Scientists have been working on a technique to rejuvenate human cells and ultimately create therapies to treat diseases such as osteoarthritis and muscle wasting that are caused by cellular aging. Although the research is promising, it will be some time before effective drug treatment is available for these conditions. In the meantime, to address other health issues common in aging, there are simple steps that older adults can take to slow the passage of time, stay fit and healthy, and even reverse damage to cells. Implementing changes such as giving up smoking and maintaining a healthy weight through exercise not only improves well-being but could lower the risk of developing other more serious complications.
Questioning Lifestyle Choices
Improving fitness can also present older adults as a lower risk to insurers when they are questioned about their health and lifestyle. Some seniors may prefer an offer of life insurance without conditions, such as through a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. What is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy? And is it more suitable for seniors? Insurance policies that accept applicants unconditionally may be tempting, but are not always the best value, and an increasing number of insurance companies will now accept applicants with long-term conditions and illnesses without penalty. By also making positive lifestyle choices, insurance premiums could be lower still. Reaching a healthy weight and exercising more can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Once successful in making and sustaining positive changes, it may then be possible to ask for a re-rating of an insurance policy based on new data, such as lower blood pressure or cessation of smoking. Only a person’s original age at application is used, so gaining a few years won’t negate the benefits of any improvements achieved.
Rewinding The Clock On Smoking
One of the most common lifestyle choices that can affect insurance premiums is smoking. In successfully giving up, even older people who have been heavy smokers for years not only prevent further harm to their lungs but also allow a reversal of some of the damage already caused. A small study has shown that the lungs can replace cancer-causing cells and that after giving up smoking, some cells in former smokers were found to be near normal. Within just 24 hours of quitting, the risk of heart attack is reduced, as blood pressure and heart rate are lowered almost immediately.
Monitoring Aging And Longevity
To keep track of positive life choices, a new app could help to monitor actual aging rate. Using a combination of digital and biomedical markers, it can help to identify which habits are potentially adding years to life and which are more damaging. By providing more accurate and useful feedback, it could help older adults live a longer and healthier life, and even reverse some elements of the aging process.
A steady decline in health may feel inevitable in old age. However by controlling, sustaining and monitoring basic levels of fitness, damage to cells and risks to health can be slowed, reduced, and in some cases, even reversed.