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Path to Healthy Aging

Updated on April 19, 2013

No one wants to get old if it means giving up the activities we love. But, while it's pointless to try to stop the process of aging altogether, there's obvious reasons to a least try to slow it down. We are all trying to live longer, be more fruitful and live healthier lives. The quality of life is what is important and we can do this by delaying the deterioration that can come with getting older. But the big question is: How do we do that?

I believe we need to embrace a holistic point of view. In order to make our golden years, golden, we need to take care of our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social health. The aging baby boomers are a huge success story. They are not only living longer but the huge majority of them live outside of care facilities and live an active life.

Bone Health

Doing weight-bearing exercises at least 3 to 4 times a week is the best form of exercise to prevent osteoporosis. Beware that there are certain medications that can weaken bones. These include glucocorticoids for arthritis and asthma. As well some anti-seizure drugs and sleeping pills can have an effect on bone health. Check with your health provider for more information.

Taking an adequate amount of calcium and Vitamin D goes a long way in building and maintaining good bone health. Osteoporosis Canada recommends taking 1,500 mg of calcium and 800 IU of Vitamin D each day after age 50. There are a number of good food sources that provide calcium and these include low fat dairy products, canned fish with soft bones (salmon), and dark green leafy vegetables. You can also get Vitamin D from eggs.

If you are a smoker, stop smoking as it contributes to the loss of bone mass. And get your doctor to give you a bone density test especially if osteoporosis runs in your family.

Eye and Hearing Health

The warning signs of vision problems include an increased sensitivity to light and difficulty distinguishing colors.  There are also some hidden signs of vision loss and these include social withdrawal, or being less active. If you are a smoker, quit.  People who smoke are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop age related macular degeneration.  It is a good idea to increase you intake of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fruits and dark green leafy vegetables as they contain nutrients that support the macula.  Keep active and exercise to prevent high blood pressure and diabetes which contribute to the risk of eye problems.

Many older people have inner ear hearing loss.  Signs of hearing loss include speaking louder than necessary or constantly asking for people to repeat themselves.  If you favor one ear over the other or thinking that people are mumbling, then perhaps its time to get your hearing checked.  There are many assistive devices such as hearing aids for both ears.

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    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 

      7 years ago from The City of Generals

      It really pays to be aware of everything we do before we turn gold at 50 :). Thanks for the info. More power!

    • Healthy Living Is profile image

      Healthy Living Is 

      8 years ago from allergies, people, flowers. health, diet, art, medicine, mental health

      I am getting up there. Just joined AARP. LOL Thank you for the info

    • True Blue Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      True Blue Tips 

      8 years ago

      H Immartin. I couldn't say it better myself. As a child of the 60's I know I have a lot to look forward to and I'm going to do my best to be a healthy old lady!

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 

      8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Treating aging as a disease promotes our ever growing vision of aging as a negative, as something to be ashamed of, to avoid instead of a healthy part of a healthy life. I'm looking at 60, which by today's standards is not old and I am stronger, fitter and in better shape than many of the young people I see around me. Don't worry about us -- the healthy baby-boomers -- worry about the generation in their twenties now -- obese, poor complected, poor diets, bad habits. Look around next time you're out shopping.

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