell like I have some time to get healthy. I just need the will power to go and to work on strengthening my core, and losing some weight in non impact ways that don’t put strain on my back.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.