Healthy Aging  Is 60 the new 40? 

Part 3

Determinants of healthy aging

In my previous blog, I provided some disturbing statistics about the health of Canadians.  Diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels are alarmingly high and can contribute to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.  But if you can modify the risks to your health, you may be able to delay or minimize the severity of chronic diseases and disabilities in later life.

 Here are the top five ways to stay healthy while you age

•Social Connectedness

This is one of the most important ingredients in healthy aging. Studies show that people who are connected with others and share in social activities do way better than those who are socially isolated.  Getting involved in community activities, creating social networks that support one another leads to greater support when the need is wanted the most. It’s important to look out for new opportunities to get involved and create new friendships.

•Physical Activity

We need to be active most days of the week from 30 to 60 minutes….Stop taking the escalator, walk, don’t drive the kids to school, take the time for yourself as this is a fair priority and you want to be healthy for your family too! Participating in regular physical activity is also associated with enhanced mental health, improved odds for staying healthy over time and of recovering from poor health

•Healthy Eating

Follow Canada’s Food Guide with its emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.  Stay away from high calorie fatty foods and sugary drinks. Remember portion control.   For More information go to Canada’s Food Guide

•Falls Prevention

Less, falls, less fractured hips.  Exercise helps with balance and flexibility, not just cardiac fitness and this is most important as we age

•Tobacco Control

Enough said! Cigarette smoking is implicated in eight of the top 14 causes of death for adults 65 years of age or older.  Deaths from smoking result in, on average, a loss of 15 years of expected life. In addition, seniors with heart disease, asthma and other chronic health problems are particularly vulnerable to the risks associated with exposure to second-hand smoke. Happily, it is never too late to quit. Quitting can enhance quality and length of life, and reduce the risk of disease, de