Can we avoid ageing – Healthy Ageing
Table of Contents
∘ Check-up and health screening programs:
∘ Eat a balanced and healthy diet:
∘ Do not gain weight:
Check-up and health screening programs:
Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of diseases through check-ups and health screening programs can significantly reduce the risk of diseases, permanent dysfunctions and disabilities that may occur in later life.
Awareness of check-ups has decreased down to the 20s. Many families even bring their young children for check-ups. Thus, it is possible to take precautions before problems detected early become chronic.
In addition, early diagnosis and regular treatment are also of great importance in diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, which progress insidiously for years without causing any symptoms or complaints, and which also damage vital organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys.
Young people with close relatives with a history of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, anaemia or cancer are recommended to have a check-up once a year.
This is because once the disease is detected, its treatment is much more expensive and health has already deteriorated once. For this reason, every person, even if they have no complaints, should periodically consult a doctor and undergo a general health check-up. Many diseases can be screened and suspicious findings can be detected during a check-up.
In addition, depending on the complaints of the person, the research can be deepened in different areas. It is also possible to prevent problems detected at the beginning of the check-up before they progress with medical treatment or lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Early diagnosis also prevents the spread of infectious diseases, especially within the family, and greatly reduces treatment costs.
is a health screening method consisting of physical examination, blood and urine tests and imaging methods. In addition, a complete medical evaluation is made by questioning the complaints of the individuals, their history of occurrence, their background, their family history, their habits, their medications, if any, and their allergy history. In the check-up control examination, all data are reviewed, possible risks are revealed and solutions are proposed.
Which diseases can be diagnosed early with a check-up?
Heart and Valve Diseases,
Prostate Cancer in Men,
Breast, uterine and cervical cancers in women,
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Some blood diseases can be detected through such check-up programs.
Healthy and balanced nutrition:
The importance of nutrition in maintaining and improving health in old age is indisputable.
It should be noted that some of the ailments that occur in the elderly are the result of poor eating habits in their youth.
Sports and regular exercise: Regular exercise and physical activity at a young age reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, dementia, depression and bone and muscle loss.
Inactivity is a well-known risk factor, especially for cardiovascular diseases.
The peak age for bone formation, and therefore bone mass, is 30 years of age.
After the age of 30, bone formation decreases at a very mild rate, but more rapidly after menopause in women and after the age of 70 in men, while bone mass loss begins, resulting in increased bone pores and fragility. The female sex is an important risk factor; early menopause or menopause following early removal of the ovaries increases the risk.
A family history of fractures due to osteoporosis or previous fractures is another risk factor.
A diet low in calcium, low exposure to the sun, lack of regular exercise habits, prolonged bed rest, smoking, coffee habit and the use of drugs that accelerate bone destruction (cortisone, goitre medications, epilepsy medications, heparin use) are risk factors that can be corrected in youth.
Adequate calcium intake and vitamin D supplementation are essential for the prevention of osteoporosis.
Muscle mass, which constitutes about one-third of total body mass in youth, decreases by half by the age of 75.
In muscle wasting, the number of muscle fibres decreases and the existing muscle fibres are weak. In parallel, there is also a loss of strength in the muscles.
The decline in muscle strength begins in the 50s, but no deterioration in function is felt until the 70s. Muscle strength decreases by one-third in older ages, especially in the back and arm muscles, and by half in the waist and leg muscles.
The incidence of muscle wasting increases with age and occurs in 4 out of 10 elderly people over the age of 80. Muscle wasting occurs earlier in women, but men lose more muscle.
The important thing in muscle wasting is to prevent it before it occurs. For this, in addition to a balanced diet, regular exercise comes to the fore.
Muscular endurance exercises using light weights regulate both muscle blood flow and neural stimulation. As a result, the risk of falls is significantly reduced and mobility and the ability to live independently are increased.
Keep your mind active by constantly learning new things: Remember that learning new things has a stimulating effect on the brain.
Engage in activities that utilize your mental activity and read constantly.
There is no age for learning, make an effort to increase your personal knowledge.
Find hobbies and pastimes that make you feel good about yourself and develop your creative thinking. Do not hesitate to help young people in areas where you can help others with your life and work experience. Active and productive people hold on to life more firmly. Maintain your manual and other dexterity and reflexes by constantly using them.
Eat a balanced and healthy diet:
Your daily diet should be varied and include all nutrients. Consume them in balanced and consistent amounts according to your activity level.
Although the need for essential nutrients in older age groups is not different from that of younger age groups, the amounts needed may vary.
If the elderly do not have a very active life and only do light exercise and walks, their daily energy needs are around 2000 calories. It is appropriate to provide half of this requirement from carbohydrates and one-third from fats.
It is not difficult to exceed 2000 calories per day with high-calorie carbohydrates, but it may cause weight gain, so caution should be exercised.
Avoid foods containing saturated fats (margarine, tail fat, butter, etc.) and opt for olive oil, soybean, corn or sunflower oil and especially fish rich in omega 3. It is essential to get 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight per day.
For example, a person weighing 70 kg should have at least 70 g of protein per day. Since the absorption of vitamins and minerals from the digestive system is impaired at advanced ages and the need for them increases, calcium, magnesium, B12 and other vitamins should be supplemented and vitamin D deficiency should be treated.
Daily fluid intake of 2–2.5 litres is sufficient. This requirement may increase even more in cases of febrile diseases, extremely hot weather and excessive sweating due to intense exercise.
Foods with high fibre content, such as whole grain products and legumes, prevent constipation by increasing bowel movements and can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
Three main meals should never be skipped, and three snacks between them are very useful in balancing blood sugar. A variety of foods should be provided and eating the same things all the time should be avoided.
Care should be taken to ensure that protein, fat, carbohydrate and vitamins are used in a balanced way in all meals.
If meat is consumed at one meal, vegetables should be preferred at the other meal. Milk and dairy products, eggs, meat, legumes, vegetables, fruits and grains should be consumed in balance. Salt should be removed from the table.
Low-salt foods can be flavoured with spices or sauces. Sugar consumption should be limited as much as possible. Storage conditions are very important to prevent food spoilage; it is essential to prepare enough food to be consumed at each meal and eat it fresh.
Do not gain weight:
Maintain your ideal weight. Reduce calorie intake. Excess weight is a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Stay fit by exercising: Regular exercise protects against many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. At least 4–5 days a week, do 30 minutes of light intensive physical exercise. Walking, swimming, dancing, gardening and housework are enough activities to keep fit.
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