The transition in the later years of our lives isn’t always a graceful one. As our body gets older, its begins to break down and weaken, and it is up to us to try to work against time and keep our body as healthy as possible to lessen the aging process.
Many different things happen to your body as you age. Your skin, bones, and even brain may start to behave differently. To not let the changes that come with old age catch you by surprise, here is a list of common changes that happen to your body.
- Bones. As you grew older, your bones become thinner and more brittle in old age. This is especially true for women and can often lead to a bone condition called osteoporosis. Thinning bones and decreasing bone density can put you at risk for falls that can result in easily broken bones.
- Heart. While a healthy diet and regular exercise can keep your heart healthy, your heart can still become enlarged, your heart rate can lower, and the walls of the heart may thicken all with age.
- Brain and Nervous System. Getting older causes changes in your reflexes and your senses. While dementia is not a normal consequence of old age, it is common for people to experience slight forgetfulness as they get older. Cells in the brain and nerves can be damaged by plaque formation and tangles, abnormalities that could eventually lead to dementia.
- Digestive System. As you age, your digestive tract becomes firm and rigid, and doesn’t contract as often. This change can lead to problems with constipation, stomach pain, and nausea.
- Senses. Your vision and hearing may not be quite as sharp as they once were. With age, you start to lose your sense of taste, resulting in flavors not seeming as distinct to you. Your senses of smell and touch may also weaken. Your body is taking longer to react and needs more to stimulate it.
- Teeth. The tough enamel that protects your teeth from decay starts to wear away over time, leaving you susceptible to cavities. Gum disease is also a concern for older adults. Dry mouth, which is a common side effect of many medications that seniors take, may also be a problem.
- Skin. With old age, your skin loosens and its elasticity and may start to sag and wrinkle. However, the more you protected your skin from sun damage and smoking when you were younger, the better your skin will look as you get older.
While maintaining your physical health is important to healthy aging, it’s also key to value the experience and maturity you gain with advancing years. Practicing healthy habits throughout your life is ideal, but it’s never too late reap the benefits of taking good care of yourself, even as you get older. This is why we have set up a list of our seven tips for graceful aging that you can start doing now.
- Exercise. Try to stay physically active with regular exercise that fits your ability to keep your body working at the level it should be.
- Socialize. Stay socially active with friends and family and within your community to help keep your mind active.
- Diet. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet that ditches the junk food in favor of fiber-rich, low-fat, and low-cholesterol eating can help fuel your body with it needs to maintain a healthy body internally.
- Maintenance. Don’t neglect yourself. Regular check-ups with your doctor, dentist, and optometrist are even more important when older to spot problems as the arise.
- Medicate. Take all the medications that your doctor has directed in the amounts that they should be taken.
- Restraint. Limit the amount of alcohol you consume consumption and cut out smoking.
- Sleep. Making sure you get the sleep that your body needs to repair and rejuvenate itself over night.
Aging doesn’t have to be a burden. With the right mindset and healthy habits, you will be able to live a long and healthy life, cutting back on many of the problems that my arise while getting older. Reap the rewards of your long life, and enjoy each and every day. Now is the time to savor good health and happiness.