To prevent health risks you need your social circle

To prevent health risks you need your social circle

When you’re aging and want to prevent health risks, you have to motivate your social circle as much as yourself. Even when you’re over 60, prevention of health risks pays off. However, such prevention does not come easy.

Prevention is a lifestyle intervention tool. For most of us our lifestyle is the consequence of a long and repetitive social process. That’s why it’s very hard to try to change your lifestyle on your own.

As much as yourself, you will have to motivate the social circles in which you participate. In this article I explain why, and offer some suggestions on how you can motivate your social circle to help you.

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What are 7 Healthy Eating Habits when You want to Be Active?

Healthy Eating Habits?

In the Netherlands, when we were children, we ate 2 sandwiches with chocolate sprinkles or peanut butter for breakfast. The same for lunch. And at the end of the day between 5 and 6 pm the warm meal: potatoes, meat and vegetables.

The same every day.

Later, when Tom and I had our son and wanted to be a healthy family, we changed some of these habits. Only fruits for breakfast, sandwiches with cheese for lunch and more variation for the evening meals, alternating the usual Dutch food with rice, pasta, salads and such. Changing the time to a hipper 7 to 8pm.

It is obvious that the heavy stuff was digested at night. Now that we are aging we have a completely different opinion about whether that are healthy eating habits. We want to be both active and sleep well. Food plays an important role in accomplishing that.

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Keep an open mind: Challenge your experiences

Keep an open mind: Challenge your experiences

I first experienced the importance of an open mind when I started to listen to music. Radio-pirates transmitted the music I preferred from their boats off the coast. With the little transistor I got for my birthday I was able to tune in on them.

But how did I know I preferred the ‘pirate’ music over classical music from the state sanctioned post-war distribution radio? Through my friends. They shared their excitement with me. And through the newspaper I read every morning. 

Of course, I wanted to identify myself with my friends through the music they liked. I wanted to be part of our group. However, very early I noticed how important it is to keep an open mind. And not just for music. I will explain how I found out and learned to keep an open mind.

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How to sleep better and faster when you’re aging

How to sleep better and faster when you’re aging
I like these orange glasses because I can put them over my much-needed prescribed glasses.

For years I browsed the internet and read books about how to sleep better and faster. Although I am still not the gold medal winner of sleepers, my sleep did improve. And now that I am aging I am more and more convinced it is very important to sleep deep and long enough.

One of the fears of a lot of aging people is to get dementia. It sure is one of my fears. My father, grandmother and an aunt had Alzheimer’s. One of the reasons people can get it is through sleep deprivation. My father has been in shift work for years. Of course nobody knows if this was the cause why he got the disease.

Alzheimer’s is believed not to be hereditary. So it is not said that I shall have it. But as you can understand I want to do everything in my power to prevent it actively. 

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Why study late in life is worthwhile considering

Why study late in life is worthwhile considering

To study late in life comes with an enormous amount of advantages. See it as a kind of exercise. It keeps your brain fit. And don’t worry about your brain, it’s stronger than you might think.

Both Hannie and I never stopped educating ourselves. We probably will be studying as long as we can read and listen. Lately I have been picking up my old love for literature again, more specifically for poetry. This gives me much pleasure. 

However, the question is why you should study late in life. Of course, because to study gives pleasure. Yet there is more to this question that meets the eye.

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To eat healthy or not to eat healthy? Is that the question?

‘To eat healthy’, gets far more gravity in these days of confinement. That is because to sit at home all day comes with the imminent risk of over-eating and under-exercising.

It takes quite some self-discipline to eat healthy and to stay in motion when locked up inside four walls.

What is your ‘eating lifestyle’?

Drink enough water

But what is ‘to eat healthy’? Does this mean that you eat healthy food and drink healthy? Most eat-professionals suggest certain food consumption behaviors. For example:

  • Chew your food well
  • Take and mark your time to eat
  • Drink enough water
  • Eat fresh produce 
  • Vary what you eat from one day to the other

Of course, most of us already try to balance our intake of calories, vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins. Some of us follow specific eating patterns. Such as the ketogenic and paleolithic diet. We think it’s worthwhile to study those patterns and to try them out. 

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Our mobility defines our quality of life

Our mobility defines our quality of life

The importance of mobility is demonstrated by the enormous leap the quality of life of older people took over the last 20 years. This improvement is predominantly attributed to a denser public transport, cheaper cars, scootmobiles, rollators, improved electric wheelchairs, taxis-to-share and the like. 

Our quality of life is defined by our mobility. That sounds a bit odd from someone who spent a substantial part of his life in traffic jams and overcrowded trains. But there is another side of the coin. Another type of mobility that is even more important.

Adequate mobility is critical to a satisfactory old age. Although, satisfactory is not by definition healthy. Our mobility also depends on our physical condition. And a good physical condition is the result of an active life. If you want to stay mobile, stay active. If you want to stay active, stay mobile.

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