What Are Preventative Practices and When Should We Start Doing Them?
In order to live not only a long life but an exciting one, life should be active. We’ll tell you about some important practices which prevent many illnesses leading to a lower life expectancy.
Over the last 200 years, every country has made progress in health care. For example, in Great Britain in 1920 life expectancy was 58 years old, and by 2015 it was 80.9 years old. In India, it was 42 and 68 respectively, in Japan 42 and then 84. It seems that mankind has a good chance of preserving this tendency, and living even longer in the future.
Of course, everyone wants to live well, not just longer, where you don’t need help from others in menial tasks, or have to stop doing what you love or have become accustomed to. In order to smoothly enter old age, you must start preventing aging ahead of time. You don’t have to be a certain age to start making sure that you are getting enough sleep, or that your joints are healthy. 25 is not too early, and 60 is not too late. It’s a continual process. You can’t do it a little and then stop, or just do it two weeks out of every month.
It’s important to understand that the main prevention needs to be in your typical problem areas: insomnia, joint pain, excess weight… And the earlier you begin, the more consistent your actions are, the more likely you are to experience a prolonged positive effect.
- Quality sleep
Poor sleep is one of the biggest obstacles to a healthy life expectancy. Constant lack of sleep or interrupted sleep can worsen overall cognitive indicators: attention span, the ability to form memories or remember new information, and increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, as well as weakened immune system.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends, as a preventative measure, having good sleep hygiene: going to bed at the same time without making exceptions on the weekends, as it’s impossible to sleep-in enough to “make up” for a week’s worth. An hour before going to bed it’s best to set aside your smartphone laptop or book and replace them with any relaxing evening ritual which you like. You can count your inhales and exhales, lie down, concentrate on your sensations and sounds around you, or write your to-do list for the next day in order to rid yourself of anxious thoughts that may affect your sleep. If your sleep rhythms are off, try adding supplements to your food. Quite often this problem is rectified by tweaking your diet. If you already have problems sleeping, try not to sleep during the day (especially after lunch) and try to add more activity to your schedule, even small workouts at any time of day will help you to fall asleep at night.
- Weight control
Excess weight in combination with aging makes a person more susceptible to illness and shortens life expectancy. There are a few factors that affect everyone and lead to weight gain, for example, we move less with age and our muscles lose 3-8% volume every decade after 30.
“Most people aren’t going to correct their calorie intake (with age),” explains doctor Marcio Griebeler, an endocrinologist from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, “They continue to eat the same as before, but since they have less muscle mass to burn those calories, and are less active, with time they being to gain weight.”
Doctors recommend doing strength training, regularly, which not only keeps your muscles toned but also prevents you from having to change your eating habits drastically.
- Joint health
You should start paying attention to joint health before your joints seriously start to bother you seriously. Doctors specializing in sports medicine are convinced that preventative measures are especially important in this area. These measures include cutting out cigarettes and tobacco – smoking increases the risk of inflammation (including joint inflammation). It’s also healthier to trade your soda and energy drinks for water, since cartilage in your joints is 80% water, and there’s no better way to keep them healthy than by quenching your thirst on time. Doctors recommend stretching before strength and cardio workouts, keeping your weight under control since every extra 11 lbs of weight is from 20 to 38 lbs of pressure on your joints, and listening to the signals your body is sending you. “If you feel familiar pain after physical exertion, and the pain goes away easily, then you’re most likely ok,” believes Dominic King, who is a sports medicine expert and surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. “But if you are experiencing joint pain, this is one of the body’s ways of telling you that something is not right. We can’t prevent or slow down an illness until we know that it exists.”
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