The largest and most comprehensive study on Canadians aged 45-85 just released its first report on how we’re aging. The good news? Between 86% and 90% of the 50,000 participants self-reported good, very good or excellent health.
Canadian men have an average life expectancy that’s four years less than for women. Men are more likely to die from diabetes, kidney disorders and liver disease, and twice as likely to suffer a heart attack. Although over 80% of older men have at least one chronic condition, 70% of men’s health conditions are preventable with lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, being physically active, limiting salt and alcohol consumption, and social stimulation.
More than 400,000 Canadians are living with long-term disability from stroke. While similar numbers of women and men are living with effects of stroke, women suffer greater disability and more women die from stroke. Raising awareness about risk factors and warning signs, and more research on heart disease and stroke in women, can help to prevent stroke and improve health outcomes for women.
There are several reasons that the gap between how old we feel and how old we are increases as we age. Some of it may have to do with society’s negative stereotypes of aging and our recognition we don’t fit that stereotype, and don’t want to fit that stereotype! And some of it may be due to the fact that it is often hard to recognize some of the changes we are experiencing as we age: changes other people may see before we notice them, and changes we may easily see in other people.
According to the National Day Calendar organization, June 6th is National Gardening Exercise Day. In the almost 1500-strong list, this is probably one of the more obscure days to observe—however, it is nonetheless a fun way to remember that Canada’s gardening season is upon us. It’s also a great time to prepare our bodies for some happy digging, planting and pruning.