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Keeping yourself healthy as you get older

14th August 2018 By Sophie Knight

As you grow older, it should be a priority of yours to maintain or gain a healthy lifestyle. It can be harder to get into shape as you age, but this does not mean you shouldn’t aim to be as healthy as you can possibly be. Much in the same way that you are likely to have undertaken a degree of financial planning, thinking about your health is a very important consideration as you age.

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The older you get, the more likely you are to develop certain health problems if you do not maintain a healthy lifestyle, since your organs are far more susceptible to failure. Many different things happen to your body as you age. Your bones, skin and even brain begin to behave differently – don’t let these catch you by surprise.

Getting older can be a great thing, especially if you know what is going on with your body and how to keep it in tip-top condition.

Here are some things to educate yourself on and help you keep yourself healthy as you grow older and wiser.

Your Bones

As you grow with age, your bones actually become thinner and more brittle. This is especially the case in women. Some of the time, this can result in the fragile bone condition called osteoporosis.

Furthermore, thinning bones and decreasing bone mass can put you at risk of falls which can easily break your bones.

It is best to talk to a physician about what may the best approach for you to prevent osteoporosis and falls.

Your Heart

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The most efficient way to keep your heart healthy is to maintain a healthy diet and performing regular exercise.

Be aware that when you age, your heart can enlarge slightly and your heart rate may be lower with the walls of the heart becoming thicker.

If you are a smoker, quitting can really make a difference to the health of your heart as well as your overall health in general.

Your brain and nervous system

Changes in your reflexes and nervous system are normal as you grow with age. Dementia is not a normal consequence of getting old, though it is often a factor in why it is developed, people often become more forgetful as they age. This is because cells and nerves become damaged by the formation of plaques and tangles, abnormalities that may eventually lead to dementia.

It is important to keep your brain active with reading, walking, conversation and the like.

Your digestive system

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Your digestive system tends to become more firm and ridged as you grow older. Furthermore, this will not contract as often as it would when you were young. As a result of this change, you may experience things like stomach pain, constipation and nausea more often. This can be combatted with a healthy diet.

Your Senses

You may notice the difference in your hearing and vision when you get older, they do not tend to be as sharp as they once were. You may experience losing your sense of taste in part – you may notice that flavours may not seem as distinct to you and this may also happen with scents. The reasoning behind this is because your body has to take longer to react and needs more to stimulate the senses altogether.

Your Teeth

Good dental hygiene should run throughout your whole life but is especially pressing as your age. The tough enamel which protects your teeth from decay can start to wear away over the years, meaning you are far more prone to cavities.

Gum disease tends to affect people who are older rather than younger, although it can happen to anyone. Regular visits to the dentist and up keeping a good dental routine involving brushing twice a day and flossing can help to prevent dental complications.

Health Tips

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Here are some more general health tips to help you maintain your health as you age:

  • Stay physically active with a regular exercise routine.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Go for regular check-ups with the doctor, dentists and optometrist.
  • Take all medications as prescribed by your GP.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you consume and aim to cut out smoking altogether.
  • Make sure you get the sleep you need

 

As much as looking after your physical self is very important, make sure you take some time to look after your mental state. Happiness is the key and can be achieved by a positive outlook and maintain relationships with friends and family members. If you feel as though you need to seek mental health help, you should neglect yourself from having this.