The other day I was going through some remarkable statistics. It seems that more and more people nowadays are living longer than they used to earlier! And a great many seniors – an increasing tribe it appears – are living a full life to a very ripe old age. As a future senior to be this interested me no end, even to the extent of delving deeper, which I am normally loathe to do!
I think what I have gleaned from my unscheduled research foray is definitely worth sharing with seniors as well as with future seniors-to-be.
As we age, our heart and lung capacities decrease; metabolic rate reduces; bones become brittle: and blood pressure tends to increase as arteries narrow from deposition of excess cholesterol. These changes often lead to age related diseases like osteoporosis, hypertension and coronary heart disease or stroke. The interesting part is that if you are old but healthy, you can reduce future risks of such ailments by making some simple changes in the way you live.
I think the adage “Too much of a good thing…” applies very aptly to cholesterol, a waxy steroid of fat essential for our bodies to build and maintain cell membranes and produce certain essential hormones. Excess cholesterol in the blood stream, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and excess triglycerides, a form of fat, can, however, lead to narrowing of arteries, high blood pressure and eventual heart attack or stroke if left untreated.
But first things first; high cholesterol does not have any obvious symptoms! You need to take a simple blood test. Take a test and consult your doctor. If you do have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe medicines and/or advise dietary or lifestyle changes.
For those of you who are statistically inclined, a general guideline for cholesterol limits in gm/dl would be – Total cholesterol less than 200; HDL cholesterol 60 or more; LDL cholesterol less than 100; and triglycerides less than 150.
High cholesterol can be due to certain medical (say diabetes) or biological (cholesterol generally increases with age) conditions or may be behavior related (smoking; high-fat/high-cholesterol diet). Heredity is sometimes (but very rarely) also a reason.
Firstly, consult your doctor. He may prescribe medicines and/or advise dietary and lifestyle changes that you can easily adopt to reduce and maintain a normal cholesterol level. These changes involve eating a healthy diet, controlling your weight, exercising, quitting smoking if you are a smoker, and monitoring your cholesterol levels through periodic blood tests. Reducing body weight will considerably reduce cholesterol.
As far as diet is concerned, eat moderately – your metabolism decreases as you grow older. Avoid foods with high saturated fats, high trans-fats and high cholesterol such as red meat, dairy products and processed foods. Avoid smoking and, if you must, drink alcohol in moderation. Get proper dietary guidelines. A convenient source is the Net.
Exercise helps to keep you mentally and physically fit; improves blood circulation, reduces fat and helps to control cholesterol. You need not become a senior citizen health freak. Believe it or not, even moderate exercise like a regular brisk walk can do wonders to your cholesterol profile. Try it for some time and see the difference. I have!
As a health conscious citizen Latasri makes available Native Remedies Coupons and TimeToSpa Coupon on her website for beauty and Wellness enthusiasts. Besides coupons and discounts she also likes to write about health, fitness and weight loss.