In today's society, people can look forward to a long life. As a woman, the average life expectancy is 83.4 years and as a man 78.4 years. In order to stay healthy and vital until old age, it is important to pay attention to the right diet and adequate exercise. We show you what is important.
Life expectancy and "healthy life expectancy"
Most people want to live as long as possible. Apparently, this desire is also answered, because the average life expectancy is steadily rising.
But what awaits us in old age? The extension of life expectancy alone does not say anything about whether the longer lifespan is associated with more healthy years of life. That's why, in addition to the entire lifecycle, we increasingly look at the years of life in which we are not burdened by health problems.
According to statistics, in Germany in 2010 the so-called "healthy life expectancy" was 72.1 for women and 71.9 for men. Accordingly, women lived 10.7 years with health ailments and men 5.8 years. But on what does it depend on how many healthy years of life we can be happy?
The natural aging process
Our body undergoes a natural aging process. This is accompanied by numerous physical changes:
- So the muscle mass decreases with age. Degrading the muscles means that strength and performance is dwindling. In most cases, mobility and movement also decrease.
- At the same time, the bone density decreases, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
- The fat mass, on the other hand, tends to increase and many of them increase their body weight to become overweight.
- In addition, functional limitations of organs may occur. For many, for example, the digestive activity subsides. In addition, liver and kidney no longer work in full.
These changes are quite natural, but different in every person.
The influence of lifestyle on aging
The extent of the changes that accompany the aging process is not only a consequence of age, but also of the way of life. Early on, our lifestyle sets the course for our well-being in old age. People who smoke a lot at a young age, eat little, eat unhealthy and eat too much, have a higher risk of developing a chronic disease when they are older.
The risk of chronic metabolic diseases, such as diabetes (diabetes mellitus), elevated blood lipid levels, arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure, is increasing especially in persons with a strong overweight. Furthermore, skeletal and muscular diseases, cancer and dementia are significantly influenced by the lifestyle.
That is why it is important to deal early with the issue of aging. If we take care of our body carefully, we can slow down or even prevent many of the changes.