15 Ways for a Healthy Living
(Abstracted from Reader’s Digest Online)
1. Eat Your Medicine
Good nutrition is more than consuming less fat. It’s knowing the difference between good and bad fats, paying more attention to the variety and proportions of the foods you eat, and making good nutritional choices a habit (the hard part for most people).
2. Get Moving
Even modest amounts of exercise (20 minutes a day) can do a world of good, especially if you are faithful to a regular routine and get the various forms of exercise you need to build your endurance, strength balance and flexibility.
3. Supplement Your Diet
Getting enough of the antioxidant vitamins C and E and beta-carotene is one of the best ways to slow the clock. There are other supplements to know about such as Vitamin B12 Deficiencies of this nutrient (common in people over 60) can result in dementia and memory loss. So is calcium, which not only guards against osteoporosis but may also help prevent the most common type of stroke.
4. Watch Your Weight
Obesity can lead to serious health problems and shorten lifespan. Even 10 or 20 pounds of extra weight can pose an unnecessary risk. Metabolism slows with age, so you’re not burning the calories you once did. That means you should be cutting down on how much you eat or stepping up your exercise, or both.
5. Be Good to Your Bones
For women, do not wait until after menopause to address the risk of osteoporosis. Losing bone density starts at least a decade before menopause, so the need to get enough calcium and vitamin D every day, stop smoking, and get regular weight-bearing exercise is a necessity.
Men are not immune to osteoporosis too. The risk is increasing more slowly than a woman’s, but by seventies or eighties, it can be just as great.
6. Visit the Doctor Regularly
Doctor can be a best friend when it comes to preventing health problems. Getting blood pressure checked annually, for example, can help prevent serious cardiovascular and kidney problems.
7. Limit Alcohol
It’s true that one or two drinks a day may lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, but one shouldn’t start drinking to gain these benefits. Exercise and diet can help achieve the same results. Overdoing alcohol also increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
8. Quit Smoking
Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for at least one out of every two deaths today and smoking is clearly behind them all.
9. Learn More About Your Medications
The biggest problem with “polypharmacy,” as it’s called, is the increased risk of interactions among drugs with food, alcohol and herbs. Drinking alcohol when taking Tylenol can cause liver damage. One out of four cases of impotence may result from drug side effects.
10. Avoid Stress
Chronic stress can compound the risk of heart disease, cancer, and digestive problems, and it can even burn out memory. Learning to manage it can actually help for living longer.
11. Prevent Accidents
First, drive safely and wear a seatbelt. Driving risks are bound to increase if vision or hearing problems or have slower reflexes.
12. Think Young
To remain vital, stay actively engaged in life and break out of old routines. Find a passion or purpose and pursue it. Get involved in volunteer work. Try a new type of ethnic food, start a garden, adopt a pet. It’s also important to challenge faculties. Learning new things can actually stimulate new connections in your brain. Play bridge, do challenging crossword puzzles, join a book discussion group. Take up pottery of learn to play an instrument.
13. Care for Your Teeth
Once upon a time, as people got older, they got dentures. Dental checkups and cleaning should be on your calendar at least once or twice a year. Daily flossing and brushing are also an important part of preventive health care. Gum disease can actually spread infection to the heart and take years off from life.
14. Get Enough Sleep
Restful, deep sleep can be more elusive than ever. Yet adequate shuteye is crucial to aging well. Sleep has been strongly linked to proper immune system functioning and also cardiovascular health. Learning more about changing sleep patterns and how to preserve this precious restorative can add to the quality, and the quantity, of life.
15. Stay Socially Connected
Maintaining the ties that bind, with family and friend both old and new, is much more important than we realized, according to the most recent medical research. In fact, having a social network has been clinically proven to contribute to a longer life and reduce the need for doctor visits and trips to the hospital. Having a support system more likely to weather physical ailments, stress and emotional problems, and derive more enjoyment from life. The more people to talk to daily or weekly, the better.