How to Stay Healthy as You Age
October 24, 2018 11 Comments
I like to face reality and that means not hiding from the fact that I am aging.
My favorite joke about getting older came from a friend who had recently injured herself by doing too much. She said, “DAMAGE!” or DAMN AGE.
You can’t fight it but you can prepare. Last year, I went for a blood test that revealed that I had high cholesterol. Was it a concern? Yes, because as you get older your blood vessels and arteries become stiffer and your heart has to work harder to pump blood.
You don’t want bad cholesterol making things worse and clogging your arteries. I had to revamp my diet and do a no sugar challenge for two weeks. I cut down on added sugar since I did my challenge (but I still have a little).
I have turned things around quiet a bit since my diagnosis and things are going well!
My first piece of advice for those of us who are starting to feel our age is to get a really good doctor who is willing to spend time to talk with you about your challenges. Sometimes your health problems are the result of the normal aging process (such as losing your ability to read small labels) and sometimes there is something more going on.
All the advice for young people is the same for older people. Sleep, eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and spend time with people (and/or dogs) keeps you feeling good.
In addition it is good to take a look at whether or not you might need supplements. Again, when I went to my doctor, I did a test that determined that I was low on Vitamin D as well as B vitamins.
Vitamin D is from sunlight but I live in place with long dark winters. Some days, I run to the car in my overcoat and don’t make it outside. Even when I am outside my skin is not showing because it would freeze off.
Here is a photo of me in the winter:
Do you think I could use some synthetic Vitamin D?
These are the common supplements that your doctor will talk with you about:
- Calcium (to keep bones strong)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12 (Older people have trouble absorbing it from foods, so you may need fortified cereals or a supplement.)
- Vitamin B6 (It keeps your red blood cells strong to carry oxygen throughout your body.)
Experts agree that the ideal way to get the nutrients you need to stay healthy is from food.
For example, milk, vegetable, fruit and bean products are the most important food sources of calcium.
But when it comes to taking calcium, some people may not find it practical or possible to meet the recommended daily intake (RDI) from diet alone. For adults, the RDI is 1,000 milligrams (mg) daily, which rises to 1,200 mg per day for women over age 50 and men over age 70.
You need Vitamin D to absorb calcium and adding calcium supplements to your diet can be tricky. I tried adding calcium and one point and couldn’t poop for days. Sad - I know.
I would not suggest taking any one type of supplement until you meet with your doctor. We all have different needs and different diets and it is impossible for me to advise everyone who reads this about what they need as they get older.
Hopefully, your wonderful doctor will come up with a plan that makes sense based on YOU.
What has changed as you have aged? Have you added supplements? What have you found is keeping you feeling young?
Other posts you might like:
Before Christmas I took a blood test. It revealed that I had high cholesterol and not the good kind.
This No Sugar Challenge is brought to you by my high cholesterol numbers in January......