Many people take their health for granted and it is not until something goes wrong that they start to seriously consider making changes. Waiting until you get to this stage may be risking your future quality of life. Taking steps to improve your health now, at any stage, can make a big difference to your future.
How changes now can make a difference
Prevention of chronic disease
Many chronic diseases can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight and healthy diet. Chronic diseases and conditions such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure/ cholesterol
- Exacerbation of arthritis due to weight
- Obstructive sleep apnoea
Additionally, poor management of the above conditions can lead to further complications such as limb loss, vision loss, loss of sensation, insulin dependence, immobility, stroke and so on. These can all significantly impact your day to day life and mood, yet they aren’t something you think about when you are young or newly diagnosed.
Maintaining muscle mass and bone health for mobility and energy
Muscle and bone health can help be maintained through exercise and diet. This is another reason it is so important to be active whilst you are younger. Elderly populations are at extremely high risk of frequent falls and subsequent fractures. This is a very common occurrence and can lead to ongoing pain, poor mobility or rapid deterioration in health due to hospitalisation/ self neglect and a decreased immune system. For this reason, optimising bone/ muscle strength, mobility and balance is of utmost importance – it will make a difference in the long run.
Cardio is fantastic but it can also be very beneficial to incorporate strengthening exercises like yoga and Pilates which also really help with balance.
Keeping active and maintaining muscle mass will also provide you with more energy!
Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is also important for the health and strength of your bones – requirements increase as you age.
Better bowel health
By following a nutritious, high fibre diet with lots of fluids and activity, you can help to prevent bowel discomfort later in life. Common conditions amongst older populations are chronic constipation, haemorrhoids and diverticular disease; these can all cause a lot of discomfort and pain.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist. If you have questions about nutrition, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today!