Hello, my name is Jitka Vseteckova and I am
Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Care in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at The Open University. Today, I would like to draw your attention to a series of public talks titled ‘Ageing
Well’. These 6 lectures are presented on a monthly basis at The Open University, in the library on campus, from October 2019 till April 2020 aim to facilitate your learning about agerelated
changes and things we need to be mindful of, as we grow older. All the way through the ‘Ageing Well’ series we discuss how important it is to maintain a wellbalanced nutrition and hydration as well as regular physical and social activity in the older age. We explore how using this knowledge might facilitate self-management and delay the ageing processes. Five main pillars of the
Ageing Well series are nutrition, hydration, physical, social and cognitive stimulation. Today I am going to talk about nutrition. You may know already that our basic metabolic
rate and functions slow down with ageing. Regular physical activity and good hydration are known to help raising the basic metabolic rate. Together with good nutritional habits, these are very important elements when it comes to ageing well. Food provides a variety of substances that
are essential for building, upkeep and repair of body tissues in general and for the efficient functioning of the body. With ageing naturally occurs muscle atrophy, which means that our muscles are decreasing
in size/volume and we become weaker. Keeping good quality protein in our daily meals and snacks helps us, together with regular physical activity and hydration, preserve muscles in
good function for longer. This means we feel better, stronger, can enjoy being active,
are less prone to falls and falls related injuries
and in the end, we live independent and in better health
for longer. Not only protein but also carbohydrates, lipids/
fat, vitamins, minerals and again water represent necessary components for healthy
blood bringing all the necessary nutrient to all our organs, including our brain (which takes about 20% of glucose and 20% of oxygen consumed in whole by our body). The food we are eating should be varied and fresh, of good quality, and should for sure include fruits,
vegetables. General recommendations for ageing well and
keeping good nutritional habits are: • Enjoyable and varied with plenty of fruit
and vegetables. • We opt for healthier fats and include
oily fish in our diet. • Get enough fibre and reduce salt intake. • Boost vitamins B & D eat calcium rich food, although we need to remember that
supplements cannot replace a balanced diet. • Get enough sleep. • Reduce the medication/amount of drugs we are taking daily, if possible. and after consultation with our GPs • Don’t smoke, go easy on alcohol and look after our teeth. • Watch our weight and waist size and thyroid function. • Keep well hydrated (strict minimum is 1.5 litre per day of ideally water (coffee,
tea and alcohol are dehydrating beverages) • Have regular physical activities and stay outdoor for at least a little every day and
stay social. • Socialising over a meal is a great opportunity
to enjoy our meals in a stimulating company. The same practices that contribute to healthy ageing and physical vitality also contribute
to a healthy memory. So, by taking steps early
to prevent cognitive decline, we are also improving
all other aspects of our life. There are some genetic predispositions that may slightly speed up or slow down the ageing processes or show us what we need to be aware
of in terms of age-related conditioning in our predecessors. However, the genetic predisposition does not affect 100% of how our ageing
might look like especially if we decide to help it. The way we live our lives and the choices we make affect the way we age – IT IS ABOUT
THE CHOICES WE MAKE. So, are we ready to live longer while having
a better quality of lives? This will depend mostly
on choices, we are going to make from now on. Thanks for watching! Get more from The Open University Check out the links on screen now.

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Methew Wade

One thought on “Ageing well – Nutrition”

  1. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly everyday does a good impact on the aging process and our physical and mental health.

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