|Posted on January 4, 2018 at 12:25 AM|
THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF AGING
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO TRY TO SLOW DOWN THE PROCESS?
The changes that happen to our bodies as we age vary. The order of change from person to person has its similarities, but how quick the progression differs greatly. Most adults hit their peak physical condition by the time they hit their early 30s and experience physical decline from there. Sometimes, the progression of these changes can be slowed down by lifestyle changes. Light, daily exercise, such as walking, and a healthier diet can do wonders!
Bone marrow is found in the center of the larger bones in the body. It helps to produce red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. When the bone marrow starts to diminish, usually after age 30, it results in brittle bones. Some of this can be helped with diet (calcium intake) and exercise (staying active); some of it is genetic and beyond our control, such as the shape and size of the bones. In our younger days, the body does a great job filtering out calcium from the food we eat and keeping only what we have used throughout the day. As we get older, our bodies become less adept at doing that. When we don’t have enough calcium in our bodies and our diets, our kidneys start to pull from the most readily available source: the bones. The fact that we now have more brittle bones is dangerous because it could mean a simple slip, trip, or fall could now result in serious injury, disability or loss of independence. To reduce the risk of falling, take up any throw rugs on the floor that could cause a fall. Also, safety bars in the bathroom, especially the shower, would help a lot.
As people get older, we tend to lose some of their height. We usually begin shrinking in our 40s and eventually lose between 1-2 inches. This loss in height is due to the space between the vertebrae becoming smaller, and the bones becoming compressed. There are no health concerns related to getting shorter.
With a decrease in muscle mass and weight, it may seem as though we now have extra skin. We have the same amount, but the aging process tries to do a number on that as well. Age spots and wrinkles may start to appear between the ages of 40 and 50. Some of this can be prevented by using sunscreen, especially in our youth. The skin will also start to be less elastic like and more susceptible to cuts and bruising. Dry skin can be prevented by moisturizing with lotion on a daily basis.
Our teeth change the older we get, as well. We may feel an increased sensitivity to the temperature of the things we eat and drink. We may also suffer from things such as tooth decay, gum disease and discoloration. This affects your life by affecting your self-confidence and possibly making mealtime less enjoyable. Regular checkups with a dentist is a good preventative measure.
It seems to be that the best way to combat getting older is to try to take care of ourselves while we are younger! More exercise, healthier food choices and being proactive with lifestyle choices now could provide for better quality of life.
By: Amber Luce
Categories: Health and Safety