Research Reveals That Simple Lifestyle Changes Help at Any Age

by Lois Etienne on February 9, 2011

in Senior Health and Safety

My 82-year-old father has such an unhealthy lifestyle and I can’t seem to convince him that making an attempt to change it would make a difference in his overall health and his risk of heart problems.  What advice could I give him?

Let your father read the following information, which will be difficult to refute. According to research from the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, simple lifestyle changes can in fact make a difference in the lives of seniors. The study—entitled “Turningboise_id_caregiver_and_senior Back the Clock: Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle in Middle Age”— found that four healthy behavioral changes can impact older adults, even later in life.

The study, which was reported in the July 2007 issue of The American Journal of Medicine, discovered that people who achieved at least four of five healthy behavior changes reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 35 percent and experienced a 40 percent reduction in mortality compared with people with less healthy lifestyles.  Those four habits included:

1. Eating at least 5 fruits and vegetables daily
2. Exercising at least 2.5 hours per week
3. Maintaining a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 30 kg/m (Note: a person 5’8″ weighing 197 would have BMI of 30.)
4.  No smoking.

Researchers revealed that adopting these four modest healthy habits considerably lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in a relatively short-term four-year follow-up period.

This data might help convince your dad.  Ask your dad if he would consider enlisting the assistance of his doctor or a nutritionist to develop a plan.  In addition, your dad might just need more support than you can provide.  If so, consider hiring extra help, such as a CAREGiver from Home Instead Senior Care.

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