Written by Katie Brenneman, Guest Writer
Bodily changes are inevitable with age. Some of those changes are more noticeable than others, but it’s a fact of life – your body won’t be in the same condition at 50 as it was when you were 20.
Many of these changes are completely normal. But, the risk of certain health conditions also increases as you get older. While you might not want to think about aging or how it can affect your mind and body, it’s important to both accept and understand the changes that can occur.
The more you understand about those changes, the easier it will be to determine if they are normal or if something might be wrong.
Let’s cover some of those normal changes and things you can do to lead a healthy lifestyle as you get older. Taking care of your overall well-being should be your top priority. You may not be able to stop the changes that come with aging, but you can embrace them in healthy ways, and learn to age with grace and strength.
Have you ever watched a five-year-old play? Maybe you have a grandchild who you babysit sometimes, and you wonder where they get all of their energy. It might seem like they can run around for hours and not get tired. You might even joke that you get tired just from watching them!
While it’s normal not to have the energy of a five-year-old, you might notice as you get older that you become more tired. Your energy levels probably aren’t what they used to be, and it’s easy to feel fatigued each day.
But, instead of taking a mid-day nap and potentially throwing off your sleep schedule, try to find ways to boost your energy levels. Some of the best solutions include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Managing your stress levels
- Staying hydrated
- Getting enough time outside
Speaking of your sleep schedule, consider what it looks like. According to the CDC, you should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble falling asleep, try to improve your sleep hygiene by going to bed at the same time each evening, cutting out electronic devices before bed, and making sure your bedroom is providing the environment you need for a restful night.
You don’t have to reach for a mid-day cup of coffee or even an energy drink to stay awake. As you can see, the energy boosters listed above coincide with self-care. IV Drip therapy is another self-care technique you can use to improve how you feel as it works at the cellular level to restore energy levels, boost your metabolism, and promote cellular repair.
Take the time to prioritize your health, and you’ll feel more energized and youthful – maybe not quite as youthful as that five-year-old, but you should be able to keep up with them!
Losing Muscle Mass and Bone Density
One of the common problems aging individuals face is losing muscle mass. The older you get, the more your body resists growth signals. According to Harvard Medical School, you can lose anywhere from 3-5% of your muscle mass per decade after age 30. This is referred to as sarcopenia.
Testosterone can also play a factor in both muscle mass and bone density. As you age, testosterone levels begin to drop. In men, testosterone helps to maintain and support muscle mass. In both men and women, it supports bone density and strength.
Reduced muscle mass can leave you feeling weaker, and weaker bone density can put you at risk of breaking or fracturing something more easily.
So, what can you do?
There are a variety of ways to slow muscle aging and keep your strength up, including:
- Resistance training
- Increased Vitamin D
- Aerobic exercise
- Getting enough sleep
Proper nutrition is also essential for both muscle health and bone density. Eat meals that are rich in lean protein, and make sure you’re getting enough calcium by eating things like cheese, and yogurt.
Managing Your Mental Health
Physical signs of aging are often easier to notice than mental health issues. But, older individuals are often at a higher risk of developing things like depression. Often, it can stem from loneliness or isolation. Or, you might start to feel down that your brain doesn’t seem to “work” the way it used to. It’s not uncommon to experience some memory loss or changes in your thinking skills with age.
While you can’t necessarily stop those issues completely, you can promote your cognitive health by staying both physically and mentally active. Do things each day to stimulate your brain, like memory or word games.
To better manage your mental health, make sure to socialize as much as possible. This will help to fight off the effects of loneliness and depression. Make sure you have someone to talk to and don’t be afraid to share your struggles if you’re experiencing feelings of sadness or you feel overwhelmed by stress.
You can also do things each day to manage your mental health and de-stress. If you’ve never considered practicing things like mindfulness or meditation before, now could be a perfect time to learn. Things like journaling, regular exercise, or even talking to a mental health professional can also help.
Change happens, and it isn’t always a bad thing. The more you know about how your body changes as you get older, the easier it will be to accept those changes at face value and to stay healthy and happy as they occur.
About the Author
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.