Eventually, you are going to have to deal with the effects of aging. You may be thinking of the usual suspects such as wrinkles and grey hairs. However, there are some age-related issues that are likely to present you with unique challenges such as reduced muscle strength, decreased cardiovascular function, and weakening bones and joints. There are some simple strategies that you can implement to combat the effects of age and help improve your quality of life as you get older.
Understanding the effects that aging will have on your body should help you in selecting strategies that best counteract them and assist with improving your quality of life. Some common effects of aging include:
Arthritis - This term is more of an informal description of joint disease or pain. There are over 100 different types of arthritic conditions. Arthritis symptoms can often result in the degeneration of the cartilage in your joints which results in inflammation, swelling, and chronic pain. One of the most common types of arthritis, especially in adults sixty-five or older, is Osteoarthritis. Specifically, Osteoarthritis can cause your cartilage to wear away, allowing for bones to rub against each other. This can cause stiffness, swelling, as well as pain which can worsen over time and even cause weakness in your joints. Another common type of arthritis is Rheumatoid. This type of arthritis causes your immune system to generate unnecessary inflammation in your joints. This mistaken attack on your joints can cause the joints affected to erode over time resulting in severe pain and limited use of the affected area.
Heart disease - This is one of the leading causes of death among adults age sixty-five or older. As you age certain risk factors, such as high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, can considerably raise the chances of developing a stroke or even heart disease.
Osteoporosis - This health condition is the lowering of bone density. Osteoporosis can easily limit mobility and put you at a significantly higher risk for breaking bones. Since there is a loss of bone density, it can also make recovering from an injury such as a break or fracture considerably more difficult. A fall resulting in a break or fracture could play a key role in signaling the end of independence depending on your age.
Diabetes - This health condition is when you have high blood glucose or blood sugar. The excess blood sugar is a result of impaired production or use of insulin by your body. When this happens the glucose from the foods that you eat cannot properly be delivered to your cells which then would convert it into energy. Diabetes can cause other health issues if left undiagnosed or untreated for too long.
Obesity - This health condition can put you at a much greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer. Obesity can also cause limitations in your mobility.
Strategies for Combating Age-Related Health Issues
You may want to consider using aids to assist with mobility, grasping objects, or even supporting and stabilizing yourself so you can avoid falls from imbalance. Falls pose a serious risk to adults that are sixty-five or older. Use of certain aids that can help you grab difficult to reach objects or maintain your balance can significantly improve your ability to remain independent while helping to minimize your risk of injury.
You may also want to consider assistive devices that can improve your mobility and ensure that you still have access to the people and places that you love. Remaining mobile as you age can help to combat serious mental health issues such as depression and ensure you have access to a network of support such as family and friends.
Regular exercise is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways, to counteract the effects of aging. It can help you to maintain and even build muscle performance. This can drastically affect your body’s sensitivity to insulin causing your muscles to absorb additional glucose. It can also help to lower risk factor associated with stroke and heart diseases such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Another important benefit of exercise is the maintenance of bone density and mass. This can assist in preventing or combating the effects of osteoporosis. In order to properly workout to help fight this health condition, you should focus on resistance, weight-bearing, and flexibility exercises. Working out can drastically assist with maintaining your joint health, which can reduce your likelihood of developing arthritis.
Regular activity should also help to regulate weight. This could significantly reduce your chance of becoming obese. If you have some extra weight, it is also an effective way to deal with obesity. Overall, regular exercise should be one of your most important tools for combating age-related health issues.