Growing older is a part of life and can be scary at times. Our bodies change as we get older, and absorb the brunt of our experiences. With age, the cells in our bodies become less equipped to repair and replicate. Not all age-related changes are bad, and everyone ages differently. Here are just some of the many age-related health changes that most people experience and how you can promote your health.
Bones, Joints, And Muscles
As you age, your bones begin to shrink and lose their density, making you more susceptible to suffering from fractures. Muscles lose their flexibility and strength, which means you might have more trouble balancing.
To promote your bone and muscle health here are a couple things you can do:
- Make sure you get enough calcium. Adults ages 19-51 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This recommendation increases for women ages 51 and older to about 1,200 milligrams a day. You should also include calcium rich foods into your diet such as dairy products, almonds, broccoli, and salmon. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, you may need to consider calcium supplements.
- Get adequate amounts of vitamin D. Sources of vitamin D include fish, eggs, milk, and vitamin D supplements.
Constipation is a common issue among older adults. Factors including a low-fiber diet, not drinking enough fluids and lack of exercise can all contribute to constipation.
To prevent constipation you should:
- Eat a balanced diet. Make sure you incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet and drink plenty of water.
Memory tends to be less efficient as you age. It may take you a longer time to learn things or it may take longer for your to recall information.
To keep your memory sharp you should:
- Eat a healthy diet. A heart-healthy diet may benefit your brain. Avoiding alcohol can benefit your brain as well. Too much alcohol can lead to confusion and memory loss.
- Get active. Physical activity increases blood flow to your entire body.
- Stay mentally active. Staying mentally active will help stimulate your brain and lessen your chance of memory loss.
- Be social. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress which both contribute to memory loss.
Just as your bones lose density as you age, so do your teeth. Your gums may also start to recede. Medications for certain medical conditions can contribute to dry mouth as well. As a result, your teeth may be more prone to decay and infection.
To promote your oral health you should:
- Brush and floss. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.
- Schedule regular checkups. You should visit your dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning every six months.
It’s no secret that as you age, your skin becomes less elastic and fragile. Decreased production of natural oils might make your skin drier. Wrinkles, spots and skin tags also become more common.
To promote healthier skin you should:
- Be gentle. Use warm, not hot water when you shower and always moisturize after.
- Take precautions. Always apply sunscreen before going outside and wear protective clothing.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking not only damages your lungs but it also does a number on your skin. Smoking contributes to skin damage such as wrinkling.
You can’t stop the aging process, but by living a healthy lifestyle you can slow the process and minimize the impact of aging on your body.