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Beware of the ‘anti-aging market’

Golden Living

While researching topics for “Golden Living” columns, an article crossed our path covering the massive growth expected over the next decade in something called “the anti-aging market.” This includes cosmetic products and procedures, medical tourism and the wide array of exotic-looking gadgetry supposedly involved in reducing the outward appearance of aging.

Almost $200 billion was spent in the worldwide anti-aging market last year, even with the COVID-19 pandemic slowing business considerably. By 2030, anti-aging spending is predicted to more than double.

Does any of it work? Let’s just say, in the words of the Temptations, that beauty is only “skin deep.” There’s a more practical option. Plenty of science-backed, anti-aging information is available from the Office for the Aging (OFA) — and you can get it without having to open your wallet.

Lifestyle changes are key. They’re a big part of what we call successful aging — all the things we can do to ensure the best possible chance at a long, healthy, happy and independent life.

Successful aging can begin in middle age

First, a thought for younger readers between 30 and 60: Stay on top of your lifestyle choices and health issues in middle age, and you’re setting yourself up for more successful aging later. Still, it’s never too late to begin working toward successful aging.

Whether you’re in mid-life or past it, the fundamental advice applies. Keep blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar under control, and maintain good sleep habits. Any kind of exercise is useful, whether it’s a walk around the block or a trip to the gym.

Turning off the television can help, too. Three recent studies presented at an American Heart Association meeting found that moderate to high amounts of TV viewing during mid-life was linked to lower volumes of gray matter in your brain. If you switch from watching the game on TV to listening on the radio while you work in the garden, that counts as exercise.

The Office for the Aging’s Nutrition Services division publishes monthly newsletters with plenty of science-backed nutrition tips and simple recipes for tasty, nutritious meals and snacks. For clients of OFA Senior Friendship Centers and the Home Delivered Meals program, we also publish each month’s menu. Start at www.dutchessny.gov/OFAnutrition and look for the Nutrition News and Program Menu News. You can subscribe to updates from OFA Nutrition Services as well as OFA newsletters at www.dutchessny.gov/DutchessDelivery. 

Back in the saddle

With most COVID-19 pandemic restrictions having lifted, we’re also resuming in-person presentations to seniors’ groups, senior housing facilities and other civic and caregiver organizations. If your group would like to know more about OFA services, scam prevention, nutrition and more, please contact OFA Outreach Coordinator Brian Jones at bjones@dutchessny.gov or 845-486-2544.

 

Golden Living is prepared by Dutchess County OFA Director Todd N. Tancredi, who can be reached at 845-486-2555, ofa@dutchessny.gov or via the OFA website at www.dutchessny.gov/aging.

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