5 keys for staying healthy with age
Thanks to the evolution of scientific progress, we are living longer and longer. However, according to a press release from the Ministry of Health and Solidarity dating from 2021, if life expectancy increases in France, healthy life expectancy is stagnating. But what is the difference between the two?
If the two terms are close, life expectancy and healthy life expectancies are well two separate things. Indeed, the first case evokes the age until which one can hope to live in our current society. In contrast, the second evokes our life expectancy without major health problems. The Ministry of Health describes it as “the number of years a person can expect to live without suffering from a disability in the activities of daily living“. It is currently estimated at 64.1 years for women and to 62.7 years for men.
If this number stalled for 10 yearsit would be possible to influence it through good habits. This is the conclusion made by a study from the University of Toronto, the results of which were published in the journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
For this study, the researchers followed for three years 7,561 Canadians, aged 60 and over. They took into account four criteria of well-being:
Participants fulfilling all four criteria were considered to have a “good aging”. This classification was made at the start of the study and at the end of the 3 months. To meet these 4 criteria and live a long life while maintaining good health, the researchers shared several things to consider. Among them, some are related to our way of life. Medisite reveals you these 5 keys to healthy aging.
Weight: a key factor in healthy aging
One of the main criteria for healthy aging, according to the study, is watch his weight. Indeed, obesity has already been described as a risk factor in many pathologies.
“Our results are consistent with other studies that have shown obesity to be linked to various physical symptoms and cognitive problems“, explain the researchers. According to their results, people without weight problems had 24% more likely to age better than people with obesity.
Practice physical activity to stay healthy
This is not the first time that science has highlighted the importance of engage in physical activity. This study reinforces this idea by explaining that the fact of moving would allow to age in better health.
The experts specify that the practice of sport must be moderate to intense to have real influence. The more intense, the better. “People who participated in intense sports were more likely to successfully age than those who did not participate in such activities. There was no significant association with successful aging related to the practice of seated activities, walking, light sports, moderate sports or muscular and endurance exercises”, details the study.
Not smoking increases the chances of staying healthy by 46%
Non-smoking is also considered a key to healthy aging. In fact, according to the results of the study, elderly people who had never smoked had 46% more likely to stay healthy compared to smokers. Former smokers had as good results as those who had never smoked. So this shows the importance of quitting smoking, even at a late age.
The importance of sleep for aging well
For an adult, it is recommended to sleep between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. every nightbut many French disregard this advice. However, lack of sleep is known to promote many pathologies, such as type 2 diabetes or obesity. In this study, the researchers focused on the importance of sleep, especially as we age. Indeed, according to the results, participants who did not suffer from sleep problems had 29% more likely to age in good health.
Standard of living affects aging
The standard of living, especially the income of the participants, have been linked to healthy aging. Indeed, Canadian scientists have associated good earnings with better chance of healthy aging. “About half of those who live below the poverty line age optimally, compared to three-quarters of those living above the poverty line“, says the study.
This factor could in particular be linked to the fact that higher incomes make it possible to take better health care and adopt a healthier diet. People with low incomes are also more prone to stress due to potential financial problems. Education, linked to the standard of living, has also been considered by researchers as promoting healthy aging.