Do your parents boast about how their grandparents had their teeth intact even at the age of 80 or could walk erect even at the age of 90? It always makes us wonder how our great grandparents could maintain such good health even in their old age. True, they enjoyed cleaner air and healthier food that we may never have access to. Nevertheless, it is possible even today, for our parents to live a healthy old life. Here are a few secrets…
Rest makes you Rust
Keep moving. Even if your parents have never really been physically active, it is never too late to start. From heart troubles, insomnia to diabetes and depression, a lot of diseases are significantly kept in check by moderate exercise. Exercise also strengthens one’s muscles and bones. This ensures a lesser chance of your parent falling or breaking their bones – something that is very common in old age.
Don’t worry, your parents take on a greater risk for diseases by not exercising rather compared to the risk of injury from exercising too much. Any form of moderate exercise for 30 minutes per day will do – walking, aerobics or even dancing !
Avoid Skipping Meals:
I just don’t feel like eating!
With a slowing metabolism and reduced activity, your parent may not feel as hungry as before. Encourage them to not to skip meals entirely. If they tend to lose their appetite in the morning because of a heavy meal the previous night, persuade them to have breakfast in the morning and light snacks throughout the day. These snacks could be small portions of healthy food like fruits or rice with a serving of dal or vegetable or custard or soups or eggs and toast.
Increase Your Fibre Intake:
Your Bowel’s best friend
Constipation is a common problem that plagues the aging intestines. A food that is high in fibre will help your parent’s bowels move better and will protect them from heart disease, Diabetes and cancer too! Apples, Pears, Berries, Apricots, Figs, Carrots and Whole wheat breads are good sources of fibre.
Beware of the sun
The risk of skin cancer increases as one ages. Exposure to UV rays from too much sun is the biggest risk factor. Ensure that your parents always step out with a sun-screen having an SPF of at least 15. Keep a watch on their skin for any change in size or shape of their moles.
Aches need not be a part of old age
Old injuries, overuse or no use can all lead to aches and pains due to arthritis or osteoporosis. Your parents should be encouraged to quit smoking (it’s never too late), reduce their weight if they are overweight and have calcium rich foods like cheese, yogurt, soybeans and dark green leafy vegetables.
These little secrets can go a long way in protecting our parents’ health. As the saying goes, “We become so busy growing up, that we often forget that our parents are growing old”…