Today, the life span for most women and men seems to be growing. Therefore the longer we live, the more important it will be to improve our nutritional intake and have a proper exercise regimen. See this life expectancy information.
With healthcare being the number one topic in political dialogue, it has always been of concern for those of us who are baby boomers, and are near to or ready to retire. In addition, with the rising cost of healthcare, we have concerns as to whether or not we will even be able to afford prescription drugs or medical procedures, should they be needed.
While universal health care has been implemented in some countries, lawmakers in the US seem to be struggling with the notion that elderly care should be universal here as well. While the debate goes on, it is incumbent upon us to find ways in which we can improve or maintain our current health so that we can live out our later years in comfort and with dignity.
Certainly, many seniors are struggling with the high cost of health care. While this is considered an egregious error in most circles, nonetheless, while we may be living a healthy life now – there are so many unknown factors which could crop up at any time forcing us to seek a healthier lifestyle.
While some of us may have never been seriously ill a day in our lives, there will come a time our hearing may not be as keen; our vision may falter; the ability to walk up and down flights of stairs may become difficult; or handling the simplest task may cause aches and pains.
There are so many conditions that afflict seniors today such as: arthritis; osteoporosis; diabetes; prostate problems; cancer; Alzheimer’s and a myriad of conditions which begin to surface as we age. These are issues which seniors face on a daily basis, and for which the medical community has made great advances in research.
In our parents’ day, if they encountered a physical problem, they used homemade remedies and went on with their day. They never took pills or had surgical procedures unless it was life threatening. Their meals consisted of beans and escarole; pasta; soups; vegetables; and fruits.
Today, there are diet plans consisting of pre-packaged meals; diet shakes; diet pills; and diets with fancy names and packaging to go along with it. There are exercise books; DVDs; specialized gyms; CDs promoting subliminal messages for a healthier you; acupuncture; and a host of diet and exercise programs which promise quick results. In addition, there are medications designed for every conceivable problem one may encounter.
One has to wonder; other than the pharmaceutical companies, the diet companies; and the authors of the books and exercise tapes, who are raking in millions of dollars, are we really benefiting from any of this stuff?
There was a book by Kevin Trudeau entitled “Natural Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You To Know About. In it, Mr. Trudeau discussed many of the physical ailments suffered by many younger and older men and women; and how they could be treated using homeopathic remedies. While the premise of the book asserts that pharmaceuticals companies are making money by promoting certain drugs may be true, it gives one pause when reading about homemade remedies which could alleviate much of the problems we face.
What has this to do with senior issues? A great deal. Most of the minor problems we encounter as we become older can be helped through proper diet and exercise. The more fit we are now; the more likely we will be able to overcome any serious illness. While it is also true that some diseases are genetically passed from generation to generation, we can rely on the expertise of doctors to help in finding either a cure or at least abating the condition.
Let’s face it; we live in a stressful world and environment. We are working longer and harder than years ago. The workplace is certainly not conducive to good health, and the pollution that exits today is certainly a contributory factor to emphysema and other lung conditions, as is smoking.
Many seniors today retire to different cities, where they can enjoy their lives in the comfort of friendly small towns; filled with recreational activities they’ve enjoyed throughout their lives. Others remain in the same city, and try to find ways to maintain keep active by engaging in group activities specifically designed for them.
There are also those who, without family, either live on their own or decide to live in an assisted living dwelling, where they can enjoy their lives but at the same time know there will always be someone around to help them if need be. And then there are those who are in ill health, remanded to a nursing home, and spend their days staring at a ceiling from their corner bed. Life is supposed to be lived. Seniors, more than anyone, know how to live. For some, the notion of illness is inconceivable. For others, it’s a reality faced daily.
Keeping healthy and staying healthy is everyone’s hope. Looking forward to retirement is everyone’s dream. In order to attain both, healthy eating and exercise is paramount for seniors. Moreover, a healthy state of mind makes all the difference in combating any health problem. Staying active in one’s community by attending social events, outings and workshops is a wonderful way to keep your mind and body in balance.
In Japan, for example, every school child and every adult perform meditative exercises or Qi Gong every morning before school or work. Seen outside in courtyards or streets, massive numbers of people line up and perform this daily ritual. The healing and calming affect is well known, and it prepares them for their day in ways we cannot conceive. If your community has a group in which these exercises are performed, join! It is not only relaxing for the mind, but for the body as well.