Promoting healthy living for seniors

Aging comes with its own set of challenges that many are not willing to come to terms with. Most old adults are faced with many health problems, including mental health issues. With a good lifestyle, however, many of the problems associated with old age can be avoided or, at least, reduced significantly.

According to the world health organization, the global population is aging at an alarming rate, with a population of old adults expected to rise to 22% in the next 30 years. Efforts to help the old live healthy lives should, therefore, be a major concern. How can this be done? The trick lies with increasing activities for older adults to keep them strong and healthy. This article discusses more on this.

What are some of the most common problems associated with old age?

As one advances in age, their immunity will drop significantly. This makes older people more prone to certain medical conditions. While most of these diseases are treatable, many old people suffer in silence as the illness goes unnoticed and, therefore, not treated.  What are some of these conditions? Let’s look at some of them below.

The old are the most affected with chronic diseases, why?

According to recent research done by the National Council on Aging, a majority of older people are prone to chronic illnesses. The research established that 92% of these old people suffer from at least one chronic disease. Another 77% suffer from two chronic diseases. This rate is alarming.

Of all chronic diseases, diabetes, heart failure, and cancer make up for the majority of the diseases and are responsible for the death of more than two-thirds of this group of people. It is for this reason that older people should make an effort to consult with their physicians on a regular basis. Apart from seeing a doctor, intake of a balanced diet, as well as regular exercising are necessities for healthy living for seniors.

Is mental health concern for old people and why?

Mental health issues are definitely a concern for the elderly. If the findings made by the world health organization are anything to go by, then a significant number of old people suffer from various types of mental disorders. Depression makes up for the majority of the health issues old people have to go through, with 7 out of every 100 adults suffering from depression.

The bad side of this fact is that a majority of mental cases among elderly people will either not be diagnosed or will not be treated. In the United States alone, 18% of all suicides will involve an elderly person. This further fuels the need to deal with this issue to help old people maintain healthy lifestyles.

Some of the mental health issues among the old come as a side effect of one or two chronic illnesses. To protect the old form being mentally impaired, it makes perfect sense to first prevent chronic diseases. This will include eating healthy diets, as well as maintaining a regular workout program.

It is also important for the elderly to be in a nice social environment. Feeling the love that comes from friends and family will be enough to prevent cases of mental illnesses among the old.

Why cognitive health problems are not good for older adults

You probably saw this coming. Cognitive health issues are mainly linked to old age. Cognitive health refers to a person’s ability to learn, think, and remember. Dementia is one of the cognitive health illnesses that affect an adult. Many people in the world have dementia, with the number of people suffering from this illness expected to rise over the next few years. Alzheimer’s’ disease is one of the most common types of dementia and affects many people who are above the age of 65 years.

According to experts, cognitive health issues may come after a person has suffered from a chronic illness such as diabetes. The disease is also closely linked to drug and substance abuse. Sadly, the majority of these cases occur in adults and will usually go untreated or undiagnosed.

To date, medicine has not availed any cure for cognitive health complications. However, various treatment plans exist to help deal with the symptoms. In any case, it would be better to promote healthy living for older people so as to prevent such cases.

What should older people do to maintain healthy lifestyles?

As we have discussed above, older people are more prone to developing health problems due to their advanced age which is associated with a weaker immune system. While some of the health problems, like cognitive health issues, have no cure, old people will slowly respond to treatment for illnesses with a cure due to their weak immunity. For this reason, the best strategy they are left with it to prevent themselves from getting those diseases. How do they do this? There are two ways;

  • Eat and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Engage in a sporting activity

Both of these are discussed in great detail below.

Why should old adults be concerned about what they eat?

It is common knowledge that good nutrition will go a long way in helping the body fight many diseases. Apart from giving you energy, the food you eat will also translate to your overall health; a person who eats well is most likely healthier than another person who does not eat much. This is especially true for older people who have a weaker immune system. They are also more prone to loss of appetite due to some of the illnesses they are suffering from.

What should the elderly eat? Below are some tips.

  • They should eat more whole-grain to give them the strength they need to perform daily tasks. The body also needs the energy to perform its duties. Besides, dietary fiber will help in preventing some chronic illnesses such as diabetes
  • They should eat more fruits and vegetables. This will be essential in helping them build a stronger immunity to fight illnesses.
  • The choice of fats should be limited to healthy fats. This will include olive oil, peanut butter, salmon, avocado, and canola oil among others.
  • Their meals should also include proteins to help the body in repairing broken tissues. This will include meat and beans

The elderly should ensure they have at least three meals in a day and eat a more balanced diet at certain times. For example, if someone eats best during breakfast, it would be best to focus more on breakfast to ensure a more balanced meal is taken during this time.

How sporting activities can help the old maintain perfect health

Sporting activities come with immense benefits to all people regardless of age. However, due to the many illnesses that older adults are exposed to, they are more in need of sporting activities. What are sporting activities can they get into? Below is some of the best sport for elderly persons

How walking would impact positively on the life of an elderly person

According to research, walking amounts to one of the best exercises and can have a great impact on promoting healthy living for seniors. Besides its benefits to the health of a person, it is a simple form of exercise that could be incorporated into one’s lifestyle without much difficulty. One of the most obvious benefits of going for a walk is that it keeps your blood circulation active. This happens without the need to exert much strain on your body. A person who walks regularly is less likely to be affected by stroke.

Walking will also boost one’s heart health and reduce the chances of high blood pressure which is a common problem for the elderly.

Apart from the above benefits, your mood and mental health will greatly benefit from taking a walk once in a while. It is a perfect way for older persons to clear their minds and have a good mood. Additionally, your social life will benefit from taking a walk with some of your friends or family.

Reasons why the old should consider cycling to keep healthy

Studies conducted in Britain have shown that a great number of its residents, totaling to more than two million people, cycle at least three times every week. This trend has occurred after the realization of the immense benefits associated with cycling. Apart from being a simple and efficient mode of transportation, cycling has been proven to reduce the chances of getting chronic illnesses.

Going for a ride has been proven to be more beneficial than walking or running. The less pressure applied when riding a bike will mean fewer problems with joints, which is unlike other senior sports like jogging. It also helps in improving your heart health.

Cycling is a great sport for elderly persons due to the above benefits. The elderly should join cycling groups in their locality to help improve their health. Besides, cycling with friends will help improve your social life and, by extension, improve mental health.

Is swimming a good option for promoting healthy living for older people?

Apart from the fun experienced when swimming, the sport will have a good impact both on your muscular and cardiovascular health.

The density of water is more than 800 times that of air. When swimming, the high resistance brought about by the high density will help to burn more calories, as well as build muscular strength. The increased mass of your muscles will then prompt the heart and lungs to pump more oxygen to the rest of the body. The end result of this process is improved cardiovascular health.

Joint pains are a common problem among the elderly. This might limit the sporting activities they engage in due to much pain when exercising. This is not the case with swimming. While swimming, the water takes up to 90% of your total weight. This means that elderly people can move inside the water without any pains in their joints or muscles.

Like other senior sports activities, swimming will improve the social life of an elderly person which is good at boosting moods and promoting mental health.

Golfing is not just for fun, the elderly also need it for great health

Most senior persons are golf enthusiasts. However, many of them are not fully aware of the great benefits the sport could have for them, especially during old age.  Apart from the fun that is associated with the sport, players get to be out in fresh air which enhances brain workout.

The sport involves a lot of movements around the expansive golf course which has a mixed terrain. Layers get to walk long distances, both on flat surfaces, as well as hills. The walking will strain body muscles and increase the circulation of blood. This leads to less cardiovascular diseases which tend to affect elderly people.

As players move their arms to make a shot, the muscles in the arm will be provoked. This, together with the walking involved, will be a good workout, especially for older people. Similar to other sports, the social interaction with other players will be a good mood booster which ultimately promotes mental health.

Older people should seriously consider joining golfing clubs as it represents one of the best activities for older adults.

Conclusion

As we have discussed in this article, older people are prone to many health problems largely due to their old age and weak immune systems. Some of the problems faced by old adults are not dealt with as they are not diagnosed and, therefore, not treated. Other illnesses have cures but some elderly persons may not respond well to medicine. The activities for older adults that have been shared in this article will help older people maintain healthy lifestyles and avoid many of these health complications. Additionally, the elderly should ensure they take a well-balanced meal every day and get to see a doctor at least once a year.