Aged actively and you will have more quality of life!

Marta Coll

1 in June, 2016

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines active aging as "the process by which opportunities for physical, social and mental well-being are optimized throughout life, in order to expand life expectancy healthy, productivity and the quality of life in old age ".

Aging is another stage of life in which there are a series of physiological changes in the different systems of the organism: loss of muscles and bone mass, cartilage degenerates, decreases the functionality of the heart and lungs , decreases basal metabolism with tendency to accumulate fats, decreases coordination, reaction speed and balance ..., and can appear diseases such as osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disorders or dementia. But on the contrary, aging has many advantages, among which we emphasize knowledge and experience, which provide a much wider vision of life.
Active older people, older people happy and healthy
In the last years, the concept of active aging is becoming increasingly important, which includes not only caring for diet and exercise, but also aspects such as learning languages, studying, reading or doing social life.
There is evidence that older people who have a more active social life are happier and have a better state of physical and mental health. There has also been a relationship between participation in voluntary activities and a better perception of good health and life satisfaction.
Permanent learning is another effective means of promoting active aging. Learning involves, among other things, working memory, establishing social relationships and gaining self-esteem. Gerontological research has shown that it helps reduce the cognitive decline linked to aging and overcome disorders such as depression or low self-esteem.
A balanced diet and regular and adequate physical activity are two basic aspects of good aging, which act synergistically, improving physical and mental wellbeing. With age, a nutrient-rich diet with less caloric intake is recommended, reducing saturated fats, salt and sugar and increasing the contribution of fruits, vegetables and foods rich in fiber, calcium and vitamin D.
Physical exercise
Regarding exercise, it has been seen that the regular practice of proper physical activity reduces the risk of developing diseases such as 2 type diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and certain cancers, and avoids overweight and obesity. In addition, exercise reduces the risk of falling due to the strengthening of the muscles and the work of balance and self-esteem. It also improves mental health in general because it has an anxiolytic and relaxing effect and because it fosters social relationships. Although walking is considered the basic form of exercise for the elderly, more and more sports centers have people of all ages that do activities of all kinds: from swimming, doing a class of aquagym, zumba or Pilates, until you do toning exercises in a fitness room or get out of Nordic walking. Everything can be adjusted based on the state of health and physical condition. And, on the other hand, promoting group activities is another very important aspect of socialization and continuity when it comes to exercise.
Increasingly, our healthcare professionals promote regular exercise practice at all ages. Prescribing exercise is both more important than prescribing medications because it can greatly improve the health of our grandparents. It has been shown that the person who exercises regularly throughout life maintains a better physical condition, which allows it to maintain a satisfactory level of activity and energy in order to be able to do day-to-day activities and live in a more autonomous way until the end.
Better quality of life in old age
We can conclude that promoting healthy habits allows us to reach old age with a better quality of life. It is true that genetics are important, but there is also a part that we decide: our attitude to life can help to slow old age and enjoy a more active and healthier aging.

the author

Marta Coll

Head of the Health Department of the Claror Marítim

Graduate in Medicine and Surgery from the UB, Specialist in Physical Education and Sports Medicine from the UB Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, ​​Diploma in Homeopathic Therapy by the CEDH, Diploma in extra-hospital medical emergencies for the ACMI

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