14 December 2010

Common problems (60+)

If you have been fit and healthy all your life, these years should be no different for you.


There are many conditions associated with becoming older, such as arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer's, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis – some of these you may have no control over and others may be genetically inherited from your parents.

 Generally, your body is slowing down and things are changing. You could for instance find that small wounds take longer to heal. This is the result of reduced circulation, which is fairly common at this age. Physical changes to the body could require a great deal of adaptation and many women are prone to depression during this time in their life – but more about that later.

But the good news is that your choice of lifestyle plays a big part in how healthy you are in this stage of your life, which means that you can do something to get the most out of these years. Medical science has also advanced enormously and treatment for several diseases is now possible, that wouldn't have been an option even a decade ago.

New developments in fields such as orthopaedics and pain management have done a lot to add to the quality of life in these years. There is also no reason why you cannot continue to have a healthy sex life during this stage of your life.

There are important things you can be doing during this time of your life to prevent many of these diseases, such as improve your circulation with regular, moderate exercise and eat a low-fat diet that contains lots of fruit and vegetables. The more active you are, the more active you would want to be.

During these years, joints, especially if they get no exercise, stiffen up and arteries can clog up if your diet is too high in saturated fat, such as is found in animal fat.

The musco-skeletal injuries you sustained earlier in life, could also return to plague you at this time. The important thing is to stay active, both mentally and physically, as this definitely slows down the ageing process.

(Liesel Powell, Health24, July 2003)


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