TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s a battle we fight our entire lives, growing old!
In the battle against aging, you may not be able to turn back the clock, but experts say you can slow it down, and live a longer, healthier life, with a lifestyle that promotes healthy aging.
“The biggest health conditions that we’re managing and dealing with in the United States are cancer, heart, disease, and diabetes, and all of those conditions can be heavily affected by lifestyle factors,” said Dr. Alisa Holland, a Primary Care and Internal Medicine Physician with WellMed says many factors influence healthy aging.
We can’t change genetics, but experts say we can control habits.
“It’s never too early to start applying sunscreen. It’s never too early to practice a healthy diet, to get into good exercise habits, to make sure that you’re getting a good night’s sleep every night as life goes on and stresses build,” she said.
According to consumer reports, a 2016 study showed that older people who ate fiber-rich diets were 80 percent more likely to live longer and stay healthier than those who didn’t. Also, Dr. Holland said it’s important to see your doctor regularly.
“I like to see my patients at least once a year if they are well, and have no medical conditions. Sometimes we’ll go more frequently than that if they do have medical conditions to make sure that we practice prevention, and keeping them as healthy as possible,” Holland said.
Holland said as her patients age, she notices a big difference between those who follow healthy habits and those who don’t.
“I will say I think aging is harder on women, and we have to work a little bit harder to achieve the same result,” Holland
Dr. Holland also recommends quitting smoking and drinking in moderation to help with aging. Studies show that alcohol and tobacco use contribute to various diseases, and according to the National Institute of Health, “varying associations exist between tobacco or alcohol use and skin photoaging, wrinkling, or facial aging in general.”