Tips for growing old healthily

03 January 2013 09:24

Regular exercise, a balanced diet, a moderate amount of alcohol and refraining from smoking may be the key to 'successful ageing'

Regular exercise, a balanced diet, a moderate amount of alcohol and refraining from smoking may be the key to 'successful ageing'

Four healthy practises have been identified which researchers believe increase the likelihood of staying healthy with age. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, a moderate amount of alcohol and refraining from smoking may be the key to 'successful ageing', according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Good mental and physical health was associated with ageing successfully, along with having no chronic diseases including diabetes or cancer, according to the co-author of the study, Dr Severine Sabia.

The expert, from University College London, said 'normal ageing', in contrast, includes people who have chronic disease or lower scores on mental health and functioning. Some 5,100 men and women were assessed on their health and lifestyle choices as part of the research. Some of these people may have taken holidays, and ensured cover for any health problems during their breaks by arranging seniors travel insurance.

The first stage of assessment took place from 1991 to 1994, while a follow-up took place from 2007 to 2009. Of the participants, 549 died during the follow up, while 953 were classified as successfully ageing and the remaining number were seen as ageing 'normally'. Dr Sabia said: "Our study shows the cumulative impact of healthy behaviours on successful ageing - the greater the number of healthy behaviours, the greater the benefit. Compared with participants who engaged in no healthy behaviours, those who engaged in all 4 healthy behaviours had greater odds of ageing successfully."

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