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Healthy and Active into Your Eighties

Healthy and Active into Your Eighties

Every day I see more active seniors living their lives to the fullest.  There is a positive expectancy for their lives.  They have things to do and people to see.  The population of the US continues to grow, the fastest growth is in the over 65 group.  Life expectancy of someone born in 2010 in the US is almost 80 years old.  A 55 year old female has a better than 50% chance to live to age 85.  People are living longer with a better quality of life.  So how can you take care of yourself to make the most of your years and increase your chance of living longer?   Here are some common traits seen in this population that we can all emulate to allow us to have the best chance of healthy productive lives well into our eighties.

Keep Active

Exercise has benefits for all ages.  It is also true that you can benefit by starting exercise at any age.  Studies have shown that people in their seventies that have not been active can improve health and longevity by beginning a mild to moderate exercise program.  Studies show better health in people that move more and sit less.  Get up and get moving.

Posture

Practice good posture for better health, increased energy and enhanced mood.  Studies have shown the negative effects of slouched posture, increased muscle tension, decreased movement and flexibility, stress on bones and joints.  Healthy posture habits reduce stress on joints muscle and bones, improve energy and flexibility, mood is elevated.  Avoid rounding the shoulders and forward head posture.

Eat Well

Eat real food, avoid overly processed additive filled convenience foods.  Eat moderate portions on a regular schedule.   Bret Wilson DCIncrease the ratio of vegetables to meat.  Drink plenty of water.  Limit sugar, alcohol and caffeine.

Use Your Mind

Reading and writing on a regular basis have shown to reduce mental deterioration, improve memory.   Exercise for your mind is as important as the activity for your body.  Find a hobby or avocation you enjoy that stimulates your mind.  Cognitively active seniors are much less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Socialize

Social interaction with others on a regular and ongoing basis has many emotional and physical benefits.   People with many social ties have lower mortality rates and reduced loss of memory.  Interactions with others helps increase enjoyment of life and cope better with life’s struggles.

Have Goals

Setting goals and having plans help your health through stimulating your desire to achieve, gives you a sense of purpose.  Projects keep you in engaged and give you a reason to move forward.  Goals provide the opportunity to use your body and mind to contribute to the world around you.

Choose a Health Care Team

Have a group of doctors that you trust and communicate well with.  The doctors should give you choices and advice about your health care.  The physician should be open to a variety of treatment options and help you be informed about your health.  They should help you to be responsible for your own health and health decisions.  Doctors of chiropractic can be an important member of your health care team, trained in the diagnosis and treatment of spine, nerve and musculoskeletal conditions.

Healthy living can start at any age.  Develop better habits now whether you are 28 or 80.  Your body and mind will reward you now and in the future with better function and increased longevity.   Add years to your life and life to your years by adopting good physical and mental health habits.

As the Health and Wellness writer for Discover the Region, I will be attending a Spring Training game on March 11, where Carl Paul Maggio, Right Fielder on the  winning 1951 American Legion Baseball League from Crenshaw, California Post 715, will be throwing out the first pitch. He is an octogenarian with an active lifestyle, who incorporates many of these principles into his life. Next month you will find out more about Carl.

 

Yours in Health

 

Resources:

ACA Healthy Aging

Social Interaction

Activity and Health

Dr. Bret Wilson wants you to move, play and live free from neck and back pain.  For more information about chiropractic, posture, exercise, and how to make better choices about your health visit our website www.bellwestchiro.com.  Find a chiropractor in your area to help you with safe and effective health care.  http://www.acatoday.org/Find-a-Doctor

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