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Three Keys to Healthy Aging

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Three Keys to Healthy Aging

Oct 15, 2014

Episode Transcript

Interviewer: One of the three keys to healthy aging, Dr. Kyle Bradford Jones, family physician at the University of Utah will tell you, coming up next on The Scope.

Announcer: Medical news and research from University of Utah physicians and specialists you can use for a happier and healthier life. You're listening to The Scope.

Interviewer: All right Dr. Jones, so first of all before we get to the three keys to healthy aging, what are the things that can happen to a person as they get older?

Dr. Jones: As we live in the United States, there are specific things that seem to affect our population more. The biggest thing, cardiovascular disease. So, basically, what that means is any disease of the heart or blood vessels. So that's things like heat attacks, strokes, heart failure, things like that. To help prevent those, that's why your doctor is always checking on your weight, your blood pressure, your cholesterol, trying to encourage you to quit smoking. All of those things so that you help prevent the cardiovascular disease.
Another big thing that causes both morbidity and mortality, what we mean by that is morbidity means significant decrease in quality of life; mortality means something that can kill you, is Alzheimer's disease. That's a big one that seems to be rising.

Interviewer: Alzheimer's can kill you?

Dr. Jones: It certainly can, absolutely.

Interviewer: I didn't know that, that's interesting. Okay.

Dr. Jones: It's a form of dementia, but it also comes along with decrease in functioning. So, you're not able to care for yourself as well. But, it has the same risks as cardiovascular disease. So, smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular disease itself puts you at risk for Alzheimer's disease. One thing that worsens all of these things is depression. That's a big one where if you have that, you have worse outcomes with all of the other chronic diseases.

Interviewer: What are the ways to actually prevent all of these health risks from happening to your body? Let's start with number three.

Dr. Jones: So, number three is keeping your relationships active.

Interviewer: Okay.

Dr. Jones: Basically, making sure you have healthy relationships with your significant other, your spouse, children, friends, all of those things, because that, having a good social health really makes a positive impact on any other illnesses that you may have. So, that is a huge key to keep in mind.

Interviewer: Okay, so number two.

Dr. Jones: Number two is keeping your mind active. So, specifically, this can help avoid Alzheimer's disease, but it can also help with other things. So, things that, what we would call cognitive engagement which are basically keeping involved with different puzzles like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, jig saw puzzles. But even just learning something, making sure that you are stimulating your brain just try to learn something new everyday.

Interviewer: Is there something that might be too much for your brain like, I don't know, learning a second language?

Dr. Jones: Not at all.

Interviewer: No, not at all.

Dr. Jones: Not at all. Those are great things that can help keep your mind active.

Interviewer: All right and what is the number one key in keeping yourself healthy as you age?

Dr. Jones: Keeping your body active.

Interviewer: Of course.

Dr. Jones: So, that seems pretty easy, but that is so important. So that's exercise, that's proper diet, making sure that you are eating the right things, drinking lots of water, trying to avoid junk food, soda, things like that. That is the biggest thing that's going to help prevent cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, depression as well as other things.

Interviewer: All right, to summarize it up the three keys to aging healthy, number three...

Dr. Jones: Keep your relationships active.

Interviewer: Number two is your brain and your mind active as well.

Dr. Jones: Absolutely.

Interviewer: And, the top key, obviously, is to keep your body healthy.

Dr. Jones: Yes, focus on the exercise and diet.

Interviewer: All right, any other thoughts?

Dr. Jones: So, if you are keeping those things in mind, you're going to age more healthfully. You're going to feel a lot better and you're also going to be happier.

Announcer: We're your daily dose of science, conversation, medicine. This is the Scope. University of Utah Health Sciences Radio.