What to expect as we age

What to expect as we age

posted in: Health News | 0

Do you wonder what is considered a normal part of ageing?  We know that ageing will likely cause us to develop wrinkles and grey hair.  But do we know how the aging process will affect our teeth, heart and sexuality?

As we age, our heart rate becomes slightly slower, and our heart might become bigger.  Our blood vessels and our arteries also become stiffer, causing our heart to work harder to pump blood through them.  This can lead to high blood pressure, medically termed as hypertension, and other cardiovascular problems.

To promote heart health, we need to include physical activity in our daily routine.  Try walking, swimming or other activities we might enjoy.  Regular moderate physical activity can help us maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and lessen the extent of arterial stiffening.

Eat a healthy diet by choosing vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fibre foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish.  Limit foods high in saturated fats and sodium.  A healthy diet can help our heart and arteries remain in good physical shape.

Don’t smoke because smoking contributes to the hardening of our arteries and increases our blood pressure and heart rate.  If you do smoke, or use other tobacco products, seek advice to help you quit.

Manage stress because stress can take a toll on your heart. Take steps to reduce stress, or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.

With age, bones tend to shrink in size and density. This weakens them and makes them more susceptible to fracture.  We might even become a bit shorter!  Muscles generally lose strength and flexibility, and we might become less coordinated or have trouble balancing.

To promote bone, joint and muscle health, get adequate amounts of calcium.  Experts now agree that the best source of calcium is from the foods we eat.  Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products such as tofu.  A calcium supplement can be used to complement this dietary intake if needed, but it should be low dose.

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