As you enter the years of retirement and leisure, concern for your health becomes even more important. If you have led a primarily healthy lifestyle, you may feel that you deserve to continue to feel good and be physically fit during the remaining years of your life. But there are several factors and combinations of factors, such as your genetic makeup, environment, and lifestyle, that all factor into whether you develop hereditary diseases.
Why Genes and Heredity Are Important
According to the Office on Women’s Health, your genes play a role in determining your risk of developing hereditary diseases. Some of the most common hereditary problems you may get as you grow older are cardiovascular problems, thyroid conditions, cancer, or diabetes. However, a genetic history of disease doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop any of these conditions, since environment and a healthy lifestyle also play a part in determining your risk level.
How to Lower Your Risks
Knowledge and preventative action are both keys to avoiding hereditary diseases caused by your genetic makeup. For instance, if a member of your close family, such as your parent or grandparent, had hypertension or other cardiovascular problems, it is a wise idea to keep your weight at an appropriate level, use salt minimally, and monitor your blood pressure regularly. Exercising at least three or four days a week goes a long way toward keeping your body fit and delaying the onset of health problems. If thyroid problems or diabetes runs in your family, know the warning signs and symptoms of these diseases. Early and proper treatment of these diseases and others enables you to keep the condition under control. It also lessens the risk of decreasing your quality of life.
Getting regular checkups is also one of the best ways to detect problems before they escalate into a serious disease. Communicating with your doctor is necessary to ward off illnesses as you age. Talk to your doctor about the medical history of your parents and other close family members and ask him/her to provide you with guidelines to prevent the diseases to the best of your ability.
It is never too late to begin a healthier lifestyle. Even if you didn’t start contemplating your health until after retirement, you can still make changes to improve your wellness and your future quality of life.