By taking steps to understand the aging process, you can take better care of yourself as you get older, helping to ensure that you stay healthy and strong for many years to come.
Your body undergoes significant changes over time. These changes can affect everything from your skin and bones to your brain. The more prepared you are for these changes, the better able you will be to deal with them in a way that supports your health.
The section below takes a closer look at some of the primary changes that take place in your body as you age:
Bone health. With age, bones have a tendency to become more fragile. Along with an increase in brittleness, they also typically become thinner. Conditions like osteoporosis can be particularly problematic for women. As your bone mass decreases, extra care is required since the chances of breaking a bone during an accidental fall dramatically increase. Discuss steps that you can take to minimize your chances of developing osteoporosis with your doctor. During your discussion, don’t forget to ask about how you can reduce the risk of falling.
Heart health. Hearts often become enlarged with age. Many people experience slower heart rates as they get older. Additionally, there may be a thickening of the heart’s walls. Taking steps like following a diet plan that focuses on nutrition and exercising on a regular basis can go a long way toward keeping your heart healthy and strong.
Brain and nervous system health. As you age, you may notice that your reflexes aren’t as sharp as they used to be. You may also notice an overall decline in your senses. It is also quite common to become more forgetful. Tangles and plaques can affect the nerves and cells inside your brain. Over time, these problems may result in dementia.
Digestive health. Digestive problems increase with age, largely due to the fact that the body’s digestive tract becomes more rigid and less efficient. Digestive issues such as nausea, stomach cramps, and constipation are common. Typically, these problems can be remedied with a healthy diet.
Hearing, vision, smell, and touch. Most people experience an overall decline in their senses with age. Hearing and vision problems are quite common. You also may find that things don’t taste quite as good as they used to. You may have a harder time smelling and your sense of touch may also decline.
Dental health. With age, tooth enamel becomes thinner and begins to show signs of wear. This can increase the likelihood of developing cavities. Gum disease also becomes more common as you get older. The best way to protect against these problems is by taking good care of your gums and teeth. If you are taking certain types of medication, you may also experience problems with dry mouth, which can lead to poor oral health.
Skin health. Skin tends to become less elastic with age. This can lead to sagging and wrinkling. The best way to protect against premature aging is by avoiding spending time in the sun. Wearing sunscreen is an excellent option if you want to minimize the damage to your skin and reduce your chances of developing skin cancer. For smokers, quitting smoking can also help protect the skin.
Sexual health. As women get older, they go through menopause, which is the time when their periods stop. They may also experience other problems that affect their sexual health. Men may struggle with issues like erectile dysfunction. Luckily, there are plenty of treatment options available for these common problems.
If you are looking to keep fit and wish to know more about how to do so, here is some advice for seniors.
It is important to remember that these changes are completely normal and are a typical part of getting older. Despite that, you can still enjoy an active, healthy life as long as you take good care of your body and your mind as you age.