As we age, our bodies undergo a variety of changes. While many of these changes are simply the natural result of the aging process, others can be caused by lifestyle choices or health conditions. Here is a look at some of the most common body changes caused by aging.
Skin Thinning and Changing
With age, our skin becomes thinner and less elastic. The dermis, or the deep layer of the skin, contains elastin and collagen fibers. Over time, these fibers break down and make the skin lose its firmness and strength. This can cause sagging. While you can’t stop this process entirely, you can reduce some of its effects by wearing sunscreen every day and quitting smoking (if you do.)
Decreased Muscle Mass
The muscles become weaker with age. This is because the body’s cells do not regenerate as quickly as they once did. As a result, the body isn’t able to repair damage to its cells. The result is cell death and muscle loss. You can minimize muscle loss by following various exercise for seniors.
The bones of aging people naturally become more fragile, which makes them weaker and more prone to injuries. This can cause a rise in the risk of broken bones and osteoporosis (weakening of the bones.) The best way to prevent bone loss is by eating calcium-rich foods and getting plenty of exercises. You can also consider doing wall-sitting exercises to condition your spine.
As we age, the cartilage in the body becomes thinner and more brittle, which can cause pain and reduced mobility in the joints. Often this condition is referred to as arthritis. If you have osteoarthritis (a special kind of arthritis), it’s important to see a doctor who can recommend a treatment that will reduce your symptoms.
Earwax production increases with age, which can lead to hearing loss. The hairs inside the ears also become more brittle and may break down over time, affecting hearing. You can reduce your risk of this health problem by cleaning your ears regularly, avoiding loud noises where you are (with headphones or earplugs), and wearing ear protection when appropriate (such as at concerts or when using power tools.)
As we age, the lenses in our eyes become cloudy and yellowed. This causes an increase in glare, making it harder to see things clearly. Also, you may notice that your vision just isn’t as sharp as it once was. This is one of the most common causes of vision loss, especially among older people. A variety of eyeglass lenses are available that can correct this problem.
Older folks’ brains start to shrink in size, leading to memory loss. This is a normal part of the aging process, but it can make it harder to remember things. Also, you may find that you suddenly forget where something was or what you were about to do or say. Memory loss is common among older people, but it’s still important to consult a doctor if this condition persists longer than expected.
The heart becomes more likely to develop atrial fibrillation with age. This causes an irregular heartbeat that can lead to heart attack and even death. Atrial fibrillation is a serious health problem that requires medical attention as soon as possible. You can reduce your risk of developing this condition with exercise and quitting smoking.
As we age, the body gets subjected to many health issues that can impact our quality of life. However, you can reduce some of these effects by taking care of yourself and adjusting your lifestyle habits.
Got any questions? Ask us in the comments!