What to Expect When Aging
It is common knowledge that aging will likely cause wrinkles and gray hair, but many people do not know how aging will affect things like their teeth, heart, and digestive system. Being informed about what to expect when aging can allow you to take measures to promote your health no matter how old you are.
As we get older, our heart rate tends to slow and sometimes the heart will even grow in size. Our blood vessels stiffen, making it more difficult for our heart to pump blood through the circulatory system. This can lead to hypertension and other cardiovascular problems.
There are a variety of things you can do promote your own heart health. Include physical activity in your daily routine – this can help you to maintain heart health and feel better in general. Eat a healthy diet – choosing vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can help to keep your arteries healthy. Don’t smoke – smoking contributes to the hardening of arteries and can increase your blood pressure.
Your Bones, Joints, and Muscles
With aging, bones shrink both in size and density while muscles and tendons tend to lose strength and flexibility. These factors can lead to a decreased ability to balance, walk, and even stand and may increase your risk of injury.
As with your heart, there are some things you can do to help maintain bone, joint, and muscle health. Include calcium in your diet – 1,200 mg per day are recommended for women age 51 and older and men 71 and older. Include vitamin D in your diet – 800 IU per day is recommended for individuals over 71. Also, as with heart health, exercise and not smoking is great for bone, joint, and muscle health.
Your Digestive System
Unfortunately, constipation is more prevalent in older adults. Lack of exercise and poor diet, as well as some medications and medical conditions all contribute to constipation problems. To prevent digestive problems, eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and speak with your doctor if you are experiencing problems with a medication you are currently taking.
Your Bladder and Urinary Tract
Aging can often lead to loss of bladder control. Certain medical conditions, as well as menopause and prostate issues can all contribute to urinary tract issues. To promote bladder health, there are a variety of things you can do. Use the restroom often, maintain a healthy weight, and don’t smoke.