"You know that you are getting old when you feel you still have it but can't remember what to do with it"
Many nations are in the midst of a longevity revolution, especially the USA. Since 1900 the US population has tripled, the number of adults 65+ has increased X12 from 3.1million to 35million in 2000. By 2030 when all the Baby-Boomers have reached 65 the number is expected to double to 70 million...20% of the population.
This dramatic gain is in large part a result of better sanitary conditions and organized medicine. We may not die due to TB, Spanish Flu, Gastritis or Typhoid but we have three main assailants. In this century the top three causes of death for all ages.
HEART DISEASE (30%).....CANCER (23%).....STROKE (7%)
Now before we start becoming morbid, the real tragedy/hope is that these are all preventable. Poor health is not an inevitable cause of aging. If you adopted good habits in your previous decades...congratulations, you are experiencing the benefits. Be alert of changes in your body. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, keep moving..pulling, pushing and lifting. Above all...keep smiling!
Pay close attention to the following and talk with your Health Care Adviser accordingly.
FALLS.....Approximately 1 in 3 people over 70 will "fall" annually. In 2005 almost 16,000 Americans over 65 died after falling. Almost 2 million were taken to the Emergency as a result of a "fall". A strength and Conditioning Program together with some stretching (Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi) will help lower the odds.
MEMORY-LOSS.....Yes, it's true. Grey matter does begin to shrink. Mental acuity and concentration declines but we can take steps to stay sharp. Seek novelty, learn new skills, participate in puzzles and quizzes and above all...Keep Active. The brain needs oxygen so feed it with movement and heavy breathing; this will also help lower Blood Pressure and LDL cholesterol. Eating fruits and veggies with a darker pigmentation (blueberries, blackberries etc) with anthocyanins may help suppress tumours (New England Journal of Medicine).
WEAK BONES/POOR POSTURE.....A hunched appearance can make us look much older. A combination of exercise (walking, swimming, yoga, strength and stretching) can help improve bone density, muscle mass and posture. Talk to your Health Adviser about Calcium and Vitamin D.
VISION AND HEARING.....Dry eye and diminishing hearing are pertinent to this decade. Drink plenty of fluids, limit time spent in front of a screen and get check-ups as recommended.
NUTRITION.....Changes in taste-buds and olfactory senses can affect appetite. It becomes increasingly difficult to absorb nutrients. The body produces less saliva and stomach acid, digestion slows which can accelerate constipation. Focus on foods high in fiber and examine levels of Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D and the B vitamins.
GENERAL HEALTH-CARE RECOMMENDATIONS.
BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING.....Every 2 years or as recommended.
BONE MINERAL DENSITY TEST.....As recommended
CHOLESTEROL SCREENING.....Every 5 years or as recommended
COLORECTAL SCREENING.....As recommended
DIABETES SCREENING.....Every 3 years or as recommended
MAMMOGRAM, PAP TEST AND PELVIC EXAM.....Yearly or as recommended.
PROSTATE EXAM.....As recommended
THYROID TEST (TSH)......As recommended.
I don't know about you but as I age I want to be in charge of my body and my health: not rely on a stranger and strange medications. In essence it's not about the quantity of years but the quality of your years.
DON'T JUST SURVIVE......THRIVE
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