Dr. Rahmi Mowjood, CEO, Cucamonga Valley Medical Group
By Rahmi Mowjood, DO
People have always looked for a way to stay young, to stave off the inevitable passage of time as it affects our health and well-being. This has been an age-old search, for centuries, looking for the mystical “fountain of youth,” even driving explorers to search the world for the possibility of staying young, vibrant and healthy.
Of course, we know that time is undefeated, and that aging is what allows us to experience life — from the time we are born, to our childhood, youth, adolescence, teenage years, young adult years and into middle age and beyond.
What we also know is that the key to healthy aging is following some simple rules to keep and maintain our vitality and vigor for a long and healthy life.
Staying active is the first rule to look at it.
Studies have shown that one of the strongest keys to healthy aging is remaining active. We all know that regular cardiovascular activity helps prevent chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, and in those who have these conditions, regular exercise helps control them.
However, regular activity also is important in maintaining balance to prevent falls; bone strength for osteoporosis prevention; and lung capacity and function to prevent pneumonia.
Healthy nutrition is another extremely important factor with regards to healthy aging. Traditional healthy diets, like meat and potatoes, have evolved into our current perspective of a low-fat, low carbohydrate diet, full of lean proteins, such as chicken and fish; healthy oils for consumption and cooking, such as olive oil; and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables that cover the entire spectrum of colors and varieties. This diet is important as a low carbohydrate diet helps control weight, body mass index (BMI) and overall glucose levels.
Additionally, this approach to nutrition covers the need for essential vitamins, such as Vitamin D, which has proved to be extremely necessary for bone health and osteoporosis prevention.
Both of these two approaches influence another important factor for healthy aging, and that’s body type and size. Eating healthy and staying active will help maintain a BMI that is appropriate for your height.
While we cannot add inches to our stature, we can add inches to our waistline — and that can be a problem!
Weight gained around the mid-section has been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, less so than peripheral weight gained around the hips and thighs. The overall consensus is to maintain a healthy weight, and keep your BMI under control.
Finally, the physical body is nothing without our mind and overall outlook.
To that end, healthy aging is also influenced by a healthy mind, so continue to participate in activities that are engaging and enjoyable whenever possible. A healthy outlook and regularly participating in hobbies and activities of interest has been linked to lower rates of depression and dementia. Additionally, meaningful activities such as volunteerism, makes people feel good, and is a great boost to the immune system.
While aging is inevitable, it does not have to be dire.
There’s no need to search far and wide for the secret to healthy aging. The answers are in front of us, and with some commitment and planning, it can be a process that is fulfilling and enjoyable. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your healthcare provider at Cucamonga Valley Medical Group. We are in this together!