Aging… an inevitable fact of life
As humans, we grow up and then we grow old, it’s something we all have to come to terms with. There are certain functions within our body that start to decline, so we need to know what to do about them when it happens to us! So what are the signs of aging, and how do we combat them?
Bone Density Loss
This is more prevalent in women than it is in men, so ladies listen up! As we get older, bone density drops because our bodies aren’t as good at recreating bone cells anymore due to the cells that produce them becoming old and damaged. In women, this is only made worse by the huge drop of oestrogen that is produced in the body. This leads to all sorts of problems, but the main one is that it means a simple slip or fall could end up breaking a few of your bones. To combat this, we have to stimulate the bone into producing more cells, which can be done with exercise that stimulate the bones. It’s mainly referred to as weight-bearing or impact exercises, so get doing some.
Ensure you’re getting enough calcium, aiming for a daily intake recommended by health authorities, with an increase for adults over certain ages. Foods like dairy, broccoli, and tofu are great sources, and supplements can be an option if needed. Vitamin D is also crucial, with specified daily amounts varying by age, and can be absorbed through sunlight and certain foods. Regular weight-bearing exercises are beneficial for bone health. It’s important to avoid smoking and limit alcohol, consulting a doctor for guidance on safe consumption levels.
One of the more less graceful things about ageing is incontinence. It involves the leaking of bodily fluids from their origin points, most namely the leakage of urine. This, whilst not a life threatening condition, is a very embarrassing one and can seriously dent people’s pride and there isn’t actually a lot of help that is available for it. However, there are some things that you can do at home for it. Pelvic exercises help tone up and strengthen the muscles around the bladder which means that you’re going to be less likely to have a leak, however there is more than just one solution so find out more about incontinence here.
For bladder and urinary tract health, it’s advisable to use the bathroom at consistent intervals, aiming to gradually increase the time between visits. Keeping a healthy weight and refraining from smoking are key, as well as engaging in pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises to strengthen bladder control muscles. Limiting intake of substances that irritate the bladder, like caffeine and alcohol, alongside increasing fibre consumption to prevent constipation, can also improve bladder health.
Losing your memory is a normal part of aging. It’s your brain being unable to make the connections that it once used to in order to trigger a memory, so it is normal but only to a degree. Memory loss is something that can become very serious if it’s left unchecked. When you start noticing the symptoms, you’re going to want to get yourself to a doctor right away to see if it’s Alzheimer’s or Dementia because you’re going to want to get treatment for it as soon as possible to prevent it from developing any further.
Eyes and Ears
You may notice changes in your vision such as difficulties with close-up focus, sensitivity to glare, and adapting to light variations, alongside potential cataract development. Your hearing might also decline, particularly with high frequencies or in noisy environments. To maintain eye and ear health, it’s important to have regular check-ups, wear protective gear like sunglasses or earplugs in certain settings, and follow medical advice on corrective devices to mitigate these age-related changes.
As you age, incorporating regular physical exercise into your routine can enhance brain health by improving blood circulation and reducing stress, which in turn benefits memory and cognitive function. Adopting a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while limiting alcohol intake can also support brain health. Keeping mentally active through reading, puzzles, learning new skills, and engaging in social activities helps maintain memory and thinking abilities, combating the effects of ageing on the brain.
All of these things are going to happen to you as you age, but at least you can do something about it! They’re all valuable pieces of information to know because you’re going to be able to do something about all of it yourself, and know exactly when you’re going to need professional help to get you back to where you need, and deserve to be!