Our bodies change as we grow older; it’s absolutely normal. Understanding the transition your body undergoes and making specific lifestyle choices can help you stay healthy despite the changes taking place and promote good health. As you adopt new healthful habits, you lead a fulfilling and happier life in your senior years. In this article, you’ll learn about your body’s transition during aging and how to stay healthy.
1. Memory and Thinking
Our brains reach their maximum size before we turn 30 years, after which it starts to decline in volume. As we grow older, our information processing, speed of learning new things, and capability to engage in multiple tasks while shifting our focus between tasks reduce. But we can still learn and retain new facts and skills throughout our lives, especially when we get regular exercise and frequently engage in intellectual stimulation. So, participate in community and social activities to help enhance your mood and memory function.
Maintain a sense of control and confidence in your memory, and don’t buy into ageist stereotypes regarding memory decline. Having a positive mindset about aging is believed to boost memory performance in seniors, helping them stay mentally sound. You can train your brain to remember things using mnemonic strategies. Don’t rush yourself whenever you want to memorize something or recall old information. Keep to-do lists, place them where you can easily see them, and mark off tasks you accomplish. Try to put items you don’t want to forget in places you’ll always remember and establish a routine for crucial activities. For instance, taking your medicines at the same time every day will help you remember them.
It’s difficult to learn if you’re unable to see or hear properly. So, have your eyes and hearing checked regularly and wear your hearing aids or prescription glasses if recommended by your doctor. A reverse mortgage is a feasible solution if you need to access funds to cover such medical expenses and other non-medical needs. You can determine how much you can get from reverse mortgages using a reverse mortgage calculator.
2. Cardiovascular System
During aging, the heart and other parts of the cardiovascular system change. One of such changes is the stiffening of the large arteries, which causes the heart to work harder to circulate blood through your system. As a result, people over 60 years are more likely to have a stroke or suffer a heart attack.
Include physical activity in your daily routine to help improve your heart health. Since most seniors retire from active work, they don’t usually get around much, so you should be deliberate about staying physically active. Try swimming, golfing, walking, or engaging in any other activity you enjoy. It is not about being overboard. Moderate workouts can help lower your risk of cardiovascular problems and enable you to maintain a healthy body weight.
Also, try to manage stress because it can have a negative impact on your heart. Talk therapy or meditation may help you manage stress, depending on its cause. Get enough sleep at night (at least seven hours) because sleep promotes the healing and repair of blood vessels.
As you grow older, your skin loses fat and becomes thinner, more fragile, and less elastic due to connective tissue changes. This process, known as elastosis, produces a weather-beaten leathery appearance common among persons who spend several hours outdoors, such as farmers and sailors. Also, the sebaceous glands in your skin produce less oil as you age, making it more challenging to keep the skin moist. This can result in dryness and itching. Furthermore, you may be less able to sense cold, heat, vibration, pressure, or even touch, and you may bruise easily.
To promote healthy skin, be gentle with your skin and avoid harsh skin care products. Use mild soaps and moisturizers and take warm showers. Ensure you wear protective clothing when outdoors and use sunscreen. Consider taking anti-aging vitamins, such as collagen, vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, and selenium for better skin health. Try to quit smoking (if you smoke) because it contributes to skin damage and increases wrinkling. Speak to your doctor before taking any skin supplement and ask about smoking cessation strategies.
4. Digestive System
The large intestine undergoes some structural changes with age, which can cause more constipation for seniors. So, ensure you eat healthy meals which include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and other high-fiber foods. Also, drink enough fluids and limit dairy products, sweets, and high-fat meals, which may cause constipation.