As you age, your body changes. Some of these changes are visible, like wrinkles and gray hair. Others are less noticeable, like a decrease in collagen production or hormonal shifts. But visible or not, all of these changes can impact your health and well-being. So here are five things you must prepare for as you age:
As you age, your hormone levels change. This can lead to various symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and weight gain. Unfortunately, for women, estrogen changes can also lead to a lot of problems. Here are some of them.
Estrogen is responsible for the inflammation of the gums. Because of this, older women are more prone to gum disease and tooth loss. One way to prevent this from happening is by getting implants. A tooth replacement service can ensure you get the right implant for your missing teeth. This can prevent gum disease in the future and give you a more permanent option than dentures.
Osteoporosis, or the loss of bone density, is another more common condition with age. This can lead to fragility fractures, which are breaks that occur even without a fall or other injury. Women are particularly susceptible to osteoporosis due to changes in hormone levels. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D and engaging in regular weight-bearing exercise is essential to prevent this condition.
Decreased Collagen Production
Collagen is a protein that gives your skin its elasticity and strength. Unfortunately, as you age, your body produces less collagen. This can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, and joint pain. Here are some ways you can increase collagen production in your body:
- Get enough protein: Collagen is made of amino acids, so you need to eat enough protein to support collagen production. Include animal protein sources, such as meat, poultry, and fish, in your diet. You can also get collagen from plant-based sources, such as soybeans, lentils, and quinoa.
- Get enough vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential for collagen production. You can find it in citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and kale.
- Limit sugar intake: Sugar can damage collagen fibers and prevent new ones from forming. So limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks to support collagen production.
Increased Risk of Disease
As you age, your risk for certain diseases increases. This includes heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Thankfully, there are ways you can decrease your chances of disease. Here are some of them:
- Quit smoking: Smoking is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.
- Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help reduce your disease risk. Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. And limit your intake of processed foods, salt, and sugar.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise can help reduce your heart disease, stroke, and cancer risk. It can also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. This could include walking, biking, swimming, or another activity you enjoy.
Your metabolism slows down as you age, making it harder to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. This is because your body needs less energy (in the form of calories) as you age. To combat this, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Additionally, you can follow these tips to restart your metabolism:
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for a healthy metabolism. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Eat breakfast: Breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism for the day. Make sure to include protein and fiber-rich foods to help keep you full and satisfied throughout the day.
- Drink green tea: Green tea contains antioxidants that can help boost your metabolism.
You may find it harder to get a good night’s sleep as you age. This can be due to hormonal changes, stress, medication side effects, or other underlying health conditions. Thankfully, you can get back to your normal sleeping routine by following these tips:
Set Up a Routine
Like any bodily activity, sleeping requires a routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This will help train your body to sleep better.
Create a Relaxing Environment
Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool. Consider using a noise machine or earplugs to block out any unwanted noise. And make sure your room isn’t too hot or cold by using a fan or adjusting the thermostat.
Avoid Stimulants Before Bed
Caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep. So avoid them in the hours leading up to bedtime. You should also limit your nicotine intake, as it can interfere with sleep.
Aging is a natural process that happens to everyone – but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to deal with the physical and emotional changes that come with it. However, by being prepared for the five things listed above, you can age gracefully and proactively take steps to protect your health.