By Mary Demakes
The body becomes more susceptible to disease and cancer as we age. This is a factor we cannot change. However, preventative measures can help ward off some of the infirmities that come with age: a healthy diet, physical exercise and socialization.
A healthy diet will improve overall function both mentally and physically. The best way to fuel the body is through whole food nutrition. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk products, meat, fish and poultry are nutrient rich foods that are packed with energy, protein, vitamins and minerals to improve our diet.
Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. And keep away from high processed foods that are filled with additives. Such foods lack the nutrients we need.
A good diet comprised of nutritious foods supports the cell growth needed to remain healthy as we age.
What we eat is just one factor in managing health. Daily exercise will control weight and boost energy. Regular physical activity lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and minimizes the chance of contracting cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The physical activity does not need to be vigorous or overwhelming. Brisk walking and range of motion exercises can work wonders for the body.
Daily exercise will increase blood flow, which will have a positive effect on many aspects of your overall health — cardiovascular system, immune system and brain function. It will also boost self confidence and enhance physical fitness.
Socialization is an important factor with healthy aging. People have a need for love, belonging and interaction. When we are deprived of interaction with others we can become depressed, isolated and lose stimulation. As we age, there are many ways to get involved, such as joining a local senior center, veteran’s group or participating in town events. These are great places to make new friends as well.
Mary Macary Demakes is the owner of AAAAA Private Home Care, serving all of Eastern Massachusetts. She may be reached at 877-774-PHHC, 781-639-8696 or visit their website at www.eldersathome.com. Read other informational articles at www.fiftyplusadvocate.com.