It’s no secret that our bodies begin to change as we age. In fact, our bodies go through major changes throughout our entire lives. It’s just that the positive changes come first, and then we begin to lose things later in life.
Although these losses are a normal part of aging, many of them can be preserved or at least the loss can be slowed. Here are seven things we tend to lose as we age.
1: Skin Elasticity
Our skin loses elasticity as we age, which can result in wrinkles. This is why wrinkles aren’t as common in younger people as they are in older people. Some definite ways to increase the production and rate of developing wrinkles are by smoking and spending too much time in the sun.
When it comes to preventing and removing wrinkles, you should abstain from those unhealthy behaviours listed above, and focus on skin health. Establish a skincare routine that incorporates an SPF 30+ sunscreen, a retinoid, and collagen. You can even take collagen supplements or powders to help with skin elasticity.
2: Short-Term Memory
The number of cells decreases in the brain as we age, so many functions are affected by this loss. The most notable loss resulting from changes in the brain is memory— specifically short-term memory. This type of forgetfulness is a normal part of aging, but other types of memory loss are not. An example would be the inability to recognize a once-familiar face.
These more serious memory problems are known as dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term for various types of illnesses that affect memory, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common. While dementia can’t always be prevented, studies have shown that eating healthy (especially foods high in omega-3 fatty acids), regular exercise, and engaging in mentally stimulating activities can help slow the progression if early signs are present.
3: Near Vision
Our eyes also go through some changes as we age, and this can cause a variety of vision problems. However, the most common vision problem associated with aging is the loss of our ability to see things up close, also known as farsightedness (implying that we can still see things far away). Farsightedness (presbyopia) is caused by the lens of the eye becoming stiffer. Other age-related eye problems include:
- Age-related macular degeneration
Foods high in beta-carotene (carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes) are known to be beneficial to eye health.
4: Muscle Mass
Eyesight begins to decline at age 40 and many other problems begin at a later age, but we begin to lose muscle mass at age 30. Even though muscle mass continues to decrease over time, the elderly don’t lose all of their strength— but they do lose some. Regular exercise and consuming an adequate amount of protein can strengthen muscles and delay the muscle loss that comes with aging.
Constant exposure to loud noises without proper ear protection, without a doubt, leads to hearing loss— but natural changes in hearing occur as we age. Age-related hearing loss is referred to as presbycusis, and it’s marked by increasing difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds. Because this type of hearing loss can result from changes in the ear (due to aging), it can be hard to prevent. However, protecting your hearing now can help preserve your hearing later.
Hair loss is another normal part of aging, while many other things can cause this, such as medical conditions, hormones, and genetics. Some elderly individuals eventually go bald, while others keep a full head of hair. Because hair loss is caused by a variety of factors, preventing it can be tricky. Some things that may work include:
- Eating more protein (including bovine collagen)
- Taking hair vitamins
- Using hair growth oils, such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil
There are hair loss treatments for both women and men who have already experienced hair loss.
7: Bone Density
Another thing that starts to decrease after the younger age of 30 is our bone density. Losing bone density is especially dangerous for those who develop osteoporosis after the age of 50, which is also known as “brittle bone disease”.
This is why elder falls are the most common injuries among senior citizens. These types of falls most often occur in the home, but they can also occur anywhere outside of the home. Falls inside the home are often caused by clutter and slippery surfaces (such as in the bathroom), while falls outside of the home are often caused by the negligence of a property owner.
Overall, many of these age-related losses can be prevented, slowed down, or managed by a healthy diet— such as increasing your intake of vitamin D and calcium for stronger bones. Regular exercise also helps maintain bone and muscle mass, and it also can help with brain function, which helps a number of other bodily functions.