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The Fountain of Youth is something we all crave, spending our hard earned money to appear younger and feel healthier. Change is inevitable as we age, but Birmingham seniors can lessen the impact of time as they move along on this journey called life.

Experts at the National Institute on Aging say the key to a long and healthy life is staying active and taking the initiative to make positive lifestyle changes. Once we reach our golden years, we cannot turn back the clock. We can merely maintain our health and try to control the damage that is already done.

A key point that physicians repeat is the recommendation to keep a healthy weight by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods, along with eating less salt, moderating alcohol consumption and getting at least some physical activity to burn calories. Failing to do these things puts us at an increased risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, raising the probability of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, or other health problems.

As we age, the following body parts experience a natural decline:
• The Brain
• Bones and Joints
• Eyes & Ears
• Digestive System
• Bladder & Prostate
• Teeth
• Skin
How can we minimize the impact the long-term impact of these changes?

The National Institutes of Health suggest a few steps we can take:

• With modest weight loss and moderate physical activity, we can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes, a condition caused when the pancreas can no longer make enough insulin to carry glucose into the body’s cells to use for energy. There will be an informational meeting on Diabetic Care June 13 from the folks at Medirest. They will be in Somerset at 2:00 pm and in Berkshire at 3:00 pm.
• Eating foods high in antioxidants is believed by scientists to delay or prevent cancer and neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s while also lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Getting enough calcium and Vitamin D prevents weak bones that can break more easily.
• Learning and experiencing new things can help to create new brain cells to improve brain function.
• Regular physical activity helps lower the risk of dementia, according to a study published in Annals of Medicine in 2015.
• Regular doctor visits, as well as dental cleanings, are recommended to keep track of health changes and prevent plaque buildup.
• Getting the new shingles vaccine can boost immunity.
• Limit exposure to sunlight for healthier and softer skin.
• Be aware of possible side effects of medications, as well as the risks of diminished eyesight and hearing loss. If a senior is dizzy or can’t see as well, they can more easily lose balance and fall, breaking a bone and requiring a prolonged period of physical rehab to recover.
• Some wear and tear is inevitable as we age, but with some good choices and science on our side, we can reach our Golden Years in the best possible shape.

Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise plan or making major changes that can affect health. To learn more, visit http://www.nihseniorhealth.gov.

To learn more about Regency, call us at (205) 942-3355.

Written by Steven Stiefel