As the body ages, people become more susceptible to several chronic diseases. Many of these can be prevented or their progression slowed down through a concerted effort to change one’s lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and a determination to reduce stress all play vital roles in becoming the 8 percent of older adults who do not have a chronic disease. “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”—Eubie Blake.
Approximately three-fourths of all adults over the age of 59 are overweight. This health concern has a tendency to coincide with other ailments such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. Maintaining an ideal body weight is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy body as one ages. Diseases linked to obesity include diabetes, cancer, heart disease and arthritis. One pound of weight corresponds with 3,500 calories. In order to lose one pound a week, you need to reduce your caloric intake by this much or increase your caloric output by this much. The best solution is a combination of both; for instance, reduce your calories by 300 a day and increase your exercise so that you are expending 200 more per day.
Osteoporosis affects nearly 44 million Americans over the age of 49. It is the result of losing more bone than one makes, resulting in porous, brittle bone that breaks easily. Osteoporosis leads to an estimated 8.9 million fractures worldwide. Diet and exercise play an important role in keeping this disorder at bay. Choose foods high in calcium, magnesium, vitamins C, D and K. These are found in low-fat dairy products, leafy greens, citrus fruits, peppers and fortified cereals. The best source of vitamin D is sunshine. Weight-bearing exercise also plays a major role in maintaining healthy bones. It is also important to stop smoking and limit alcohol intake, both of which play a part in the development of porous bones.
These diseases affect the heart and blood vessels. It includes arteriosclerosis—plaque that develops on the inner wall of arteries—hyper- and hypotension, stroke and coronary heart disease. This disease can also be controlled or eliminated through diet and exercise. Keep your diet low in saturated fats found in packaged and prepared foods. Exchange high-fat meats for fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and poultry. Toss the butter and other vegetable oils out for olive oil. Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables. And, of course, exercise. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days of the week.
Elderly Care Provider
If your loved one suffers from a chronic disease that is limiting their ability to perform the everyday activities of living, consider hiring an elderly care provider. They can assist with daily tasks as well as prepare healthy meals and accompany your parent on walks, helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Simpsonville, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.
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