Wise & Healthy Aging

Aging cannot be controlled, no matter how hard you try with all the cosmetic procedures, herbal treatments, and/or other medical procedures! Greying of the hair, wrinkles on your skin, change in gait (walking posture) are some of the inevitable impacts of aging on your skin and body. Similarly, bone loss and loss of muscle size and strength are some age-related outcomes in human physiology.

Common old-age problems

Let’s discuss some of the common problems that your bones and muscles will be facing as age takes its toll upon your health…

Osteoarthritis – Bones have cartilages in between them. The degeneration of the cartilage and also the underlying bones eventually causes stiffness in the hips, knees, and thumb joints.

Osteomalacia – Softness of bones due to Vitamin D deficiency or due to lack of calcium absorption in the bones (due to lack of Vitamin D) is medically referred to as osteomalacia.

Rheumatoid arthritis – it's the inflammation of joints that makes joint movements difficult!

Reduced reflexes and involuntary movements are age-related as well – that is, they are more common in older people. The involuntary muscle movements – muscle tremors and fasciculations (fine involuntary movements) are mostly faced by aged people.

We’ll come to the vitamins and supplements that indeed work as health supplements for aged people later. Talking about the ones who often suffer from insufficient nutrition due to lack of appetite or proper digestion of food! Before everything, one needs to acknowledge that lack of movement, exercise, and/or stretching leads to muscle contractures. To put it lucidly, muscle inactivity indeed results in an array of problems.

The various ways to prevent

Exercise is one of the most recommended ways to prevent all age-related complications. However, with age, one needs to moderate on exercising. Physical activity plays a pivotal part too. Keeping yourself physically active even in the retired years of your life is the key to "geriatric well-being".

Dynamic aging - simple exercises for whole body mobility

Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Whence some amount of physical activity is highly recommended for old age, why not try these light and moderate exercises?

  • Water aerobics or other activities like swimming (with light strokes)
  • Walking at an average speed
  • Riding a bicycle slowly and steadily
  • Pushing a lawnmower
  • Ballroom dancing
  • Doing some household chores
  • Gardening (on some raised platform, if needed)

Weight-bearing exercises are at times not feasible in old age. Swimming is a great idea (of course if one has the skill) for the older population. There are some balance and coordination exercises such as “tai chi” – they effectively aid in reducing accidental falls (due to loss of balance).

Stretching exercises are highly advisable to keep the joints of your bones and muscles (ligaments) intact. Stretching helps in taking care of the muscles and tendons – their elasticity, flexibility as well as range of motion.

Best supplements for bone health

A fourth option that elderly individuals must hit on to take care of their bone health is a well-balanced diet that contains ample amount calcium and vitamin D. Bone health deterioration not only takes place in aged people but post-menopausal women too. Men above 70 and women in their menopausal age should ideally intake 1200mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D each day! Some good foods containing Calcium are –

  • Fruit juices, especially a glass of orange juice
  • Broccoli
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Milk, yogurt, and certain milk products

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Vitamin D and bone health

Did you know vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to the sun? However, with age, this capacity of the body diminishes. The bone health of aged individuals are therefore affected as lesser photolyses of the sun's UV rays by the skin produces lesser vitamin D. Consequenlty calcium absorbtion from food intake and other sources by the bones and muscles of the body, falls. Vitamin D supplements are therefore a necessary intake for them too!