Aging isn’t all bad, as we get older we also grow wiser and gain insight, but there are some facts about aging that we should be aware of. It’s no surprise that the body changes we get older. No matter hard we try to avoid it, our bodies will change over time.
It’s important to know what you can expect from the normal aging process. Knowing what happens to the body can help you take preventative health measures and reduce stress. There’s no secret to reverse the aging process, but awareness can help us to take steps to age gracefully.
It’s important to take good care of our skin as we get older. Skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner. Bruising is more likely as well. Wrinkles and spots will also show up on the skin. Most of us will start to see wrinkles before we hit 40. Skin will become dry and itchy as a result of decreased natural skin oil.
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Our bones become less dense with age. Muscle mass is harder to maintain and we get weaker; this is why it’s critical to stay physically active. Elderly people are more prone to fractures and other bone injuries. Decades of wear and tear can cause pain in the joints, which also affects flexibility.
Balance and mobility are an issue as people become older due to the change in joints, bones and muscle. Our nervous system changes too. The synapses that connect the brain to the body don’t fire as fast as they did when we were young, making it harder to get around. Hearing loss and eyesight also contribute to loss of balance. All of these changes make seniors more likely to fall, which can result in serious injury.
Metabolism and Our Bodies
As our bones and joints become less dense we shrink. Joints can wear down making us slightly shorter and our spines can curve. The way your body metabolizes sugar and carbohydrates has a profound impact on our health. It can be harder to manage weight when we age because our metabolism slows down. Having a diet plan that accounts for this is key to staying healthy. It’s also normal for hormonal changes to occur. The thyroid gland may also lose function, causing weight management problems.
Teeth and Gums
Taking care of your teeth is very important as we age. We only get one set of adult teeth. As bone mass decreases, our teeth become more brittle. Gum recession comes with aging. This is normal along with less saliva. This can cause dry mouth, tooth infection, tooth loss, gum disease and dry mouth.
Memory recall problems are common among older people, making it easy to forget things. While many people assume that memory problems are caused by dementia, the two may not be related. Visiting a health professional can help you determine if memory loss is a normal sign of aging or a symptom of something more serious.
Hearing becomes tougher as we get older. It’s harder to hear properly, especially sounds with higher frequencies. Hearing aids can help seniors hear things more clearly.
Our vision will decline with age. Eyes become dry and muscles weaken, making it harder to focus. Glasses or contact lenses can help with poor eyesight.
Bowel and Bladder
Frequent trips the bathroom are a completely normal part of aging. Constipation and difficulty urinating are challenges many seniors face.
Preventative Steps to Help Aging
The cornerstones of aging gracefully includes a healthy diet and good habits. Eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting the proper health care are all part of a sound strategy to age well. It’s not enough just to focus on living a healthy lifestyle though. It’s also necessary for doctors to be on the lookout for common health issues and risks that affect quality of life. How have you or your loved one been affected by aging? Please share your stories in the comments section below.