Growing old is inevitable. But it can be pleasant if you have a healthy, happy life to look forward to in your golden years.
Healthy ageing comprises two things – living longer and staying healthy. Take a look around you, there are 60 year olds who live active lifestyles and are enjoying their retirement with friends and loved ones. At the same time, there are also those who are more frail and battle chronic health problems. With the right choices, you too can retire healthily and happily.
|As you age, you become more prone to medical ailments. Do not ignore symptoms and diagnoses and always be mindful of any physical changes that occur. Regular check ups and tests are recommended to help you monitor your health and keep your diet and exercise regime in check. Dr. Derek Koh, resident physician at Thomson Lifestyle Centre, states, “Regular health screening allows for early detection of illnesses. This allows for early intervention before complication or morbidity occurs.”|
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar are three common chronic conditions with few obvious symptoms. Don’t let such conditions go by undetected. Early diagnosis is the best way to start minimising risk factors and managing your health. Most chronic diseases can be properly managed and kept under control, together with a healthier lifestyle.
|Many fondly recall their younger days, where one could throw caution to the wind and consume as much food as one wanted to. Losing weight was easier then! But as you age, your metabolism slows down, and shedding the pounds becomes increasingly difficult. A diet that is high in vegetables, fruits and fibers is recommended. Food containing cholesterol and saturated fats, such as fried food, fast food, dairy desserts and cheese, should be avoided due to their contribution to heart disease and strokes.|
At the same time, maintaining an active lifestyle with regular exercise is extremely beneficial. Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise each day; a mix of aerobic fitness and strength training is ideal. And remember to choose activities that you find enjoyable as this can help make it more fun to integrate into your daily life.
If you smoke, make an effort to quit. If you drink, ensure that it is always in moderation. If you are reckless in your dietary choices, practice self-control and do not overconsume. If you live a sedentary life, make an effort to get up and exercise. As you grow older, putting a healthier routine in place and making the effort to reduce your negative habits will allow you to reap the benefits of a fuller life. A bit of discipline will result in you feeling better, both in mind and body, and will reduce the risks of health problems.
|The best offence is a good defense, and ever more so in this case. Plan ahead, be prepared. Falling sick, getting hospitalised and battling chronic illnesses and diseases not only take a serious toll on health and mortality, but pose a financial burden as well.|
Financial health is a part of the equation that you cannot ignore. Factor in health conditions and insurance when you plan your retirement or calculate your budget.
Medical emergencies are hard to predict and the best way to safeguard yourself is to stay one step ahead and plan as early as possible.
Ultimately, a little discipline and preparedness set in place now will pave the way for a better future ahead. With good health, you will be able to live out your life with less stress and anxiety, and for a prolonged time. Furthermore, the fulfillment and satisfaction gained from a life well lived is surely worth the investment.
Adapted from “Healthy Ageing by Dr. Derek Koh”.
Dr Derek Koh presently heads Thomson Lifestyle Centre, practicing preventive medicine with health screening and tailored wellness programmes for individuals corporate clients.
Thank you! We appreciate your feedback.