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Secrets to Healthy Aging

No one can turn back the clock, however, you can slow it down. Some studies have suggested that about 70% of living longer is attributed to lifestyle versus genetics.

According to the International Longevity Center in New York City, many of the physical changes that take place during a lifetime can be prevented, such as loss of bone density, muscle mass and muscle strength.

The following steps may help you live a longer, healthier life:

Lift Weights – maintain muscle mass and help reduce the risk of frailty.

Stop Smoking – Smoking increases heart disease and your risk for many cancers.

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Eat lots of fruits and vegetables – 5-9 servings a day help neutralize free radicals, which can help prevent certain types of cancer.

Prevent Weight Gain – Extra weight is associated with type 2 diabetes.

Walk – Walking is one of the easiest ways to keep your heart in shape.

Stay Mentally Active – Participation in a variety of activities helps prevent mental decline.

Reduce Stress – Stress is a hormonal chain of events that can speed up the aging process.

Get Enough Sleep – Lack of proper sleep can impair your ability to cope with stress.

Avoid Anti-aging Supplements such as DHEA – The promised results are not proven to be true.

Eat a Low Fat Diet – It is the best way to avoid weight gain and heart disease.

Hospital stays often leave older people malnourished, which can complicate or delay their recovery from surgery or injury.

To maintain a hospitalized older person’s nutrition: Keep the patient company during meals. Ask if the person’s diet can be supplemented with nutritional products, such as Ensure. Ask your doctor if you can bring foods from home that the patients like and is likely to eat.

 Staying active is the best automobile insurance you can carry. Studies show that walking at least one block daily, taking a driver-refresher course for older drivers and driving frequently reduces auto insurance rates for older people.

New surgical techniques that spare essential nerves are more likely to preserve sexual functioning and bladder control after prostate surgery. The nerve-sparing prostatectomy is limited to people with cancer in its early stages.

Blood pressure drugs save lives. In a 39-year study of 10,000 people ages 45-74 with high blood pressure, the increased use of anti-hypertensive medication was correlated with a significant reduction of high blood pressure and heart damage.

Medicaid now covers: 100% of annual flu shots; yearly mammograms; annual screening for colon prostate cancer; and the cost of medical supplies, such as blood-glucose monitors and test strips for people with diabetes.

Buying a hearing aid is the only first step in learning to hear again. It takes time to get accustomed to having something in your ears and to adjust to the quality of sound provided by the device.

Strong social support can add healthy years to your life. A 17-year study of 7,000 people found that those lacking close ties to family and friends were two or three times more likely to die prematurely than those who had strong connections to others.


This article was first published in 2009 and is currently republished for its importance.