All the baby boomers are getting older and becoming the face of our population. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2030, the proportion of the U.S. population aged 65 and older will double to about 71 million adults (1 in every 5 Americans!). With this population getting older, there are will be much more diversity than we have ever seen before. This diversity will greatly affect our economy, including unprecedented demands on public health, aging services, and the nation’s health care system.
Therefore, chronic disease prevention should be on the forefront of yours and health professionals’ minds alike. Chronic diseases, sadly characterized with a heavy economic burden due to associated long-term illness and diminished quality of life, all of which add up to an increase in health care costs. Although the risk of disease and disability increases with advancing age, there are ways to help yourself now.
The secret to healthy aging is simply living a healthy lifestyle! Moreover, the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. I’m not saying you can 100% prevent all diseases, I’m saying that research shows there are some healthy practices you can implement that will help reduce the likelihood of getting some diseases, like cancer.
Components to a healthy lifestyle include:
- Regular physical activity (exercising 30-90 minutes most days of the week)
- Healthy eating, like these eight anti-aging foods
- Avoid tobacco use
- Limit the amount of alcohol consumed to zero or one drink per day
- Practice stress-reduction or stress coping exercises
- Use of early detection practices (e.g., screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers, diabetes and its complications, and depression).
Remember, being healthy and good nutrition can last a lifetime! It’s a lifestyle, not a fad!