Because You Asked: What Are Some Tips for Healthy Aging?

People are living longer. An estimated 4.2 million U.S. residents now fall into the “oldest old” age group—85 years and older—with centenarians (those 100 and older) becoming the fastest-growing subpopulation of the elderly. Here are a few useful tips for healthy aging.

July 7, 2015

Dennis Murphy, MD, assistant professor and chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, answers some questions about living a long and healthy adulthood.

It seems like more people are living longer than ever before. Is that really the case?

It’s true, people are living longer. An estimated 4.2 million U.S. residents now fall into the “oldest old” age group—85 years and older—with centenarians (those 100 and older) becoming the fastest-growing subpopulation of the elderly. According to census projections, by 2050, 1 million Americans will celebrate their 100th birthday.

Screening and Testing Recommendations for Healthy AgingIs it possible to stay healthy as you grow old?

Yes! Most people can live long, healthy lives if they eat a proper diet, get regular exercise and maintain involvement in their families and communities. However, some factors that affect the “normal” process of aging—such as genetics, lifestyle choices and diseases—can vary from individual to individual. In other words, most people can live long lives, but no two will age the same way.

Can you offer some basic advice for staying healthy as you grow old?

Talk to your doctor for specific suggestions on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and about appropriate screenings and immunizations based on your health history. Some basic recommendations for healthy living include:

  • Living tobacco free
  • Being physically active
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Consuming alcohol only in moderation

The recommendations for medical exams, screening procedures and routine tests generally begin around age 50 and vary depending on your age, your family history, your overall health and your personal risk factors. 

Contact your physician to discuss your questions or concerns about staying healthy as you age.

For more information, or to make an appointment with a physician, please call 202-342-2400.

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Marianne Worley
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