The continuing rise of lifestyle-related diseases and chronic disorders means that we need to take a fresh look at health and healthcare, and to remember that prevention is better than cure. Average life expectancy has increased steadily in England in recent decades (figure 1). Less than a century ago, deaths from infectious diseases were common 1 and often death would follow a relatively short period of illness. However, chronic non-communicable diseases are now the leading causes of death (chapter 2) and long periods of moderate and severe ill health often precede death.
Healthy living involves more than physical health, it also includes emotional or mental health. The following are some ways people can support their mental health and well-being. Foods that don’t expire contain unnatural preservatives, additives, and chemicals that deteriorate your body. Focus instead on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, low-fat dairies, and above all, moderation in whatever you eat.
Neighbourhood houses often run groups that can help you with healthy living including Tai Chi, meditation, Yoga, dance or walking groups. Some also have groups such as weight loss programs, Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous. People with asthma should keep their flu shots up to date. Ask your doctor which vaccinations are recommended for your age group and health conditions.
It is important to remain active as you age. For active ageing you should try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most, preferably all, days to help keep your heart, lungs, muscles and bones working well. It’s a good idea to do a range of activities that help with fitness, strength, flexibility and balance.
Healthy Schools Program (Alliance for a Healthier Generation): An evidence-based initiative that will helps schools improve physical education, health education, and nutrition. Loneliness seems to pose the greatest risk for elderly people, who are also prone to depression. If you’re overweight, making small changes in your daily exercise routine can benefit your health. In fact one study has found that just a 10% drop in weight helped overweight people to reduce their blood pressure , cholesterol and improve their wellbeing.