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The Secrets to Age Gracefully

Worldwide, life expectancy of older people continues to rise. By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years. By 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and older is expected to total 2 billion, up from 841 million today. The increase in longevity, especially in high-income countries (HICs), has been largely due to the decline in deaths from cardiovascular disease (stroke and ischaemic heart disease), mainly because of simple, cost-effective strategies to reduce tobacco use and high blood pressure, and improved coverage and effectiveness of health interventions.

However, although people are living longer, they are not necessarily healthier than before – nearly a quarter (23%) of the overall global burden of death and illness is in people aged over 60, and much of this burden is attributable to long-term illness caused by diseases such as cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, heart disease, musculoskeletal diseases (such as arthritis and osteoporosis), and mental and neurological disorders. Therefore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial to reduce risk of getting diseases.

Here are some tips that you may follow:

  1. Quit smoking. Smoking kills by causing cancer, strokes and heart failure. Smoking leads to erectile dysfunction in men due to atherosclerosis and to excessive wrinkling by attacking skin elasticity. Take this critical step to improve your health and combat aging.

 

  1. Keep active. Physical activity helps you stay at a healthy weight, prevent or control illness, sleep better, reduce stress, avoid falls and look and feel better, too. Do something to keep fit each day—something you enjoy that maintains strength, balance and flexibility and promotes cardiovascular health.

 

  1. Eat well.Combined with physical activity, eating nutritious foods in the right amounts can help keep you healthy. Many illnesses, such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, can be prevented or controlled with dietary changes and exercise.

 

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Get to your healthy weight by eating right and keeping active. Replace sugary drinks with plain water.

 

  1. Prevent falls.We become vulnerable to falls as we age. Prevent falls and injury by removing loose carpet or throw rugs. Wear shoes with good support to reduce the risk of falling.

 

  1. Stay up-to-date on immunizations and other health screenings.By age 50, women should begin mammography screening for breast cancer. Men can be checked for prostate cancer. Many other preventive screenings are available.

 

  1. Get regular dental, vision and hearing check-ups.Your teeth and gums will last a lifetime if you care for them properly—that means daily brushing and flossing and getting regular dental check-ups. By age 50, most people notice changes to their vision, including a gradual decline in the ability to see small print or focus on close objects. Common eye problems that can impair vision include cataracts and glaucoma. Hearing loss occurs commonly with aging, often due to exposure to loud noise.

 

  1. Manage stress.Try exercise or relaxation techniques—perhaps meditation or yoga—as a means of coping. Make time for friends and social contacts and fun. Successful coping can affect our health and how we feel. Learn the role of positive thinking.

 

Sources:
1. Australian Science http://www.australianscience.com.au
2. Everyday health http://www.everydayhealth.com
3. Health Communities http://www.healthcommunities.com
4. Parents giving http://www.parentgiving.coma