We develop many habits during the course of our lives, but not until we reach a certain age do we begin to understand their long-term effects. The proof of our good and bad habits begin showing, if not in our physical appearance, they begin revealing themselves in our medical records.
Maintaining overall good health is a key factor in preventing or slowing the progress of vision loss caused by age or genetics. May is awareness month for Healthy Vision and for Older Americans, a perfect opportunity to reiterate, the many ways healthy aging is good for the eyes.
Take some of these steps today to preserve better sight for tomorrow.
This is your first line of defense against age-related disease and good habits can be developed at any time. The earlier the better, so don’t delay. Lower rates of heart disease, diabetes and age-related macular degeneration are directly attributed to diets abundant in colorful whole fruits, leafy green vegetables, fish, chicken, nuts, beans and whole grains. Do your best to lower intake of refined sugar, saturated fat, sodium, and process foods in general.
For more on OE, go to: The Anti-AMD Diet
UV rays are damaging. Protect your eyes and your skin from the sun. The earlier these habits begin, the better.
For more on OE, go to: Keep The Sun Out Of Your Eyes
The number one controllable risk factor for both AMD and heart disease. Quitting today will significantly improve your health.
A dilated eye exam can be the early detection that helps prevent or minimize vision loss from age-related macular disease, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. If you haven’t seen your eye doctor lately, it’s time to schedule that appointment, and keep them up on a regular basis, at least annually.
Regular exercise is a key ingredient for good overall health. Several hours a week of moderate aerobic exercise and strength training are recommended for all adults. Walking, hiking, swimming and dancing are also good options.
Getting enough sleep is directly related to good mental, physical and emotional health. It is quite possible you’ll see, feel, look and eat better following a restful night’s slumber. And don’t let anyone tell you that older people need less sleep. All adults require the same 7 to 9 hours per night.
The combination of a nutrient rich diet and regular exercise, with good sleep habits, will help you maintain a healthy weight. On the other hand, obesity has a long list of related illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease, which have a direct relationship to vision loss.
The theme of this year’s Older American’s Month is “Connect, Create, Contribute,” and there is no question that the connection with family, friends and community is an essential element of healthy aging.
A healthy lifestyle is all about balance. There are no magic formulas, create the mix that works best for you. And remember, we are always a work in progress.