As we grow older we typically begin to fall victim to various chronic illnesses. These illnesses can hamper the quality of life and limit the range of activities old populations can participate in. Apart from this, repeated illnesses also lead to a rise in health insurance premium, which can cause financial difficulties in the long run.
Practicing preventive health and wellness will save you from falling into the trench of chronic conditions as you grow older. It involves keeping your body in good shape and developing healthy habits through your life (especially from your thirties). While there are no guarantees that you will not find yourself developing any illness as you age, preventive health measures allow you to put the risk to minimum and plan for your future. There are no special magic tricks involved in this practice. You just need to eat the right foods, exercise regularly and stay away from harmful drugs like tobacco, alcohol, etc.
Let us see how preventive health can help you in the long run and give you a chance to live a long life.
Taking care of the heart is probably the most important preventive measure. Cardiovascular problems are very common in old age and can only be reduced through steady discipline and focus. Despite its complicated nature, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your cardiovascular health.
The most common precursors to heart problems are hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.
As you age, you may start getting blood pressure problems, which can lead to hypertension (regular high blood pressure) and eventually cardiac attacks. By keeping your blood pressure in check, you can possibly avert this risk. All you need to do is eat a healthy and balanced diet, cut back on salt in your food, limit alcohol consumption and exercise regularly. Doing these will ensure that your blood pressure stays in the normal range.
Keeping your cholesterol and lipids under control is also an imperative measure to prevent heart diseases. By taking in less cholesterol in your daily diet, you can prevent the risk of clogging of blood vessels and a consequent heart attack. A study by the Harvard Medical School demonstrated that reducing up to 10% of cholesterol level in your food makes the chance of heart attack lower by up to 30%. (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/4-ways-to-keep-your-cholesterol-in-check)
Diabetes is another common illness that can lead to cardiovascular problems in the long run if kept unchecked. If you have a family history of diabetes, it is recommended that you test for it regularly at your local hospital. Diabetes is dangerous as it allows a high level of sugar to stay in your blood, which can damage the vessels and weaken the mechanism of the heart. If you already have diabetes, you need to make sure that you keep it under control. Eating healthy food, with low fat and sugar, is the first step in preventing diabetes from putting your heart at risk. You must also exercise regularly to keep your body in shape and maintain a healthy weight. (Note: Maintaining healthy weight also helps in coping with hypertension and cholesterol).
It goes without saying that apart from the aforementioned measures, you should always focus on living stress-free and happy. You must also take proper sleep (6 to 8 hours) every day. If you are having sleeping trouble, you must consult a doctor and follow the provided medical advice.
Hormones play a very important role in our body, by acting as chemical messengers. They send signals between cells and travel across the body through blood streams. Hormonal imbalance is a problem that people may encounter as they age. It is caused due to a malfunction in the endocrine gland. The imbalance causes different effects in the males and females, such as problems in metabolism, mood swings, reproduction issues, heavy periods, etc.
While an issue like mood swings can be tolerated, others like reproduction and metabolism problems can put you at risk. Severe cases of hormonal imbalance can lead to other diseases like diabetes, kidney failure and cardiac damage.
To keep the hormones in balance, you can take a series of preventive measures, which will not bring drastic changes but will be ultimately effective. These measures include staying stress-free, limiting alcohol usage, eliminating smoking and other addictions, eating healthy and balanced foods, giving your body all the essential minerals/vitamins and exercising regularly.
Following these steps will help your body regulate its hormones much more effectively, preventing any failure in the endocrine system.
If your hormonal imbalance is due to internal ailments such as thyroid malfunction, menstrual problem and menopause, you should visit a doctor first and consult on the right route of action, while still sticking with the above mentioned preventive measures.
Females with reproductive and menopausal hormonal issues can undertake hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). It is a medical treatment which involves the use of female hormones to control menopause problems and aging related issues. While optional, HRT has proven to be extremely effective in its usage to relieve distress in females with hormonal imbalance.
Like an automobile needs high-quality fuel to work at its highest benchmarks and have a long driving life, similarly, the human body needs to consume high quality and healthy food for performing well even when it is old.
We have repeatedly mentioned in our article that you need to eat a balanced diet, however, what is a healthy and a balanced diet?
As a rule, your food should consist of protein, healthy fats, carbohydrate, minerals, vitamins and fiber. You must prefer whole organic foods over processed ones and give priority to plant-based foods over animal-based ones.
Optimizing your nutrition also requires some sacrificing and a strong determination. As you try to leave the junk and processed foods, your body may go through extreme craving. Passing through this period of craving (usually a few days) without giving in is the first step in getting your food intake correct.
“You are what you eat”. Indeed the old adage is still true – the food you eat can heal you or harm you.