Age. That three-letter word again.
I read somewhere, “You get better with age. Not older” and I am inclined to agree. Not sure if am getting any wiser, though, but I definitely have no complaints. As I see it, there’s much to look forward to, as my doctor pointed out to me when he called to congratulate me on turning 48 in September.
For all you know, you could find yourself feeling healthier as you age. Think I am sounding senile already? Don’t be surprised to find yourself smiling as you read this.
Most people tend to crib a lot with each passing year, probably because they are conditioned to believe that they should feel “older” and therefore, weaker. But as my friendly doc explained, there is research to prove that when you age naturally, you can actually look forward to specific health pluses. So you can’t turn the clock back. But you can definitely appreciate the positive changes, right? Right!
Take a look at these seven benefits you can look forward to as you age:
Your teeth are less sensitive
If your teeth have always been uncomfortably sensitive, this decreases over time. The teeth get insulated by the extra layer of dentin on the surface between the enamel and nerves. Naturally your response to pain is less. Consequently, dental procedures don’t hurt as much as before and you may not even need anesthesia for the simple dentists’ visits.
To ensure that you enjoy this benefit, just make sure you maintain good dental hygiene and oral health with regular brushing and flossing to prevent decay. Easy enough, eh? And did you know brushing teeth regularly minimizes your risk for heart-disease?
Allergies bother you less
If you’re someone who is ultra-sensitive to allergens, as you grow older, your body is more blasé about its reaction. This could be because your body produces less IgE, the allergic antibody. You will also find that you are not as responsive to food allergies as you used to be. But doctors say that some food allergies such as sensitivity to nuts may not go away.(oh, behave! I’ve saved that for the end)
What should you do? Besides reveling in the fact that you can skip antihistamines and other allergy medications, do talk to your doc first, particularly if you are prone to respiratory issues like asthma since allergies can bring on a severe attack. Ugh!
You get colds less often
This is very gratifying. Who enjoys sniffing and sniveling from a cold, especially when it makes you feel as if you are not sick enough to take a day off, but too sick to actually do anything? Very irritating! As you age, exposure to a virus makes your body develop antibodies that develop immunity to that virus. But when you think of the 200+ viruses that can cause colds, and the fact that the immunity excludes the flu virus, you may not exactly rejoice, but at least you’re more resistant than before. Think of the savings on tissues!
What to do? Get regular flu shots. Make sure you wash your hands often. Eat healthy, get adequate sleep. Manage your stress. You ought to be doing all these things anyway, yet you need me to tell you again.
Your skin’s behaving better
Now, for someone like me who’s a bit lazy on this front, I’d certainly look forward to skin that needs less maintenance. Docs say you can bid goodbye to oily skin. As you cross 50, your skin secretes less oil. You will no longer look as shiny as you did. The growth of facial hair slows down and the sweat glands disappear with hormonal changes. Which means you get to shave less often and skip the deo.
So maybe you’ll smell better as you’ll sweat less. But remember, even if you save on deos, sweating less puts you at risk for overheating (sweating cools the body, you know). To avoid this, make sure you drink lots of water, especially in hot weather. You may also want to consider using a water-based moisturizer after you bathe to restore the oil and moisture lost by your skin.
Your brain’s sharper
If you’ve always believed in being mentally active, you’ll be glad to learn that many memory-related functions such as vocabulary and long-term memory only get better as you age. When you use your brain regularly, your memory skills stay honed. My grandmother was living proof of this fact. She could remember everything and was very quick with mental math. She lived to be 85 and passed away in her sleep.
What action can you take to stay sharp? Plenty of cerebral activity. I enjoy crossword puzzles, vocabulary exercises, memory games and jigsaw puzzles. I also stay in touch with the seven Indian languages and two foreign languages I know and try to learn something new everyday. Challenge your mind. Also ensure you eat the right foods to enhance memory. When it comes to your brain, it is a case of use it or lose it.
You stay young at heart
I could not believe this when I heard it. Did you know our heart does not age at all? And if you took care to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check, your heart could actually be stronger as you age? This is no myth. While it is true that arteries narrow as you age, it does not affect the ability of your heart to pump blood. If you’re healthy, your heart will be healthy. Healthy equals exercise, diet and no smoking. You know what they say about an apple a day.
Since your arteries must be healthy to prevent the risk of a heart attack, make sure you monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol at least once a year. Stick to a low-fat diet, check that your weight is healthy and exercise regularly to enjoy the benefits of a strong heart.
Your libido is better
Thanks to that hormonal revamp, especially for women in their early fifties, there is an increase in libido and ability to have orgasms. Men can also rejoice as they approach sixty, if they are a healthy weight, their penis looks longer as they age. As you can see, getting older does not mean you should lose interest in intimacy. When you stay sexually active, it enhances your immune system and also keep you looking youthful.
So, friends, make sure you celebrate your birthday, as each passing year only means you’re getting better. Don’t forget to maintain a healthy lifestyle and get regular health checks, because there are more benefits here than just saving on tissues, shaving cream and deos.
Stay healthy! 🙂