POPLUATION HEALTH: AGING POPULATION 5
PopulationHealth: Aging Population
PopulationHealth: Aging Population
Agingis part of life. However, people age differently and it is not anelement of genetic disposition. Therefore, how people choose to livecan determine how they age, and whether they would live longer andhealthier than others. It is evident that some people age faster orare healthier than others. There are different factors that tend toincrease the aging process and they include diet, lack of sleep, andlack of regular exercise, stress, unhealthy habit and weight issuesamong other elements.
Forpeople to live longer and healthier, it is important for them to takecontrol of their lives in order to counter the factors that arelikely to contribute to premature aging. Physical activities as wellas regular exercise are crucial factors in maintaining health. Amongthe older people, regular exercise activities make them not only tobe independent but also take part in the activities that they enjoymost. Research has shown that regular exercise can be beneficial toindividuals with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, sleepapnea, and arthritis. Therefore, people who exercise regularly livehealthier lives compared to their counterparts, hence age differently(Birren, Schaie, Abeles, Gatz & Salthouse, 2006).
Consequently,healthier living or aging is closely associated with dieting. Hackler(2004) points out that consuming a diet that has low calorie and isrich in fiber and nutrients and low in sugar and fat is a majorfactor in not only maintaining healthy weight but also enhancingquality life. Citing Agin & Perkins (2013), people who consumenutritious breakfast daily, drink a lot of water and avoid caffeineand sodas are likely to have healthier lives. Nutritionists have alsoemphasized the importance of supplementing the diet with essentialnutrients, vitamins, and minerals. As a result of the mineraldeficient, soil and food processing techniques, most people are notgetting sufficient amount of essential minerals, vitamins, and othernutrients that reduce the risks of different chronic and degenerativeailments that are linked to nutritional deficiencies. It is importantto note that the combination of healthy diet not only provideshealthier living but also slows down the aging process. Apart fromhealthy diet, maintaining healthy weight is important. Hackler (2004)points out that being overweight might put people at the risk ofdiseases such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and otherchronic diseases. People who check their body mass index are usuallyconsidered healthy, and those with BMI above 25 are either overweightor obese. The mentioned conditions increase the risk of onedeveloping health problems. Even though it is challenging to controlall the factors that contribute to weight gain, healthy diet andregular exercise are the major factors for maintaining healthy diet.Consequently, adequate sleep is important to people`s wellbeing. This is because cell growth and regeneration takes place during restperiods. Additionally, there are hormones that are important forproper body functioning and are only produced during deep sleep(Prohaska, Anderson & Binstock, 2012). Therefore, people who lackadequate sleep are likely to age faster and experience healthproblems.
Stressis defined as the natural reaction to various external factors.Failure to deal with stress can result in shortness of breath,stomach disorders, headaches, back pain, and insomnia that indirectlyincrease the risk of degenerative diseases, which can cause prematureaging. Hackler (2004) emphasizes that the best approach to handlestress apart from the stress management skills is to eat well,exercise regularly, and have proper sleep. More importantly, it isimportant for people to reduce exposure to toxins. In the presentworld, there are chemicals and toxins that are unavoidable. However,it is possible for people to reduce their exposure to unhealthylevels of toxins and ensure that they maintain healthy lifestyle,which supports the ability of their body to get rid of toxins.Therefore, eating right foods and in particular organic foods andavoiding over processed foods and consuming purified water canminimize the amount of toxins in the body.
Furthermore,studies have proven that people who smoke and consume alcohol areunhealthy and are likely to age faster compared to those who do not.Smoking is a contributing factor to chronic and life shortening anddegenerative diseases like cancer, stroke and other related illness.It is also a contributing factor to premature aging. Hackler (2004) further adds that excessive consumption of alcohol can increase therisk of various degenerative diseases that might shorten individuals`lifespan. Premature aging is whereby the symptoms of aging presentthemselves earlier (Agin & Perkins, 2013). Therefore, excessiveconsumption of alcohol contributes to unhealthy life and prematureaging.
Inconclusion, studies have shown that aging comes following cumulativeeffect of different factors hence, no single factor is primarycause. Additionally, there is no single element that can contributeto healthier living or slow down the aging process. However, it isrecommendable for people to take charge of necessary steps that wouldmake them to live healthier and longer.
Agin,B., & Perkins, S. (2013). Healthyaging for dummies.Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Birren,J. E., Schaie, K. W., Abeles, R. P., Gatz, M., & Salthouse, T. A.(2006). Handbookof the psychology of aging.Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.
Hackler,C. (2004). Healthcare for an aging population.Albany, NY: State Univ. of New York Press.
Prohaska,T. R., Anderson, L. A., & Binstock, R. H. (2012). Publichealth for an aging society.Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.