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How to Prepare For the Changes That Come With Aging

Various changes occur both emotionally and physically as we grow older. Knowing the transformations that are bound to happen as the body ages and coping with them is crucial. Below is a list of changes to expect as you age and how to promote proper health.

Your Cardiovascular System

A standard change affecting the cardiovascular system includes stiffening arteries and blood vessels. It makes the heart work extra hard when pumping blood. Such changes subject a person to increased risks of hypertension and related cardiovascular issues.

What to do to promote heart health

  • Eat a healthy diet: Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources such as fish. Limit the intake of foods high in salt and saturated fat.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine: Try swimming, walking, or other enjoyable activities. Moderate physical activities minimize the risk of heart disease and can help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Do not smoke: Smoking causes the hardening of the arteries, which subjects a person to an increased heart rate due to increased blood pressure. For those who find it hard to do away with the habit, asking for help from a doctor is essential.
  • Get enough sleep: Quality sleep plays an essential role in repairing and healing your blood vessels and heart. Aim for the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

Your Bones, Joints, And Muscles

Bones tend to shrink in density and size with age, weakening them and making them susceptible to fractures. Another indicator is when the fingers on your hand shrink, making any rings you’re wearing swivel 360 degrees when you move your hand, especially for those who do not have a large knuckle.

What you can do to promote bone, joint, and muscle health

  • Get adequate amounts of calcium: Include dietary sources of calcium in your diet, including kale, broccoli, dairy products, and salmon. Individuals who find it hard to get enough calcium in their diet may consider asking for help from a doctor to prescribe calcium supplements.
  • Get adequate amounts of vitamin D: Many people obtain sufficient vitamin D directly from the sun. Other sources include eggs, salmon, and supplements.

Your Bladder And Urinary Tract

The bladder becomes less elastic as we age, which can increase the urge to urinate more often. Weak pelvic floor muscles make it hard for an individual to empty or constrict their bladder, ultimately causing urinary incontinence. An inflamed prostate makes it hard for men to empty their bladder, which may also lead to incontinence.

Other factors contributing to incontinence include certain medications, obesity, and nerve damage due to diabetes, caffeine, and alcohol consumption.

What you can do to promote bladder and urinary tract health

  • Go to the bathroom regularly: Consider visiting the washrooms regularly, such as every hour. Extend the duration between the toilet trips slowly.
  • Do Kegel exercises: Exercise the pelvic floor muscles when urinating by routinely squeezing and relaxing the muscles. Do the exercise at least 15 times in a row and perform the routine three times each day.
  • Avoid constipation: Take the recommended steps to avoid constipation by including a diet rich in fiber to minimize the possibility of incontinence.

Your Eyes And Ears

A person may find it challenging to focus on closer objects with age. An individual becomes more sensitive when glaring and has trouble adapting to various light levels. The aging life process affects the eyes, leading to cataracts. Hearing also diminishes, and a person finds it difficult to detect high frequencies or follow conversations in crowded rooms.

What you can do to promote eye and ear health

  • Take precautions: Wear sunglasses when outdoors and consider using earplugs when around loud noises or loud machinery.
  • Schedule regular checkups: Follow the doctor’s advice regarding contact lenses, hearing aids, prescription lenses, and other corrective devices. According to reports, at least 28.8 million adults in the U.S. alone could likely benefit from hearing aids in their life.

Hair, Skin, and Nails

As someone ages, their skin becomes more brittle and dry, which can lead to wrinkles. The fat layer underneath the skin thins and leads to less sweating. Although this seems reasonable, the person becomes more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heatstroke in summer. Hair and nails grow slowly and become brittle. The hair will also turn gray and thin.

Consider taking warm baths and showers, wearing protective clothing outdoors, and quitting smoking as it causes wrinkles. Almost 85% of men experience significant thinning of hair by 50.

Aging gracefully entails observing a happy and healthy life by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and surrounding yourself with family members and friends. It is natural for people to worry about the challenges brought about by aging, and therefore do not hesitate to speak to a professional or a friend about your concerns.