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9-13-11

Healthy Aging

Americans are now living longer than in previous generations.  For seniors to live longer and have a good quality of life, it is important that they maintain a healthy lifestyle and take some preventive measures.        

Living a healthy lifestyle helps protect against the deterioration that is often associated with aging.  Dr. Vajeeha Tabassum, assistant professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says it is very important to take responsibility for one’s own health.  

SOUND BITE:  “Seniors just need to take charge of certain actions in your life like eating the right food at the right time and exercising regularly which can boost one’s quality of life and staying active, physically, socially as well as mentally is the most important thing seniors can do . . .”

Dr. Tabassum says seniors should consult with their personal physician before starting an exercise program.  She also recommends eating a balanced diet that includes five servings of fruits and vegetables every day as well as a diet that is low in both cholesterol and sodium.   Maintaining good health in the senior years also requires regular health monitoring and getting the appropriate health screenings.

SOUND BITE:     “Seniors need to talk with their doctors about regular screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, osteoporosis and screening for vision and hearing changes to prevent falls as well as cancers for cancer of the colon, breast cancer, prostate and cervical cancer.”

Dr. Tabassum says it is very important for senior citizens to stay active mentally, socially and physically.  For more information about healthy aging, check with a personal physician, a local senior citizen center or public health department.  Or visit the American Geriatric Society website at www.americangeriatrics.org/.

This is Ruth Slottag at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.