If you want to live long and well there are two things you must do — eat right and exercise.
And while there are no guarantees in life, adopting these healthy lifestyles can enhance your chances of vitality as you reach your 60s, 70s, 80s — and beyond, experts say.
But a new report by the nonprofit Center for the Advancement of Health says that’s not always easy for older people in a society that has built its streets for drivers, not walkers, and put convenience — think fast foods — for the young over possibilities for the old.
With 35 million Americans aged 65 and older — a number expected to double during the next 25 years — seniors and government must both make healthy choices, said Nancy Whitelaw, director of the National Council on the Aging’s Center for Healthy Aging, which funded the report.
When it comes to nutrition and activity, “people know the message,” she said. “The challenge is to make it operational in our daily lives.”
People who get regular exercise, eat healthfully and avoid tobacco have a lower risk of chronic diseases that lead to premature death, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain cancers. They also have reduced rates of disability, better mental health and cognitive function, and lower health costs.
Conversely, individuals who are physically inactive are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease as active people, according to the report. Inactivity is also linked to the development of diabetes and colon cancer, and can result in loss of muscle strength and mass, which can lead to frailty and lethal falls.
Yet, approximately one-third of persons age 65 or older have not engaged in any leisure-time physical activity within the past month, including the majority of those over the age of 75, according to the study.
Just 30 minutes of activity five days a week can make the difference, said Whitelaw. The idea is to get your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes, and participate in activities that build balance, strength and flexibility. Recommended exercises include walking, swimming and bicycling. Doctors also endorse strength training two days per week.
But, the right kind of activity, coupled with a diet rich with fruits and vegetables and light on refined and processed foods, can lead to a longer, happier life, she said.
Only about one-quarter of U.S. adults eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, according the report. And, studies show that older people consume inadequate amounts of key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and phosphorus, which play a key role in maintaining muscle and bone health.
So reach for an apple instead of the chips, Whitelaw said. And if you can’t do 30 minutes of exercise at a time, try it in 10-minute spurts. You can also stretch when you’re washing the dishes, take the stairs rather than the elevator, and walk across the parking lot rather than fight for the spot closest to the door. Better still, walk to your destination if it’s less than a mile away.
These are things we all know, she said. “We just got out of the habit.”
– HealthDay News
Dr. Keith and Laurie Nemec’s comments on Diet and exercise, the real fountains of youth.
What this study showed was what we have taught all along, lifestyle changes, two of the seven basic steps which we will go over, diet and exercise they are finding reverse diseases. What the article showed was that people who get regular exercise and eat healthy, they have a much lower risk of chronic disease, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure. They also have a reduced rate of mental, health and cognitive function decline. On the other side, the people who are most inactive, not exercising, are twice as likely to develop diseases as active people. Inactivity, lack of exercises, has shown to lead to the development of certain cancers, diabetes, the loss of muscle strength and mass which could lead to even lethal fractures. And they summed up by just saying that 30 minutes of activity five times a week can make the difference in getting the heart rate up for twenty minutes. And this can be done with a balance of strength exercises, cardiovascular exercises, and flexibility exercises. The ones that they recommended the most were walking, swimming and bicycling. We would like to add to that rebounding is the best, then would be swimming, but unfortunately, most swimming has the negative side of toxic chlorine, so we do not recommend that one usually. Walking is another excellent exercise if done briskly to get the heart rate up. And the strength training can be done with weights, or it can be done by calisthenics, body exercises such as push ups/pull ups. The big thing is the activity has to be coupled with the diet as they said in the article, high in fruits and vegetables and light on refined and processed foods.
So what they are showing is what we have said all along when you adopt a healthy lifestyle, you can and have found the best way to promote longevity in the body and health in the body, and this is health not just in the physical, but mental and emotional health also, because what you do to the body you do to the mind, and what you do to mind, you do to the body. They react to each other, they are all one, body, mind, emotion, spirit. Now the 7 Basic Steps, this is what has kept the whole human race healthy for last 10,000 years. It has only been the last, less than 75 years, more like 50-75 years that we have relied on medical intervention with tests and medicine and surgeries, to help us prolong life. But is this the type of prolonged life we want? Is it better to take medications and have surgeries and exist to 75 years of age, just exist? Or would it be better to do what mankind has done for 10,000 years, which is lead a healthy lifestyle which promotes health and keeps the body healthy in every way?
Remember, there were never pap smears, blood tests, colonoscopies, MRI and CAT scans a 100 years ago, 500 years ago, 1,000 years ago. What there was, always was, fresh air, water, pure food diets, always exercise, that was the lifestyle, people worked in the fields, they worked to raise their food, to grow their food. They slept. The average person would go to bed when the sun goes down and wake up when the sun comes up. And they fasted normally because there was no standard American diet of toxic animal products, refined sugars and starches. So the detoxing was natural because the world wasn’t polluted and also the food wasn’t polluted and processed. And then prayer, meditation and stillness. For 10,000 years people lived the simple life, reflecting the glory of God in all things, seeing Him in the natural settings, seeing Him in the sunrise and the sunset. There wasn’t the bombardment of information in this information age that we are in now of 10,000 choices for everything. Life was simple, life was more back to nature and balanced. And this kept people healthy for this period of time. Only within the last 100 years have we seen the rise of diseases like cancer and heart disease. Prior to 100 years ago these were virtually unknown, or in such trace amounts they were rarely to be seen. Now they are the number one and two cause of death. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease and conditions kill 9 out of 10 Americans. This wasn’t so in the past. So, live the 7 Basic Steps and remember, whether I eat or I drink, or I exercise, or I sleep, or I fast, or I pray, or whatever I do, I do it all to the glory of God. This is the key component in the fountain of youth, doing everything in your life to the glory of God and taking care of your body as if it were the temple of His Holy Spirit.