You can sing the Bob Dylan song until you’re blue in the face. But, no matter how badly you want to stay “forever young”, you’re going to get older.
Getting older is definitely not a bad thing. With age comes wisdom and experience. But there are a lot of other factors involved in the aging process that you might not have heard of before.
Read on to learn about some important, but often under-discussed, things that happen as you get older.
What No One Tells You About Getting Older
There are a lot of things that happen when you start to age, some good, some not-so-good.
The real problem, though, is that many people have no idea what kinds of issues they might start to experience as they get older. Because no one ever filled them in on the less-than-glamorous aspects of aging, they get hit with a nasty shock later in life.
To prevent you from having to go through that shock yourself, here are some things that might happen to you as you age.
Your Heart Has to Do More Work
As you get older, your heart has to work harder to keep you alive and well. This is because your arteries and blood vessels begin to stiffen. This stiffness, in turn, means your heart has to do more to pump blood to the rest of your body.
This extra work for your heart can lead to conditions like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
The good news is that you can combat these issues by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and eat a healthy, balanced diet low in sugar and processed foods.
Your Skin Will Change
You probably know that your chances of getting wrinkles increase as you get older. That’s not the only thing that can happen to your skin, though.
Your skin may appear thinner as you age. This is the result of a reduction in sweat and loss of fatty tissue. You might also notice the appearance of skin tags and age spots.
To minimize wrinkles, avoid hot water when showering or bathing — keep it lukewarm instead. Visit your doctor regularly, too, to get age spots and growths checked out to ensure they’re benign.
Your Memory May be Affected
Many people think that memory loss is par for the course as they get older. This isn’t true, though.
Dementia affects approximately 47 million people globally, and rates are increasing. In fact, it’s expected to affect 75 million people, many of them seniors, by the year 2030.
In many cases, dementia is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. By taking steps to live healthfully now, you can dramatically reduce your risk of experiencing dementia.
It’s also important to educate yourself and gather more information on the early signs of dementia, such as mild memory loss and difficulty concentrating. The sooner you catch these symptoms, the better.
Your Bones Will Become More Brittle
When you reach your 40s and 50s (yes, that early), your bones start to become weaker, less dense, and more brittle. All of this increases your chances of experiencing a fracture.
You can even get shorter as get older and your bones begin to change! This is because the disks in your spine start to shrink as you age.
If your bones become too brittle and lose too much density, you could develop a condition known as osteoporosis.
To minimize your risk of developing this disease, make it a priority to consume sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium. Be sure to get both, as they rely on each other for proper absorption.
Strength training now, while you’re still young, can also reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis as you age. Make lifting weights and doing bodyweight exercises (push-ups, lunges, etc.) a priority now so you can be healthier when you get older.
Your Strength Can Diminish
In the same way that your bones can become weaker as you age, so can your muscles. This condition is known as sarcopenia.
A loss of muscle mass you age can increase your chances of falling and injuring yourself. You may also have a harder time performing everyday tasks like carrying groceries into the house or walking up the stairs.
To minimize your risk of developing sarcopenia, you ought to make strength training a priority today. The more muscle mass you have, the less impacted you will be by muscle loss brought on by aging.
You May Have a Harder Time Losing Weight
Many people also find that weight loss becomes more challenging as they get older. They might put on extra weight without realizing it, or they may have a harder time shedding weight.
There are many reasons why weight loss becomes challenging as you age.
Hormonal changes can slow down the metabolism and make calorie burning more difficult. A decrease in muscle mass also slows down the metabolism. As you age, you tend to become more sedentary, too.
All of this, combined, can make weight loss seem almost impossible.
The good news, though, is that if you make your health a priority now — specifically with regards to exercising and eating healthfully — you can minimize these negative effects.
Your Teeth and Gums May Change
When you age, your gums start to recede from your teeth. Your mouth might get drier, too, depending on the specific medications you’re using. This dryness, in turn, can increase your risk of developing tooth decay and oral infections.
Make your oral health a priority now to reduce your risk of poor oral health later in life. Brush and floss on a regular basis (twice and once daily, respectively) and continue to see the dentist twice per year for cleanings and checkups.
What Else Can You Do to Stay Youthful?
You now know a lot more about what happens when you start getting older.
In case that knowledge is making you a bit anxious, remember that you’re also armed with some important information on how you can slow down the aging process, stay healthy, and truly enjoy your golden years.
Are you interested in learning about other steps you can take to stay youthful, inside and out? If so, check out the lifestyle section of our site today.
This section is full of great articles on everything from living a healthy lifestyle to cosmetic treatments that minimize wrinkles and other aging skin problems.