AGING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT

Aging is not just about counting the number of years you’ve lived. Sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and low self-esteem are all common emotions associated with aging. But what does it change? Aging is a gradual process that occurs throughout a lifetime. It’s undesirable yet unavoidable

However, the signs, challenges, fun facts as well as ways to achieve healthy aging, will be discussed.

 Signs of Aging

The signs associated with aging are inevitable and they will surely come. You feel different as you age and your body changes from what it used to be.

Some of the obvious signs of old age include; wrinkles, dryness, saggy skin, shrinking, bad posture, grey hair, loss of hair, discoloration, no growth, and many more.

Challenges of Aging

Even with the improved health care and emerging technology trends, there are still some challenges associated with aging that we hope we can do without.

  • Health challenges: High blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and dementia are common health detriments associated with aging. The immune system of an aged person is drastically lower and that makes them susceptible to all the diseases aforementioned.
  • Increased risk of physical disability: Weaker bones, loss of  vision, and loss of hearing are all common signs of aging.
  • Social challenges: social norms and standards see the aged as outdated and helpless in keeping abreast of the growth of the society. Also, they seem less appreciative of their opinions and ideas which mostly results in isolation and loneliness.

Fun facts about aging

Most people perceive aging negatively but there are some good sides to it

  • You are accorded more respect than what you are used to while growing up.
  • Being old can sometimes mean you can get away with doing or saying anything mischievous.
  • You get taken care of. This is arguably one of the best things about aging, you get to be pampered and cared for by your friends and family.
  • Happiness is a much more affordable luxury than what it was while young, you can be selfish about your needs and uncaring about other peoples’ judgments
  • You sweat less. Your sweat glands tend to shrink and become less sensitive and that makes you sweat less.
  • Those migraines you must have had while you were young reduce as you approach 70 years of age. Study shows that 10% of women still experience migraine at age 70 while 5% in men.

Achieving Healthy Aging

You do not have to be feeling too bad about the signs and challenges that come with aging. Rather think about how you can become healthy as you age.  Healthy aging is mainly determined and influenced by your lifestyle. Good habits are to be imbibed and bad habits are to be discarded. Here are some good habits that will lead to achieving healthy aging:

  • Eating healthy: eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and take lots of water. And also, Limit fat intake and sugar.
  • Avoid or reduce smoking: smoking causes a lot of damage to your health life such as heart disease, and stroke, and it can as well increase the risk of cancer.  If you avoid smoking, you will live healthier and longer.
  •  Optimum exercise: as you age, your bones become weaker. Exercising regularly will keep you fit. You might as well lose appetite as you age, but regular exercise will make you hungrier.
  • Getting enough sleep: getting good and quality sleep goes a long way in keeping your heart and blood vessels in a good state. At least aim for 7-9hours of sleep per day.
  • Do things you enjoy: when you do things that you enjoy, the depression rate will reduce, you will be happier and you will have a purpose to keep living.
  • Keep your mind active: you can try new things, read, play games, or do things that you love, and even engaging in conversations will go a long way in keeping your mind sharp and active.
  • Lower your stress: as you age, the rate of heart disease is high. Therefore you should lower stress by exercising regularly, meditating, relaxing, and talking with friends and family.
  • Avoid or reduce alcohol consumption: high rate of alcohol intake can cause heart disease and premature aging.
  • Talk to your doctor regularly: how your body feels might not be crystal clear to you. Visit your doctor regularly for checkups even if you are not sick.

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