Healthy ageing

 Eating healthily and regular exercise can protect the body against ageing.In 1840 people lived until 45 and now it’s around 90, but living longer is not always welcome as 10 to 20 years at the end of life are often spent in ill health and pain.

In 2005 there were 1.2 million over 85s in the UK, and no doubt the figure is higher now.There are more people over 65 than there are under 16 but they suffer from a wide range of serious health issues including:

• Diabetes
• Heart disease
• Cancer
• Arthritis
• Obesity
• Dementia
• Disability
• Reduced bone density leading to fractures
• Eye problems

Some 50 per cent of adults claim to be in pain and in the 75+ age group, 60 per cent are in chronic pain and this pain is musculo-skeletal but it is not always arthritis. Being seriously overweight adversely affects all the joints of the body, but particularly the knees.

Healthy nutrition slows down ageing

At a recent British Nutrition Foundation Conference it was claimed that good nutrition defends the body against the ageing process. People who live the longest are those who:

• Do not smoke
• Consume plenty of fruit and vegetables (Vitamin C)
• Have a moderate alcohol intake
• Are physically active

Smoking the worst culprit

The reason for many health problems of all kinds that is cited again and again is smoking which plays a huge role in cancer, heart disease, infertility, poor eyesight, bad circulation, dementia, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, or painful joints is smoking.

Women smoking 20 cigarettes a day have a five fold risk of a heart attack, and
a four fold high risk of a stroke compared to a non smoker. The good news is that:

• If you give up smoking in your 30s you add 10 years on to your life expectancy
• Even if you quit at 60 you add three years.

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