While there’s no magic pill to stop the aging process, eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising your mind and body can help you cope with the changes aging brings to your body. Use these tips to be proactive about your health and manage five common aging problems:
Stiffening arteries make your heart work harder to pump blood, increasing your risk for hypertension. To reduce your risk, practice heart-healthy habits throughout your life. Get regular exercise, eat a heart-healthy diet, don't smoke and practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
Brittle bones and stiff joints.
Aging drains minerals and calcium from your bones making them more likely to fracture. As you lose fluids around your joints, they can stiffen and cartilage can rub together and begin to break down. To promote joint and bone health, talk to your doctor about taking Vitamin D and calcium supplements. To strengthen muscles around joints and improve flexibility, begin a regular strength training regimen with weights. But before lifting weights for the first time, get your doctor's approval and ask about using a trainer.
Myelin, a nerve sheath that helps improve your thinking process can break down with age. Because of this, recalling memories can take longer. Stop focusing on what you can’t remember. Instead, adopt strategies to help you remember. For example, if you tend to forget names, try linking them to something you are familiar with. To retain new information, try linking it with the way it makes you feel, how it smells, or how it sounds.
Hearing and vision.
One out of three people ages 65 to 74 has some level of hearing loss, according to WebMD. That loss can be attributed to genes, exposure to loud noises, smoking, and in some instances diabetes and medications.
You can’t reverse hearing loss, but you can manage it. Get regular screenings to ensure no other medical conditions are causing your hearing loss. And speak with your doctor about assisted hearing devices.
Also know this:
The quality of your vision will change as you age. Changes in color perception and focus are two common problems. Cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal disorders should be treated. Get an annual vision exam. Protective lenses can limit your exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and reduce your risk of injury when working with tools.
Changes in vision and muscle and joint strength contribute to falls. Degeneration of your vestibular sensory system, the tiny inner ear sensory tubes that are filled with fluid and help keep your balance, can also cause dizziness and lead to problems with balance. But a healthy diet, regular doctor visits, and creating safe walking environments can help prevent falls. If you experience constant dizziness, you need to seek medical attention immediately. You could be developing vertigo or experiencing low blood sugar, cardiac nervous system or inner ear problems.