When we usually talk about the signs of aging, we’re normally only going as far as skin-deep. However, we all know that age starts to affect a lot more than just our skin. They might be the most visible signs of aging and, thus, the ones we’re most anxious to squash. But that doesn’t mean that they’re any more important than what’s going on inside the body and in ways that others can’t quite as readily see. If you’re starting to notice the first signs of aging, here are some changes you need to prepare for, and how to keep them at bay for a while longer.
The weighty question..
Do people just use age as an excuse when it comes to managing their weight? In most cases, it’s not likely. Our metabolism slows down as we get older and, for some people, it can seem like weight can suddenly hit them like a freight train. You might put on weight living the exact same kind of lifestyle you used to live. But it’s lifestyle changes that are going to help you get back on top of it. A healthy diet with plenty of greens, whole grains, lean proteins, and foods that are high on fiber is essential. Avoid sugars and saturated fats, while getting a little more physical activity in your day-to-day.
Tea is also a great thing to have on hand with you. There are so many varieties of tea’s that help with a more, healthier you!
Mind your heart health..
As we get older, we get more prone to issues like heart disease. This may be in large part due to how much harder it can be to manage our weight, but the stiffening of blood vessels, which makes the heart work harder to get blood around the body, also affects it. There are plenty of things we can do to encourage better heart health. Diet and exercise are just as important to heart health as they are to our weight. However, making sure that you get as much sleep as you need, quitting smoking if you do it, and doing what you can to relieve stress can all be great for your heart health. Take care of your heart as it’s what powers the whole thing we call a body.
Keep your joints strong..
This aspect of health can also be related to the fact that we more easily put on weight as we get older. However, our joints are naturally going to be able to take less strain as we get older. Many of us may start to feel the effects of a sedentary life through sore knees, lower backs, and so on. Topical pain relievers may be able to help relieve the symptoms, but moderate exercises that avoid impacts, and stretching before and after exercise will help you increase the range of motion in your joints, which can also make them take the strain without as much pain. However, our weight can play a big role when it comes to joint and back pain as well, so it’s important to address it if we’re overweight.
A bone to pick..
It’s not just the joints that can start to show a little wear and tear, either. As we get older, our bones are likely to lose both size and density. This makes them weaker, which means that we’re more likely to fracture them more easily. We can even lose a few inches in height due to this. Women, in particular, are vulnerable to issues like osteoporosis, so it’s important to start following routine bone density tests to keep on top of it and manage it as soon as it becomes an issue. Otherwise, make sure your diet is high in calcium and vitamin D, and try to keep it low in alcohol, which can also affect your bone density.
A good gut is good health..
Our digestive systems can start to get a little more sensitive as we get older. The rate of IBS (or irritable bowel syndrome) is starting to become more common in older adults, even though it’s mostly considered a problem for the younger generation. More common, however, are troubles like constipation, often caused by either lifestyle factors such as dehydration or low fiber diets, or medical issues such as diabetes. There are plenty of ways of promoting good gut health, such as eating a healthier diet that’s high in fiber, exercising regularly, and being more alert to our needs to use the toilet. Similarly, incontinence is a problem that becomes more common in older people, but there are plenty of ways to treat it so be sure to address it with your doctor as soon as you can.
See to your eyes..
While others may not see what’s going on with our eyes, we will certainly start to feel the effects ourselves. Age-related macular degeneration is a very common part of aging. At first, however, troubles with eyesight tend to represent as a difficulty seeing closer objects and light sensitivity. Frequent eye care is a must. Not only can regular checkups on our sight and the use of eyewear like glasses and contact lenses help take the strain off our eyes, but we can also implement a range of healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating more foods that promote eye health, like apricots and carrots that are high in Vitamin A, can preserve our sight for longer.
Check your ears, too
Our sense of sight isn’t the only one that can be compromised by age. Age-related hearing loss is the most common kind of hearing loss there is. It can be caused by the exposure of our ears to unhealthy levels of noise over time, or by the degeneration of the tiny hair-like cells in our ears that pick up sound. Either way, frequent hearing tests are the most effective way of seeing whether or not your hearing is starting to change in even the slightest way. If you are exposed to loud noises on a frequent basis, then you should also look at the possibility of buying and using custom earplugs to protect your hearing. From lawnmowers to fireworks to using your headphones to listen to music on the max volume, there are plenty of things that can put our hearing in jeopardy.
Age can affect our thinking skills and our memory, which is one subject many find too scary to broach. However, the more aware we are of it and what we can do to preserve our cognitive abilities, the better our chances of keeping our minds healthy for years to come. Physical exercise and diet are, as always, recommended. But we should also keep mentally active, such as by reading books, playing puzzle games, learning new skills such as sewing or playing instruments, and more. Isolation has been shown to play a major role in declining mental health as we get older, as well, so keeping an active social life is key.
The last concern might be a little embarrassing for some to talk about, but our sexual health and libido can change a lot as we start to get older. Issues like vaginal dryness might make sex more uncomfortable, while others may start to prioritize other kinds of physical intimacy other than sex. Getting the right treatment for any sexual health problems from the doctor is important, but routine exercise can help the promotion of cardiovascular health, mood, and sex hormones, as well.
You don’t necessarily have to start falling apart as soon as you hit the big 3-0, but it is important that you start taking proper care of yourself. I am 35 and already took to some of these tips. With the proper care you will start feeling as good as you did in your 20’s! I hope this blog helps 🙂