Our expert says:
Hi Mary, thank you for the question.
This is a difficult question to answer over the net so I will give a brief outline for improving one’s life style over 60.
Regular checkups with your family practitioner and yearly checkups with a specialist physician are recommended.
Diet and exercise play a vital role for improving ones overall health and well being and the following should be kept in mind:
Make sure your doctor ok’s the start of an exercise program
If you get a fitness instructor make sure they are geared for the elderly and understand any health concerns and issues such as low back pain, arthritis, etc.
As you get older, good nutrition plays an increasingly important role in how well you age. Eating a low-salt, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber can actually reduce your age-related risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases. By eating a wide variety of foods, you can pretty easily get what your body needs, including:
Protein, which is needed to maintain and rebuild muscles. You can get low-fat, quality protein from poultry, fish, eggs or egg substitutes, soy, and limited amounts of nuts and low-fat meat and dairy.
Carbohydrate, which is the body's preferred source of energy. There are two main sources of dietary carbohydrates: simple sugars, such as sucrose (the refined white sugar added to sweets and desserts), fructose (the sugar contained in fruit), and lactose (milk sugar); and complex carbohydrates, which come from vegetables and grains. Unlike refined sugars, fruits contain vitamins and fiber, dairy products contain nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, and complex carbohydrates contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Get most of your carbohydrate calories from vegetables, grains, and fruits, and try to replace fat calories with complex carbohydrates in your diet.
Fat, which also provides energy. To help keep your blood cholesterol levels low, get most of your limited fat intake from the polyunsaturated fats (as in liquid corn oil or soybean oil) and monounsaturated fats (in olive oil, avocados, and nuts). Limit saturated fats (beef, pork, veal, butter, shortening, and cheese). You can do this by eating these foods less often, having smaller servings, choosing less fatty cuts of meat, and by using stronger tasting cheeses so you can use just a little and still get the cheese flavor. Try to avoid the trans fats (hydrogenated fats) found in stick margarine and in many processed foods such as crackers and cookies. Trans fats are now shown on the nutrition facts labels found on most packaged foods.
Water, to replace water lost through activity. Because your kidneys gradually become less efficient at keeping your body hydrated, make a conscious effort to get six to eight glasses of water per day.
Moores suggests adding these foods and beverages into your eating plan for good health and to reduce the signs of aging:
Fish. Follow the guidelines of the American Heart Association and eat twice weekly, especially the fatty kind that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This is a powerful anti-inflammatory food that offers a multitude of health benefits.
Fruits and vegetables are powerhouses of antioxidants. Aim for a variety of colorful produce. Enjoy at least 5 servings per day for the maximum benefits.
Whole grains provide soluble fiber to help lower blood cholesterol levels, and also have phytonutrient content equal to any fruit or vegetable. Strive for at least 3 daily servings.
Legumes are unsung heroes, packed with nutrients similar to fruits and vegetables and with very few calories. Add them to your diet 3 to 4 times a week.
Yogurt has all the benefits of dairy foods, plus probiotics that help add healthy bacteria to the intestines. Moores recommends eating a yogurt with active cultures as one of your 3 dairy servings each day.
Nuts are a great source of B vitamins that are good for your heart and your brain. The healthy fats in nuts benefit the elastin and collagen in skin, helping to maintaining skin's structure and keep it resilient. Small portions are advised, as nuts are high in calories.
Water is essential for hydration of the skin, muscles, circulation, and all organs in the body. Enjoy 3-4 glasses of pure water in addition to other liquids and watery foods.
In addition, Perricone suggests these 10 "super-foods," chosen because of their anti- inflammatory activity:
Acai fruit (found in health stores)
Allium vegetables: garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots
Green foods, such as wheatgrass
Buckwheat, both seeds and grains
Beans and lentils
Nuts and seeds
Yogurt and kefir
I hope that the above has helped and that it will benefit you in the long run.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
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