Growing older is a natural part of life. As people get older, they become more susceptible to disease and disability. Studies have linked the process of aging with the shortening of DNA end-caps called telomeres. Shorter telomeres mean the DNA is less protected during replication, which could lead to an increased incidence of diseases or even cancer. Genetic factors account for about 30 percent of a person’s telomere length. Environmental factors such as smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, high sodium, stress, and the passage of time play a significant role in biological aging. Certain habits can slow the process and lead to longer, healthier lives.
A study published in The Journal of Preventive Medicine found a significant difference in biological aging between adults with high and low activity. Adults who exercise regularly tend to have longer telomeres. On the other hand, sedentary adults appear nine years “older” on a cellular level. Regular exercise can help you stay active and healthy during your Senior years.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet protects cells from damage. Too much salt and sugar increase risk factors for Older Adults. High salt intake speeds up cellular aging. Also, sustained high blood sugar increases the risk for various conditions such as diabetes, cataracts, and Alzheimer’s. Obesity causes inflammation and accelerates the aging process. Inflammation from excess fat tissue increases the risk of insulin resistance, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. A low-sodium, low-sugar diet with proper caloric intake will go a long way in maintaining a long and healthy life.
Chronic stress leads to a multitude of adverse health impacts such as high blood pressure, dementia, and an unhealthy lifestyle. Too much of the stress hormone adrenaline can even cause hearing and vision loss. A life filled with constant stress damages cells. Even the anticipation of stress can lead to premature aging. Cultivating a less stressful lifestyle reduces these risks. Older Adults need time to relax and enjoy their golden years. Relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, can help maintain a less stressful life.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking causes oxidative damage to cells and accelerates telomere shortening. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to faster biological aging on the cellular level. Adults who avoid cigarettes and alcohol tend to lead longer, healthier lives. Aging is a complex biological phenomenon caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. We can’t freeze the aging process. However, choosing healthy habits reduces many risk factors associated with biological aging.
By providing in-home care for Senior Citizens will help to reduce stress for their loved ones and their family members. Our trained Companion Caregivers or Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides can help support your loved one in maintaining regular exercise and a healthy diet. Anita’s Angels, Inc. – We Are Families Helping Families. Call 908-788-9390.