“Healthy old age” sounds like a fine oxymoron to many people. But it is possible. It’s true that there is no wonder drug to reverse aging and carry you back into your twenties, but it is also true that following a healthy lifestyle (read more) can help you live longer and give you a better quality of life during your golden years.

Scientists have discovered that many processes of aging in our bodies are caused by damage done by free radicals, which are short-lived but highly reactive particles capable of causing cell damage. Free radicals assist in the proper functioning of the body; but as we age, we lose the ability to keep them in check and they begin to damage the cells around them (it’s horrible to think that something so essential can turn on one so nastily). Fortunately, there is help available. By keeping your body as healthy as possible and eating a diet rich in antioxidants (read more on usehealthguide.com), you can fight these free radicals and limit the damage they cause. Research on various types of hormone supplementation continues, but it is a long-term project, at best.

Follow these tips to remain healthy in old age:

1. See your physician regularly for checkups. If you are a man, get into the habit. Women visit their physician more regularly than men and their conscientiousness seems to pay off in extra years of life. Because women see a physician regularly, serious conditions are often in the earliest, curable stage when they are found. Men, on the other hand, frequently only arrive at the physician’s office with problems already in their later, untreatable stages. Now, gentlemen, think this over and don’t be such a stranger at your doctor’s office.

See your eye doctor regularly and make sure that you are seeing as well as you can. Not seeing properly is a major cause of accidents.

2. Avoid inactivity and have regular exercise. The benefits are numerous:

Reduction of stress (stress-self-help.com)
Toning of muscles, increased muscle flexibility
Increase in range of joint motion
Prevention of osteoporosis
Weight control
General increase in sense of well-being
Help quit smoking http://longlifetips.net/quit-smoking

Be as active as you are able; walking, swimming, pool exercises, cycling or weight lifting are all weight-bearing possibilities. Remember, before you start a weight loss or exercise program, you should see your physician, especially if you have been inactive for a long time.

3. Eat a balanced diet. If you live alone, don’t be tempted to eat high calorie snacks and fast food instead of a proper meal. Healthy nutritional habits to improve your life http://nutritional-habits.com/

A balanced diet should include:

At least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Eat as many brightly colored fruits and vegetables as possible; they contain large quantities of flavonoids which help the body fight free radicals.
Fiber to aid digestion
Drink sufficient fluids, especially water.

4. Do not smoke. If you smoke, please stop, your health will enjoy an overall improvement. There are psychological benefits too, including the sense of pride and achievement that comes from accomplishing a difficult task and from setting a good example.

5. Take care around the house to avoid accidents, falls and other injuries. Put up hand rails and hand grips, especially in the bathroom. Remove safety hazards – like area rugs waiting to take you on an unexpected trip (to the emergency room).

6. Take care around the garden. Do not overdo your activity.

7. If you drink alcoholic beverages, drink them in moderation.

8. Remain part of the social community. Keep in touch with family and friends. Be active in your clubs and attend worship services; a strong belief and faith in God has been proven to make people healthier and happier. Be productive in your community – volunteer and help others. Take up a hobby: remember, Grandma Moses never painted before she was 80.

9. Have a pet. Bring a loving companion animal into your life. Into your home, not the remoter reaches of your backyard – pets can’t give much love and devotion out there, now, can they? Interacting with a loving and non-judgmental animal can be very rewarding. If you decide on a dog, be sure to choose a breed that suits your needs best. Others may prefer to take their choice of the many breeds of cats. Yet others may fancy birds or fish, both exotic and more everyday. All will enliven your life and some will greet you with joy when you come home. Scientific evidence shows that pet owners are healthier in general than non-pet owners.

  10. Be cheerful; it will extend your life. Try to keep a positive attitude about aging. It is as inevitable as death and taxes, but being miserable about it will not lengthen your life and may shorten it.

It is true that as we age we lose strength, stamina and muscle mass. But we do not have to encourage this to happen.

Take care of yourself, eat right, exercise, keep cheerful and retain an interest in people and the world around you. Have faith and don’t forget to see your physician regularly. It will all add up to a healthier and longer life.