As we grow older, many of us find it harder to avoid or undo unwanted weight gain. This is such a widespread phenomenon, it is almost taken for granted that aging and weight problems go hand in hand. However, while there are objective reasons for such a connection, they are by no means the whole story.
An unfortunate part of our modern-day busy lifestyle is chronic sleep deprivation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lack of sleep has become a major public health concern, with insufficient rest being linked to medical problems, accidents and occupational hazards. People who regularly stay awake for too long are at a higher risk of developing illnesses like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and also mental issues like depression and memory loss, the agency warns.
We all get routinely lost in unnecessary activities, in stuff that is oftentimes frivolous and silly. A lot of time and energy is wasted on complaining, gossiping, antagonizing, fighting, and being plainly miserable, or on doing things that yield no real benefits, like reading or watching so-called “news” about people and events unrelated to us, or updating our social media status with irrelevant information.
Several recently published studies on aging all seem to lead to the same conclusion: when it comes to diet and lifestyle choices, older adults are well advised to practice moderation. Whether it concerns weight management, physical activity, or alcohol and tobacco use, health experts urge people to consider their limitations and changing needs as they approach their senior years.
Much has been written in recent years about the blessings of life after work and parenting. Aging baby boomers were told that the best was still to come if they only kept dreaming big. What was traditionally considered a time of well-deserved rest and leisure now became “the power years,” where people could finally realize their true potential. But clearly not everyone has bought into this concept. There is a new yearning for rest among today’s older adults, although not quite in the same way their predecessors envisioned it.
Two-thirds of today’s Medicare beneficiaries suffer from multiple chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, and pulmonary problems. The sickest among them, about four million, or 15 percent, account for almost half of the medical costs. Much of these expenses could be reduced with diet and lifestyle improvements.
One of the most dramatic consequences of age-related deterioration is loss of independence, and it is more feared by seniors than almost any other outcome. For many, even an untimely death seems preferable to becoming beholden to others. Not only do most older adults not want to become a burden to their loved ones, they also plan to live out their days in their own homes instead of entering a retirement facility.