In this lecture we will introduce key modifiable lifestyle-related factors for healthy living and reducing the risk for disease.
Healthy Living refers to the development and maintenance of mental, social and physical well-being in all persons no matter the age or gender.
Lifestyle factors can increase a person’s susceptibility to developing a disease (or be a risk factor), but can also act as a protective factor and decrease a person’s risk; thus, playing an important role across the life span.
This means that there are several lifestyle choices one can make to protect against different diseases and disorders such as cardiovascular, diabetes, musculoskeletal, autoimmune conditions etc.
It used to be that people got ill in their old age, however this is far from todays reality. We see babies, toddlers and young children die prematurely of diverse disease.
Further, recent studies show that even if one improves their lifestyle later in life, it is not too late, and the subsequent health benefits can be observed. At the same time, the earlier one starts with healthy lifestyle habits, the better the outcomes.
These lifestyle factors include: vascular factors, diet, physical activity, intellectual and social engagement, depression, and more recently, stress and sleep.
In the following lectures, we will explore further each of these factors and their importance in healthy living, particularly, how this knowledge can be applied when caring for an older adult.
Further, as with any lifestyle change, it is important to avoid simply making intensive changes that only last for short periods, but rather, the changes need to be introduced gradually, and be sustainable in nature, that way they can be implemented in the long run, and this we will hear more about by the end of the course, in the lectures about Attitude and Mindset.