While people are living longer they are not always living healthier.
Aging well is about emotional wellbeing, as well as good mental and physical function. Socialising and participating in physical activity and eating healthy foods is good for both your emotional and physical health.
Chronic health conditions, common in older age, can often be related to lifestyle risk factors, such as lack of physical activity and poor nutrition. The good news is that lifestyle risk factors can be reduced: all it takes is commitment and learning new strategies to replace old habits.
Some chronic conditions, such as osteoporosis and incontinence, are common in older people, so it is important to discuss with your health practitioner ways to improve bone health and bladder function.
Preventing and managing osteoporosis requires a lifelong intake of calcium, a nutritious diet, adequate Vitamin D and an active lifestyle. Falls are common in older people and can result in broken bones. There are many ways that people can reduce their risk of falling.
Regular pelvic floor exercises are important in managing urinary incontinence.
It is important to see your health practitioner for regular check-ups. Prevention is better than a cure.
Remember: ageing can be a positive experience.
- It is never to late to start ‘healthy bone habits’, but the earlier in life, the better for your bones.
- It is important to see your health practitioner before starting an exercise program.
- Exercises that promote balance such as Tai Chi and exercises that strengthen muscles, such as walking, will help prevent falls.
- There are plenty of inspirational older people who remain physically active as they age.
- As you age, you need more calcium as your body becomes less efficient at absorbing calcium. If you find that you can not get 3-4 serves of dairy products per day you may need to talk to health practitioner about your individual calcium supplements.
- Vitamin D is required for healthy bones. The main source of vitamin D comes from the sun. If you find it difficult to get outdoors, vitamin D supplements may need to be discussed with your health practitioner.
- Healthy eating and an active lifestyle can help both in the prevention and management of osteoporosis.
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