The Basics of Aging Healthily
So, what are the the Basics of Aging Healthily?
As we grow older, how we feel on a daily basis changes. Everything from our heart and eyes to our skin and bones.
We can learn to enjoy our bodies better, by knowing what’s natural as we get older and what’s not so normal. By learning simple steps we can try to delay or reduce the changes in our bodies.
Our Heart Changes
As we get older, our blood vessels and arteries become stiffer. Our hearts have to work harder to pump blood around our bodies. This can lead to high blood pressure and other heart problems.
There’s lots we can do to help the cause. Staying active; walking, running, swimming, just a little moderate exercise every day can help us maintain a healthy weight and keep our blood pressure down.
Diet is very important. Eating lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains will keep our hearts healthy.
Managing stress and getting enough sleep each night can help repair and heal our heart and blood vessels.
The Skin Changes
It’s inevitable that the skin will change as we grow older. Our skin feels drier and less supple than it once did. This is simply down to the fact that our skin makes less natural oils as we age.
We also sweat less, and we lose some of the fatty tissue just below the skin. This can make it seem thinner. Some of us will also notice wrinkles, age spots, and skin tags, or tiny growths of skin.
We can try to combat the signs of ageing as much as we can, by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing when out in hot weather. Taking warm baths and showers can be beneficial as hot water can dry the skin out.
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Check your skin often and tell your doctor if you notice changes, such as moles.
If you smoke, this is another good reason to try to stop. It can cause wrinkles.
Our Eyesight Deteriorates
You may be finding it hard to focus on objects up close. You might need reading glasses for the first time. Perhaps you see more glare or find it hard to adapt to abrupt changes of light.
We should be getting our vision checked more regularly as we age. This will help keep on top of anything that changes. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes outdoors.
Hearing can become difficult
When it comes to your hearing, you could have a hard time following conversations in a crowded room or hearing at high frequencies.
While it’s a completely natural thing to happen, we can try to reduce the long term effects by wearing earplugs to protect against or block loud noises.
Our teeth and gums change
You might notice your gums seem to pull away from your teeth. Some medicines can make your mouth feel drier. And a dry mouth might put you at higher risk for tooth decay and infections.
Brush twice daily and floss once to get rid of food and plaque between your teeth. It’s the best way to help prevent gum disease and tooth loss. As the years go by, seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings becomes more and more important.
Our bones become brittle and susceptible to Osteoporosis or Arthritis
Even as early as in our 40s and 50s, our bones begin to weaken. They start to lose their density and become brittle. Unfortunately we’re more prone to fractures and breaks when this happens.
We might even notice that we seem shorter. As unbelievable as it sounds, it’s true. We can start to shrink, and its due to the fact that as we age the discs in our spine shrink.
Our joints will feel stiffer, where fluid and cartilage wears away as we age, and this can cause the tissues to break down between our joints. This can result in Arthritis.
Physical Activity is Essential to Healthy Aging
Regular exercise, especially among older adults, is critical to good health. Did you know that millions of people die every year because of inactivity? Staying still is bad for you. Even starting with 10-15 minutes of moderate exercise every day is the key to staying healthy.
You shouldn’t think that your heart can’t handle a little bit of exercise. The more we do to stay active as we age, the lower our chances are for things like heart attack and stroke.
Light yoga can help with the stiffness that comes with aging.
Remember that simple household tasks can be classed as energy. Do you enjoy gardening, for example? Gardening can be great for flexibility, if you’re lifting and bending.
So what can we do?
We can’t stop the aging process. But we can slow it down. We can make sure our diet is healthy and that we get enough calcium and vitamin D. Good sources of calcium in your diet include dairy products, almonds, and vegetables such as broccoli and kale. It might also be a good idea to research some calcium supplements.
Vitamin D is vital to bone health because it helps the body absorb calcium and maintain bone strength.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who can get enough of this by spending good time in the sun, then you’re at an advantage, but you can also get it from tuna, sardines, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as milk and many cereals.
Did you know that drinking water is linked to possibly living a longer life? According to experts, decreased body water content is the most common factor that increases serum sodium, which is why the results suggest that staying well-hydrated may slow down the aging process and prevent or delay chronic disease!
Always discuss supplements with your healthcare professional as you don’t want to cause complications with any medications you may be on.
Above all, Enjoy life, look after yourself, look after your mental health and keep on top of your visits with your GP.