How To Stay Healthy As You Age Part I

With today’s technology and advances in medicine, people live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life. In this 3 part series, we discuss how to age healthily, and what you can do to prevent disease and pain in the process.

The Facts

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that we are facing a revolution in longevity. By 2030, the number of older Americans will have doubled to an astounding 70 million. With one in five of every American being a senior citizen, the effects of this population on the economic system will be great. Medicare and related services are already in trouble and with this increasing number of older Americans coming forward, it can only get worse.

Staying Healthy – The Key

Almost every health guru will tell you that diet and exercise are the keys to longevity. As we grow older, our dietary needs change, and we need fewer calories than we did when younger and working hard. More important still is the quality of the food we eat. Many older couples, who suffer from empty nest syndrome, tend to eat out, order in and not cook the proper things, instead relying on convenience foods and take outs. Studies show that many older Americans are obese, and eat all of the wrong kinds of foods. Obesity crowds vital organs, such as liver, kidneys and intestines, making the functions of these organs less than they should be.

A common complaint of older Americans is of a digestive nature. Bloating, constipation, heartburn, flatulence and gas are very common. There are many ways to overcome these complaints. Limit consumption of tea and coffee, sweets, fried foods, alcohol, oil, salt, and “junk” foods. It may be helpful to eat “mini-meals” instead of 2 to 3 large meals per day. Doing so helps increase metabolism, and the burning of calories. Often, seniors will avoid vegetable that cause these complaints, and in the process are missing out on a lot of vital nutrition. It is vital that you drink a lot of fluids to aid in the digestive process and to help avoid such common complaints as constipation. A diet rich in fiber through consuming whole grains, certain fruits such as prunes, and lots of fruits and vegetables are the best defense against constipation.

Getting The Right Kind Of Exercise

Exercise, in a manner suitable for an older person is vital to longevity. According to Seniors Site, more than 30% of Americans age 55 and older say they walk for exercise. Participating in low impact sports such as water aerobics, swimming, fishing, hiking, hunting camping and other low impact activities are your best bet. Remember that lifestyle changes are to be expected when we age. We naturally slow down, often don’t work as hard, and aren’t chasing kids around the house. Making decisive changes in lifestyle can mean the difference between a healthy old age and a poor quality of life.

Go to next article in series How To Stay Healthy As You Age – Part 2

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.