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Successful Aging: Avoidance of Disease

As we age, onset of different diseases may arise.  A lot of how an individual can avoid disease is by taking preventative steps.   Commonly found in prevention for disease includes: nutrition, physical exercise, stress management, limiting unhealthy habits, and vaccinations if available.

Understanding your food consumption and the nutrients you are or are not receiving in meals is important.  By eating the recommended servings of fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, and grain that health professionals/nutritionists recommend can help reduce health problems as an individual ages.  Studies have shown that eating your servings of vegetables and fruits can reduce risk of cancer.untitled

American Heart Society recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day-five days a week- to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.  Increasing the amount of exercise to challenge yourself more is recommended, if continued at a healthy rate.  Exercising can include running, walking, Zumba, or many other classes that are available in your community.  Along with aerobic exercising, 2 days of weight training is recommended.

Stress management can be improved with self-programs or with professional help.   People turn to meditation, yoga, relaxation exercises and many other self-programs.  Seeking professional counseling that specializes in anxiety can also help reduce stress and recommend home exercising programs to practice when encountered with stressful situations.

Limiting unhealthy habits such as alcohol and smoking decreases risk for disease tremendously.  If and individual is a smoker, steps to quitting will improve their health status.  Keeping alcohol consumption at a moderate level or less is recommended, moderate level includes no more than 1 drinks/day for woman and 2 drinks/day for men.

Ask your personal care provider about vaccinations that are available for preventing health diseases.  A commonly known vaccine is the Flu shot that is available at clinics and selected pharmacies in communities.  If you have any questions about vaccines, it is best to ask your personal care provider or healthcare professional.

By taking preventative steps you aren’t guaranteed to be disease free, but it plays a role in lowering the risk.  Family history (genetics) can also play a role in disease appearance as well as uncontrollable environment factors that are not preventable by an individual.  Education plays a key role in prevention and wellness opportunities.