Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

What to Expect as You Age

seniors lrAge is but a number. However, as we age it’s but natural for the body to change with the advancing years. As we process food for energy, our body produces substances called, free radicals which damages cells and contributes to ageing. Continue reading to know about top five changes that your body tackles with age and how to cope with it.

How our bodies change with age
1) You and your heart: With age your heart muscle will become less efficient, less pliant and will be less able to pump large quantities of blood. Your blood vessels may narrow and hard fatty deposits may form, as a result you may experience high blood pressure.
What should you do
Get your numbers checked regularly, once you hit forty and above. Measuring it at home is even better. Cut down on salt, get regular exercise, quit smoking and lose weight. Most importantly, eat your medicines every day.
 Normal is less than or equal to 120 systolic/ 80 diastolic pressure
 Prehypertension is 120-139/ 80-89
 Stage I hypertension—140-159/ 90-99
 Stage II hypertension—160or more/ 100 or more

2) You and your bones: For women bones stop growing after 18 and for men it is after 25. Women lose a lot of bone mass post menopause and may feel that they have shrunk down over the years. Bones become porous and you may risk a fracture after a fall. Joints become less flexible and rigid.

What should you do

Bones respond to exercise and healthy calcium diet. Strength training and stretching exercises will keep your joints limber and osteoporosis can be reversed with medicines.

3) You and your gut: Ever wonder why so many seniors suffer from constipation? As we grow older, our bodies do not assimilate nutrients as well as they once did. At the same time, as the body ages, its systems slow down and become less efficient, so the correct nutrients are more important than ever for the support, repair and regeneration of the cells. Elderly people are often deficient in vitamin B12.

What should you do

Eat a balanced diet and include yoghurt as it is good for your digestive health. Try incorporating homemade soups in your meal plan and wind up your meals before 8 pm in evening.

4) You and your senses: Your sense organs may begin to suffer from wear and tear. Normally, one-third of people over the age of sixty-five have problems with their hearing. Loss of the ability to hear high frequency sounds comes first with this type of hearing loss. Age related hearing loss is called presbycusis. Diabetic conditions, heart problems can also cause presbycusis. With age your eyes will become dry, retinas thin and lenses become cloudy. Pupils can get less responsive and night driving will cause problems. Taste buds change with age. Dry mouth may make infection or decay a problem.

What should you do

Get your hearing and vision checked regularly by the doctor and visit dentist every six months. Blinking will keep your eyes moist and use tear drops.

5) You and your kidneys: Your kidneys lose efficiency in waste removal. Medications, high blood pressure and diabetes can damage them further. About a third of people over 65 lose some control of their bladder function – for a number of reasons (including heavy cough, overweight, and that bugaboo – constipation). Post-meno women may have stress-incontinence as hormones lessen and tissues in the urethra thin out. Men can sometimes trace the cause to prostate issues.

What should you do

Drink water for healthy kidneys. Women could try Kegels exercise to have better control over their pelvic muscles. On an empty bladder you should try to stop the flow of your urine and work to stop it. The muscles that you use for this are the muscles that you need to exercise. Squeeze these with all your might for a second and then release it.

The recipe for aging well brews slowly and smoothly over the years, which has fundamental ingredients as—healthy nutrition, exercise and a generous dash of humour. Compensate for loss of sleep with a nap during the day. Moreover, keep learning new skills to keep your mind alert and to break the monotony of day to day routine.

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Category: Seniors
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