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Successful Aging

Avoiding Disease And Disability

Rowe and Kahn assert that most older people, even the very old and weak, have the capacity to increase their muscle strength, balance, walking ability, and overall aerobic power. We now know that there are many things that can prevent or ameliorate the chronic diseases common in old age, including:

  • • Early detection (regular medical examinations and self-examinations, combined with X-rays and laboratory tests of blood and urine)
  • • Healthful nutrition (low fat, high fiber, multivitamin and mineral supplements)
  • • Vigorous exercise (aerobic, flexibility, balance, and strength building)
  • • Safe driving (seat belts, observing speed limits, not using cell phones while driving)
  • • Safe sex (protection against AIDS and venereal disease)
  • • Vaccinations (against the flu, pneumonia, and tetanus)
  • • Avoiding obesity, tobacco, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse)
  • • Social support—according to David Myers, those who enjoy close relationships eat better, exercise more, and smoke and drink less; he suggests that a supportive network helps people evaluate and overcome stressful events.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 4Successful Aging - Definitions, Causes, Avoiding Disease And Disability, Maintaining Mental Function, Engagement With Life, Heredity