Roger Sims from www.locostmedicalsupply.com shared that people are living longer, and the aging process can present some challenges to people who do not nourish and look after themselves well.
Aging has been associated with a decline in mental and physical health. This fear comes from losing independence, becoming a burden on family, and needing long-term care. However, there are many positive ways to look after yourself as you age and live a good quality of life.
Healthy Eating – The goal of eating is to nourish your body well so you can maintain your mobility and activities of daily living. Healthy eating supports a good quality of life.
Healthy eating is all about finding balance with your eating behaviors. Most people know about the dietary guidelines, yet have difficulty with eating well.
The dietary guidelines recommend people eat whole foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, protein foods, and dairy to maintain and improve health. Eating well can also prevent certain health conditions.
Eating intuitively is an important strategy to eat the foods your body needs. Overall, intuitive eating helps you to eat when you are hungry, stop when you are mostly full, and choose foods you feel like. Therefore, intuitive eating is key to meeting your nutrition requirements.
As you age, life’s circumstances can change and may affect your ability to source a variety of food, prepare it, and eat it.
Poor or reduced appetite is a common challenge experienced, especially in people who are not well. A decrease in appetite can be a problem. Without adequate awareness of appetite, food intake tends to decrease. If left untreated, a decrease in dietary intake can lead to unintentional weight loss and subsequent loss of muscle mass. This loss of muscle mass affects mobility and, therefore, activities of daily living and quality of life.
There are key nutrients that the aging population needs to be aware of to support their health.
Energy is essential for regulating normal physiological processes maintaining life. Energy in food gives you the energy to do activities of daily living and helps you to feel less tired in the process.
- Protein is important for maintaining muscle mass.
- Calcium helps to maintain bone health.
- Bone health and immune system require vitamin D.
- Fiber helps to maintain bowel health and regularity.
Eating enough energy foods and getting enough protein are the most important activities when loss of appetite or unintentional weight loss is experienced. Energy foods and protein help you to prevent or treat malnutrition. Malnutrition is a frequent cause of death in the older population living in the community and in residential aged-care facilities.
Vitamin C is showing promising signs in delaying premature aging with its antioxidant properties. Supplementing the diet with vitamin C appears to extend life and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Low Glycemic Food
Mental function declines with age, just like any other bodily function. Poor glucose management can add an extra burden on the body.
Low-glycemic foods are foods that are absorbed and digested by the body slowly, compared to high glycemic foods. Typical low glycemic foods are foods that are whole foods or minimally processed and which are as close to their natural state as possible. Foods high in fiber and naturally occurring fats are also low glycemic foods.
Low-glycemic foods have the potential to improve short-term brain function as well as in the long term. These foods can also improve mental function in people with impaired glucose intolerance, as they help to stabilize blood glucose levels.
While excessive alcohol intake leads to poor health, moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial to health. Moderate drinkers are less likely to be depressed and will have higher mental function in the long-term.
Exercise is an important strategy for healthy living, particularly as you age. Exercise has positive effects on the quality of life.
Exercise reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and ill health. It also has the potential to enhance brain function, psychological health, and fitness.
Exercise can help you to feel great and enjoy life. Exercise gets you out and about in nature, which also has its health benefits. Physical activity releases the “feel good” hormone serotonin, a natural antidepressant.
Regular exercise improves brain health and mental function. Like healthy eating, exercise helps with Alzheimer’s disease.
Physical exercise is readily available to everyone with any lifestyle. Exercise does not need to be complicated or expensive.
Feeling tired all the time and sleeping during the day is a common complaint made by older adults. Poor sleep can also lead to poor health.
Sleep quality is associated with better health outcomes, particularly for mental health and physical health.
Insomnia, or being unable to sleep, is linked with poor memory. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders experienced in the aging population.
Some basic ways to improve your sleep include limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, particularly before bed, and not eating within two hours of going to bed. Regular exercise helps you to relax and reduce stress, which is important to feel tired enough to sleep.
Switching off technology an hour before going to bed and establishing and maintaining a good sleep routine will help you to fall asleep quickly and improve the quality of your sleep.
Neglecting yourself by not considering your own needs, not putting your own needs first, and not adapting well to the process of aging are challenges many people face.
Mental health is as important as physical health. There are so many ways you can look after your mental health.
Spending time with family and friends socializing is essential to feeling positive and improving your health. People with strong relationships are less likely to require medical help and take medications.
Learning a new skill such as using the internet or using the internet to find out more about the new skill helps keep your mind active and minimize memory issues. It can even help with reducing your risk of developing dementia.
Embrace the aging process and live your life to the fullest by eating well, keeping active, getting enough good quality sleep, and prioritizing self-care.
It is never too late to improve your health and start living a healthy life.