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Perks And Quirks As We Age

By Edited Jun 6, 2014 2 4

Aging And Exercise

Importance Of Exercise As We Age

Aging and Exercise

Here’s a reality check for all those fears you have about aging. Not only is aging slow; but it’s often imperceptible year to year. Staying mentally and physically active can help keep you feeling younger, particularly in your 60s. By this time you’re just getting used to the idea that reading glasses and wrinkles are here to stay. Did you know inactivity is a more common risk factor for heart disease than obesity is?

What can you expect of this decade? Everyone ages differently, and lifestyle plays a major role. You will experience hard-to-notice and impossible-to miss changes in your physical and mental health. Here is some advise on living in this decade pain-free, with fewer allergies, and experiencing a spike in happiness.

The good news, your skin will be drier, so you’re less likely to suffer from breakouts. However some women will experience menopause-related skin issues. This usually is treatable with hormone-replacement therapy.

Not good news. Your skin will become fore fragile, with an increasing number of age spots. The gold standard for reducing age spots, consider using a prescription hydroquinone product. Fine lines and wrinkles that started in your 50s may become more dramatic. One remedy: prescription retinal products. These creams repair damaged skin by speeding skin cell turnover.

Another not-so-good issue in your 60s. You may develop dilated superficial blood vessels on your cheeks, nose, chin and legs, but they can be removed by your Doctor. A laser is used to destroy the blood vessels underneath the skin, with no scarring. Another procedure used to help the skin look younger is a radio-frequency-emitting device. This device uses heat to contract collagen and tighten the skin, without injuring the outer epidermis of the skin.

Talk With Your Doctor About Health Concerns

A Healthy Heart

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Heart health is very important as we age. Heart disease accounts for more than 20 percent of all deaths among men and women ages 65 to 74. So keep moving, and improve your odds. Just 150 minutes of moderately intense activity a week lowers your chance of coronary artery disease by 14 percent. A healthy older heart can pump about the same volume of blood whit each beat as a younger one can. Another common issue as we age may be a heart that seems to skip a beat, or feel like it is racing. This could be atrial fibrillation, a type of heart arrhythmia. This can increase the risk of stroke, mention it to your doctor.

Save your senses while aging. Help ward off some age-related eye disorders by eating a well-balanced diet. If you notice your sense of smell or taste have diminished, see your doctor immediately as this may indicate a sinus infection or may be a reaction to medication. Plagued by dry eyes? The medication Restasis can help create more tears. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as tuna and salmon as well as fish oil supplements may help tear quality. Do you know that 60-year-old’s need three times more light to read then 20-year-old’s? After the age of 60, the risk of muscular degeneration increases.. Fish oil and a diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent this condition.

Hearing loss becomes more common as we age. Degenerative changes in the ear canal, eardrum and other structures of the ear are primarily the cause. Close to 45 percent of 60-somethings experience some degree of hearing loss, and in 70-somethings this rises to 68 percent. The ability to hear high-frequency tones diminishes after age 60. Have your hearing tested, and swallow your pride if you must and get tested for hearing aids.

Get your metabolism motivated. Typically metabolism slows up to 5 percent per decade. You don’t have to gain weight in your 60s Just stay active and cut calories. You may find yourself secreting less hydrochloric acid, and this decreases the availability of vitamin B12. Ask your doctor if you need a B12 supplement. Your stomach will empty more slowly in your 60s and beyond. This can increase the risk of reflux, and the slowing of digested material through the large intestine can trigger constipation. An easy fix for this is fiber and water. This may also help protect against colon polyps, that can turn into cancer.

Have you been active all your life? If so your bones, joints and muscles may be in pretty good shape during your 60s. Inactivity and aging can lead to achy joints due to the wearing down of cartilage, loss of lubricating joint fluid and weaker muscles. Maintain a normal weight and strength training can be some ways of remedying this. Weight-bearing activities stimulate the bones to grow stronger and denser. This in turn protects against bone fractures and osteoporosis. Also ask your doctor about vitamin D and calcium supplements. Recommended dose of vitamin D is 600 IU daily; women in their 60s need about 1,200 mg of calcium a day. Do your joints sound like snapping twigs? Those creaking and popping noises are usually not serious, unless accompanied by pain and swelling. Do you know that most knee replacements are done after age 65?

Give your immunity system a boost. Your immune system isn’t as sensitive in your 60s. Allergies, which result from an overactive immune system, may very well be a thing of the past. However that less-aggressive immune response means you’re more susceptible to getting sick. It is more important then ever to shed excess pounds, eat a good diet and exercise, warding off chronic inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, making it even harder for the body to mount an effective immune response. And if this is not enough already, your response to vaccines decreases with age also, leaving you even more vulnerable to illnesses like flu and pneumonia. You should get a vaccine against shingles and pneumococcal disease. These conditions mostly strike after age 60.

Staying As Sharp As Possible

Keeping An Active Brain

Grow Older And Be Happy

Also important is keeping your brain active, and staying as sharp as possible. The growth of new brain cells, called neurogenesis, continues well into your 60s. And the capacity to learn new things stays strong. With age, part of your brain circuitry starts to burn out, but many of us compensate by relying on other parts of our brain, and our past experiences, to make decisions. This is the wisdom that accrues with older age. You may also find yourself slow to access memories in your 60s. But the loss of memory-once thought intrinsic to aging-is often avoidable. By getting regular mental stimulation, you can improve your brain health. Mental stimulation, and social interaction are key. MRIs have shown that adults who exercise regularly have a bigger hippocampus (the brain region responsible for memory and learning. This helps keep the mind sharp. So when you find yourself looking into a cabinet with no idea why you opened it in the first place. Relax, because in your 60s mild forgetfulness happens because the transmission of nerve impulses between cells slows down. Rarely is it a sign of something serious. You may start worrying about Alzheimer’s, but the risk of developing this disease is fairly low in your 60s: Less than 5 percent of Alzheimer’s patients are under the age of 65. As real cognitive decline becomes prevalent in your 70s and 80s; your best prevention is regular exercise, intellectual stimulation and plenty of social interaction.

Ending on a happy note, did you know we become happier as we age? A recent survey by AARP shows that from your early 50s on, happiness increases over time. One explanation for this trend is, our years of experience. As you get older, you know that bad times are going to pass. And you also know that good times will pass, and this makes the good times even more precious. The ability to regulate one’s emotions also improves as you age. So if you worry that you are not worried these days, you can stop worring about it, this is normal.

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Comments

Jan 13, 2013 3:26pm
aguy
Hmmmm..... or maybe we can just figure out a way to avoid getting older... I wish.

Nice job on this, Grammagill!
Jan 13, 2013 5:02pm
Grammagill
Thanks so much for the nice comment aguy. Age is only a number, think and act as young as you can.
Jan 16, 2013 1:44pm
javrsmith
Working with technology should help the brain. There is always much more to learn.
Jan 16, 2013 2:20pm
Grammagill
A true statement indeed javrsmith. I fell in love with computers many years ago when my son introduced me. Have not, nor will I ever be without one. And yes, always something new to learn. My Mother-In-Law, age 85 has a computer and uses it for game playing and email. Keeps her mind active, and her fingers moving.
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