Aging is, as they say, preferable to the alternative. But as you creep past forty, fifty, sixty, and later in life, your body changes. Suddenly, staying out late with friends drinking or working an all-nighter comes with unexpected consequences. There are many myths about getting older, but there are a number of truths too. Just because your body decides to change, doesn’t mean that it’s holding you hostage. Here’s a closer look at four of the most uncomfortable truths about getting older and what you can do to tackle these issues when they arise.
Your ability to digest food easily and take care of all of nature’s functions becomes impaired as you get older. There are a number of reasons for this, but the consequences can include bloating, heartburn, gas, and more. A variety of over the counter remedies offer relief, but there are natural ways to keep things moving and under control. One is to look at your diet, and emphasize lean protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. It’s easier to digest high quality food. Make sure that you’re getting adequate fiber and drinking enough water. If necessary, consider taking digestive enzymes with your meals.
Losing your Hearing and Sight
Studies show that aging affects our hearing and sight as early as our thirties. As a result, it’s important that you be alert for changes to either of these senses. If they occur, contact your doctor right away for an exam. Early detection can improve your quality of life and offer treatments to delay the progression of certain conditions. Consider getting hearing aids to improve issues with hearing loss, and prescription glasses to recover eyesight.
Vanity often wins out, and wrinkles are one of the most hated aspects of aging. The context is simple. Your skin ages in part due to chemical breakdowns of certain factors, and in large part due to a lack of care. The earlier you work to prevent wrinkles, the more successful you’ll be. However, it’s important to note that you don’t have to invest heavily to stave off this sign of aging. Wearing SPF every day is the most important thing you can do, because sun damage is the leading culprit of signs of aging. You can also consider anti-aging topicals or more advanced treatments at the spa or dermatologists such as laser facials and peels.
If you’ve ever heard people complain that their metabolism slows down in middle age and later, that’s due in large part to muscle loss. Natural muscle loss occurs starting in your thirties and progresses each year. Your metabolism slows down as a result and your fitness level declines. The best way to prevent this is to have an active fitness regime that includes at least thirty minutes to aerobic activity each day and strength training 3 days per week.
Aging doesn’t have to be painful! Knowing the most common signs of your body slowing down and taking the steps to prevent them can keep you active, healthy, and looking your best throughout your life. Protect your skin, stay active, watch your diet, and seek treatment quickly for any medical conditions. You won’t regret it.
Editor’s Note: Jennifer Klaus is a retired emergency room nurse. She enjoys spending time with her husband, traveling, and writing about senior healthcare & lifestyle topics.