As we age, our bodies begin to change. Some of us start noticing small changes in our 30’s. The accumulation of damage to our cells is a process that can start as early as 24. The obvious physical changes that come with getting older are; grey hair, wrinkles and dry skin. Other unseen changes that come with age include changes with our heart. As time passes, blood vessels lose their elasticity, fatty deposits build up against artery walls and the heart has to work harder to circulate the blood through your body. This can lead to high blood pressure. Our bones start to shrink in size and density. This makes us more prone to fractures and lessens strength and flexibility. Most seniors experience vision changes. Some of us may have a hard time seeing in low light or colors appear different.
All or this sounds a little scary and maybe disheartening but remember that aging is a privilege denied to many. And thankfully there are things we can do to avoid or lessen our chances of experiencing these changes earlier than necessary. Much of aging gracefully comes down to attitude. Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can. Also, remember that all changes aren’t bad. Seniors go through positive changes with age, too, such as reacting in a calmer way, not being so stressed out with work and relationships, and having a more balanced perspective through hard-earned experience. Everyone is different and we all have unique challenges and strengths. Eating healthy, exercise and taking care of your mental health will make the aging process easier for you.
Many people are upset when they start to see signs of growing older. Graceful aging doesn’t have to mean loving the grey hair and wrinkles, but being happy for all the laughter that gave you those lines around your mouth.
Here are some tips on helping you age gracefully;
- Eating a healthy diet that consists of fruits and vegetables. Lean protein and enough vitamin D. A healthy diet will help aid your overall health.
- Exercise will help with bone loss, muscle and joint issues. You don’t have to go to the gym every day, but a 10 minute walk, swim, stretches or even chair movement goes a long way.
- Wear sunscreen while outside.
- Watch your mental health and stay connected to friends and family. Keep do things that you enjoy. Keep your stress low and get enough sleep.
- Make sure you are in contact with your doctor regularly and talk about medications or supplements.
We will all be faced with setbacks or physical problems at some point in our lives. Staying positive and proactive through the process of aging will make it a whole lot easier.
A weekly feature for Lumby, Cherryville, and area seniors. For more information about any of the following please contact Colleen or Jenny at (250) 547-8866 Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Office (250) 547-8866. Funding support provided by Interior Health, the Province of British Columbia (Community Gaming), United Way Southern Interior and United Way Lower Mainland.