This month is Healthy Aging Month. It's a time to celebrate growing older and look for ways people can improve their physical, mental, social and financial well-being. At Abbott, we strive to help people live healthier lives, and there are several things adults who are entering their 40's, 50's, 60's and beyond can do to be a healthy ager.
As we age, we naturally start to lose muscle mass. Beginning at 40 years old, adults can lose up to eight percent of muscle mass, on average, each decade; that rate of muscle loss can increase to 15 percent per decade once you turn 70 years old.1-4
In school, you may have learned in science class that a body in motion stays in motion. Exercise is important for the health of your muscles. Work outs can include:
- Resistance training
- Daily walks
IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION
The process of aging greatly affects one’s nutrient needs, leaving many older adults vulnerable to malnutrition. To achieve proper nutrition, adults over the age of 50 are encouraged to choose nutrient-dense foods, which are foods high in nutrients in relation to their calories. For example, you can add the recommended 5-7 ounces of daily protein to your diet through a variety of lean foods like beans and nuts, fish, skinless chicken and eggs. Other high-nutrient foods include bright-colored vegetables (carrots and broccoli), deep-colored fruit (such as berries), and whole grains (like brown rice). In addition, as we get it older, we may need more of certain nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. 5
START CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR DOCTOR
As you age, it is increasingly important to speak often and comfortably with your doctor, especially about proper nutrition and exercise. This means asking questions if the doctor’s explanations or instructions are unclear, bringing up concerns even if the doctor doesn’t ask or consulting with the doctor before making any diet or exercise changes.
There is no age limit to begin living a healthy lifestyle. This September, take the time to find little moments to live happier and healthier. To learn more about aging well:
- For tips on healthy eating, refer to these guidelines for adults over 50 from the National Institute on Aging
- Read more about feedM.E., a global awareness, education and action initiative designed to heighten awareness of the prevalence of malnutrition
- Check out the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, an interdisciplinary partnership aimed at transforming patient outcomes through nutrition
- Learn more about everything Abbott is doing to help consumers live healthy lives
- Grimby GB, et al. Acta Physiol Scand. 1982;115:125.
- Larsson L, et al. J Appl Physiol. 1979;46:451.
- Flakoll P, et al. Nutrition. 2004;20:445-451.
- Baier S, et al. J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2009;33:71-82.
- J.E. Anderson and S. Prior. Nutrition and aging. Colorado State University Extension. 2007.