When we’re in our 20s and 30s, we feel like we’re on top of the world: we are in the full flush of health and are at the peak of our physical prowess. We feel, within that age range, that we are invincible and unstoppable. However, as the decades pass, our bodies begin to show signs of wear and tear. For example, our eyesight isn’t as sharp as it used to be and we end up needing glasses. If we used to bounce back from illness or accidents quickly, recovery now becomes slower and more tedious.
Indeed, once we hit our 60s and 70s, it can feel that everything is going downhill – and the amount of maintenance medicines prescribed to us to keep us from falling apart is one visible sign of that. But if one lives a relatively healthy lifestyle, shouldn’t it follow that one can enjoy good health well into old age? If you ask Dr. Gar Eufemio, medical director at Peak Form, one of the country’s leading centers for sports conditioning and recovery, staying healthy even in one’s advanced years is certainly possible.
What conditions affect the elderly?
“Everything gradually falls apart,” Eufemio says ruefully when asked about how the state of one’s health changes as he or she grows older.
Degenerative conditions affecting the body’s vital systems are the primary source of concern for both doctors and patients. As the body ages, the tissues that would quickly recover and regenerate in one’s youth are no longer as resilient. As a result, there are significant changes to the nervous system and skeletal system, along with major organs such as the heart and lungs.
“[Degeneration is a] normal process as one matures,” Eufemio explains. “[This can be seen in issues like] forgetfulness, irritability, osteoporosis and arthritis, hypertension and cholesterol issues, diabetes and digestive problems, blurred vision, and hearing loss. For doctors, the greatest challenge is how to slow it down.”
But if degeneration is already a given, would one say that it’s unavoidable? Eufemio and many doctors are of the opinion that the answer to that is not that simple.
“The health issues of aging are impossible to escape, but we can delay their onset and retard the progression,” he says. “Genetics play the biggest part here: if you’ve been blessed with good genes, you can do all the wrong things and still live a long and healthy life.”
The Smart Way to Stay Healthy
For the most part, however, critical points to consider for staying healthy well into old age are proper nutrition, regular exercise, and getting a good night’s sleep. Likewise, keeping one’s stress levels down to a manageable minimum and living in a clean and healthful environment are also key.
In which case, there are several options by which one can stay healthy over time:
- Consider Meditation and Mindful Living Yoga and guided meditation are good for helping one destress, clearing the mind of negative thoughts while placing the body into a state of rejuvenating rest. More spiritual seniors have also experienced a sense of calm through regular devotions or attendance at religious services. Volunteer work for civic or religious organizations also goes a long way in making the elderly feel active and useful.
- Eat a Modified – But Still Balanced – Diet Old age brings a number of restrictions when it comes to one’s regular diet. But this should not be a reason for consuming meals that lack both nutrition and flavor or even lapsing into junk food binges. Consider healthy yet delicious meals featuring protein from green sources, natural sweeteners, and organically-grown produce in season. Likewise, check with your healthcare professional for the best possible supplements to keep your body in good working order.
- Keep Moving You may no longer be able to run marathons, but staying active is a great way to feel young and vital. Taking brisk walks in the morning with one’s pet can help, and so can regular sessions of dance-style routines such as aerobics or Zumba. Using equipment such as treadmills and elliptical trainers at home or at a gym are also excellent ways to stay in shape.
- Relax and Keep Inflammation at Bay. One way to stay healthy is through the use of Far Infrared Ray (FIR) technology on a regular basis through equipment like the Vital Dome. Here, B-Carbon panels generate FIRs that penetrate the body to relax muscles, remove toxins, and reduce inflammation. As a result, one can feel relaxed and refreshed after a session. “Theoretically, every major organ can be rejuvenated,” Eufemio says of this unique treatment. “Well-perfused tissues perform optimally, effectively slowing down the course of aging. An added bonus is the release of endorphins, or the happy hormones, that help in stabilizing mood.”
It should also be noted at this point that Eufemio also recommends the Vital Dome for athletic recovery and post-surgical healing. Patients who undergo rigorous training for competitions or events are advised to get at least two sessions a month. Post-operative patients, on the other hand, get a session at intervals, usually when there are major changes in their therapy regimen. Many patients are happy with the results, as their soreness is lessened considerably and they feel more relaxed, flexible, and rejuvenated.
Keeping all these in mind, age certainly becomes just a number and one can stay in the best of health – for now and for years to come.
Dr. Gar Eufemio is available for online consultation through the Cardinal Santos Medical Center portal at www.csmeconsult.com. Those who want to experience the Vital Dome first hand can make an appointment at Peak Form – Biopolis through www.peakformanila.com.