Healthy Aging: Not as Hard as it Sounds

September 12, 2016 MedXM

It’s a statistical fact that seniors make up the majority of Americans. Because the elderly have health problems requiring regular doctor visits, home health care as well as a window-sill full of medicine bottles, health care is built around them. Because aging is being highlighted, exercise programs are being tailored to seniors. Whole industries from healthcare to wearable devices are springing up to care for seniors. Healthy aging is much more than just a rage; it’s a movement to keep those precious to us alive a lot longer and in a healthier manner.

When Does Aging Actually Begin?

Aging actually begins on the inside, at the cellular level. It generally begins in the 20s with the body’s antioxidant production stopping. Antioxidants keep free radicals from attacking the cells. Since the outside of the body shows what’s happening on the inside, signs of aging in this case would manifest in skin in need of moisturizers.

The next decade, the 30s, see the damage going further. The metabolism begins to slow, causing a decline in blood flow. Blood doesn’t get to the skin, which means circles under the eyes and droopy skin due to lack of collagen production.

The 40s see even further damage. The natural life of skin cells is pretty much over, leaving the skin looking lifeless. This is about the age when people apply skin care products containing retinol and glycolic acid in order to energize skin cell production.

After the 50s, skin begins to lose its elasticity, becomes thin and shows every little bruise and bump. The skin can’t get enough water to remain soft and supple. All this accelerates when the body gets into its 60s and goes on from there.

Can Aging be Stopped?

The Mayo Clinic says not. These are natural processes the body goes through. Certain products can be obtained which mitigate the results of these processes, but Mayo tells us they are quick fixes and don’t change anything permanently.

How Can We Age Healthily?

Aging gracefully has morphed into aging healthily. What that means for most seniors is adopting a routine in which nutrition, fresh air, exercise, restful sleep and plenty of water gives their bodies what they need every day. Seniors afraid of falling, for instance, will lose that fear once they do balance exercises. Elderly folks worried about arthritis preventing them from opening cans or even holding a water bottle or glass of tea can stop worrying. A little exercise will knock that arthritis to the curb.

Here are a few tips for healthy aging:

  • Move It! Many seniors cry that their bodies won’t move like these workout gurus do. You don’t have to. All it takes is a little walking, riding your bike, swimming, doing water aerobics at the local gym, or even dancing around the living room to your favorite music. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done.
  • Eat Clean and Health Go to the farmer’s market or the produce aisle in the grocery store. If you can’t hold a can to open it, get it fresh or frozen. Choose foods high in water content to help with hydration such as tomatoes and cucumbers, berries, oranges, apples and meats like chicken and fish which are all high in water content.
  • Brain GamesSeniors with no one to take care of, no job or anything that makes them think tend to let their minds go slack. Buy yourself a computer and learn how it works, work crossword puzzles, volunteer to teach someone something you know or write a book. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it challenges your mind to keep your brain growing.
  • Remove Stress, Stress to seniors could entail the loneliness of departed spouses or other family and friends, boredom, depression and physical illnesses. No one can avoid stress, but there are ways of mitigating it that don’t include another bottle of medication on the window sill. Counseling, yoga, physical activity and even art work or singing can help kick stress to the curb.

Seniors often fail to tell their healthcare providers, and thus their insurance carriers, all that is slowing them down. We work with health plans to consult with the insured. We talk to you and assess the risks in your health with an eye toward bettering your situation. We’d be happy to tell you more when you contact us to learn more about how we can help.

 

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