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Healthy Living For The Aged
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So long as there is day and there is night and you enjoy sleep at night and are very poised for action during the day, you will grow up.

Thus it is not too strange to see your parents growing into old men and women. Just as you see them growing old, you will also be getting closer to that age.

It is normal to grow old and live with the changes that take place in the body because of ageing.

There are certain things that can be done to cope with ageing and it's associated changes and the challenges.

Consider the following points.

• Body organs lose their function

There is a reduction in how efficiently the human body organs function with increasing age.

After age 30, these organs reduce in efficiency by one per cent every year.

There is a marked reduction in physical activity and strength as one ages. The ability of the body to fight diseases, for example, reduces.

The body will not breakdown food and absorb nutrients as fast as it used to be at a younger age.

There is storage of more fat as opposed to muscle mass. Old people would feel weak upon very little exertion.

• Growth beyond age 30

This is to say that one will not grow tall again after this age. There is only chance for growing fat, that is horizontal growth.

If you eat in a fashion that fuels growth as an old person, there will be trouble. You will only increase in size, proportionate to an increase in body fat.

This is a risk factor for the development of non-communicable diseases that plague the older generation (diabetes, stroke, heart attack, hypertension, gout, arthritis, etc.).

Food provides energy and nutrients that fuels growth of the human body.

Reducing the energy content of the food you eat will help you reduce the rate at which the body stores excess food as fat.

You will remain within the normal weight for your height and that keeps your heart, body and mind safer.

• Eat adequate amounts of fruits/vegetables

These classes of foods contain antioxidants that will help you cope with ageing. They help fight degenerative diseases.

They help keep your skin moist and fresh. They also help you to move your bowels freely, thus saying bye bye to constipation.

Eating too much fruits per serving can, however, be a source of excess sugar, which is also not a good thing.

Be modest when eating fruits, a little at a time each day will do the job.

• Eat well

Choose correct meal times and drink water well: These activities are key to the health of every old person.

Eating complete meals in adequate quantities will help energise the body and prevent malnutrition.

Three meals a day is recommended for those with good appetite.

Where there is reduced appetite for food or a general lack of interest in food, small frequent meals would help.

It is beneficial to eat early in the morning. Most old people sleep till late morning before waking up.

They tend to eat late breakfast, which is not healthy for them. It is better to wake up early, eat some food and then go back to bed later in the day.

Drinking of water is also key to the health of an old person. Anytime you feel thirsty, drink some water, let it be clear water and not a juice.

Remember Bob Marley says in one of his songs that "if anyone is thirsty, let them drink water, clear water."

It is not advisable to drink copious amounts of water say first thing in the morning in the name of a water therapy; no, don't do that.

Water should be drunk throughout the day in small quantities.

• Do some friendly exercises

Exercise is medicine, there is no doubt about that. Even for old folks exercise proves to contribute to health and well being.

It is, therefore, advisable that you exercise as much as possible.

Bone and muscular health is enhanced by exercising. Blood sugar and cholesterol levels are normalised and kept normal with exercise.

The elderly person cannot exercise as hard as a young person would.

Be gentle. In most cases, just a normal walk up and down the corridor in your house is good enough exercise for you.

• Do your medical check ups yearly

A stitch in time, they say, saves nine. Health or medical screening would expose teething problems at an early stage, helping you deal with them effectively.

At least once in a year, see a doctor and run some simple labs. Get your blood pressure checked as well.

• Treat diseases and conditions

Follow all medical advise well. Follow through with your diet and lifestyle changes for better health and vitality.

The writer of this article is a Dietician at Trust Hospital & Clinics.

He is also the Author of “Your Diet & Your Health Magazine”.
Source: Daily Graphic

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