Getting older is a part of life. As we age, we may notice things like wrinkles and grey hair emerge. However, there’s one thing that changes with age that we may not notice right away: our health.
Health changes as we grow older. Our bodies slow down, which means we aren’t able to bounce back from illnesses and injuries like we once did. This is why it’s important to look at the signs and pay attention to health as the years go on. There’s a lot to unpack with health and age, though — where do you start? Here are ten things to know about the relationship between age and health.
People Are Living Longer Lives
One key reason to learn about the relationship between age and health is that people are living longer. According to the World Health Organization, most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond for the first time in history. Since people are living longer, they need to understand how to live healthy lives.
As people live longer, they’ll need to plan for the years ahead. This means making long-term plans for their health and finances. People generally aim to retire when they’re in their mid-60s, so it’s important to plan for retirement when you’re younger. People as young as 18 can open up retirement accounts and start planning for the future. People in their early to mid-20s also start investing in 401Ks (if their employer offers them). If a company matches that 401K, that’s extra money earned for retirement.
More long-term plans for health will need to be made, too. Booking doctor’s appointments, getting the right medications, and having a long-term plan for personalized care will be important as time goes on. The more prepared you are now, the easier everything will be down the road.
Your Diet Matters As You Age
One of the defining factors in the relationship between age and health is diet. As we age, we have to be mindful of the food we eat. The way our bodies metabolize and react to food changes as we age. You may be able to eat sugary and high-fat foods as a young adult, but as you age, that diet could have a serious impact on your health. Eating too much sugar or high-fat foods can lead to the development of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Be sure to monitor your diet as you age to avoid these diseases from developing. As you age, focus on eating a balanced diet that gives you the proper vitamins and nutrients to support your body. Eat foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to get the balanced diet you need. You can even research an easy healthy recipe idea (or two) to cook each week to start making the healthy shift now.
If you have questions about your diet and how it should change with age, contact your doctor. They’ll give you advice on what kind of diet to follow given your health history.
You Must Have a Consistent Exercise Routine
As you explore the relationship between age and health, another thing to factor in is having a consistent exercise routine. As we age, our muscle strength declines, our bone density tends to decrease, and wear and tear from everyday life can impact our joints. This is why it’s important to have a consistent exercise routine as we age. Consistent exercise helps keep your muscles lean and increase your bone density. It’ll also help you maintain a healthy weight.
Engaging in just 10 minutes of physical activity every day can help you improve mobility and live longer. You can choose how you exercise. You could walk, jog, run, join a gym, or take a kickboxing class. It’s important to pick an exercise routine that works for you. You don’t want a routine that’s too hard, but you also want one that keeps you moving. Also, make sure you stick with this exercise routine. The more consistent you are with the routine, the better your overall health will be.
It’s Crucial To Keep Up With Doctor’s Appointments
Going to the doctor is important at any age, but it becomes crucial as you age. The relationship between age and health is one that directly impacts the other. As you age, your health will be impacted. You may develop conditions or come down with illnesses, which is a natural part of the aging process. You have to have those conditions and illnesses monitored, though. Regularly keeping up with your doctor’s appointments allows you to monitor your health and identify any risks that come up.
Generally, you are supposed to go to the doctor at least once per year to get a checkup. As you get older, you may have to visit the doctor more often. This depends on many factors, including your medical history. If you need to go to the doctor more often, your doctor will discuss that with you. They may also recommend you follow up with specialists to manage your health.
You must keep up with your recommended appointments. As you age, preventative appointments will help keep you healthy and catch any illnesses that may develop. Catching illnesses early on is key for maintaining your health as time goes on.
Going To The Dentist Is a Must
You have to make your oral health a priority as you age, which means going to the dentist. Your oral health ties closely to your overall health, so it must be monitored as time goes on. Don’t skip your dentist’s appointments as you get older. Instead, make sure you see the dentist at least twice a year for checkups. As we age, our gums may become thinner and start to recede. Our teeth may also become loose since tooth density tends to decline with age. To prevent any serious damage from happening, make sure you regularly keep up with your dentist’s appointments.
Your smile may change as you get older. Your teeth may shift, or you could even lose multiple teeth. If you want to fix this, you can talk to your dentist about reconstructive dentistry. You could have your teeth and/or gums fixed through oral surgery or other forms of reconstruction. And remember, you should also keep up your oral health routine as you age. Keep brushing your teeth twice a day and floss daily to help keep your mouth healthy.
Genetics and Environment Are Key Factors
When thinking about the relationship between age and health, something to keep in mind is that your genetics and environment will play large parts in that relationship. If your family members have lived to older ages, there’s a chance that you could live to be older, too. If you aren’t sure how old your relatives were when they passed, ask your family members for the information. It can give you insights into what your odds are of living to be a certain age.
Your environment is also a big factor in your health as you age. If you’re in an unhealthy environment, your chances of being healthy as you age will decline. For instance, if you live in a place that doesn’t have proper air circulation, you could develop conditions that impact your breathing. You could require asthma treatment or other forms of treatment for breathing issues. If you’re in an environment that encourages smoking, drinking, or other bad habits, it could tempt you to participate in those bad habits. Smoking or drinking over a long period of time can cause numerous health issues, including lung cancer, liver disease, and strokes.
The chances of these issues developing increases as you age. You must be aware of your surroundings and the environment you’re in order to take preventative measures.
Everyone Ages Differently
When trying to understand the relationship between age and health, you have to remember that everyone ages differently. Aging and health depend on factors like current health conditions, genetics, and environmental factors. How one person ages is different from how another person ages. You may look at other people and think, “If I just do what they’re doing, I’ll age the same way they are.” That’s not the case, though.
Some people may need dentures as they age, while others may not have any health conditions to worry about. No matter what your situation is, make sure you’re on top of it. Don’t compare your health and your aging process to anyone else’s. Focus on you and what you need to do to live the healthiest life possible.
You Have To Be Aware of Risks
The relationship between age and health is something we all have to understand as we get older. Part of understanding that relationship is understanding that as we age, we have to be aware of risks we may have not have thought of before. As we age, things may become harder for us to do. Activities like running, playing sports, and doing handiwork may become harder for us to do and put us at greater risk for injury.
As you age, you have to be aware of these risks. If you aren’t prepared, they could have a negative impact on your health. Be sure you know where the nearest urgent care or emergency room is just in case something happens. It’s better to be prepared just in case something happens as the years go on.
You Must Plan For The Future
Making plans for the future is an important part of aging and managing your health. The fact of the matter is that you never know when something can happen with your health. As you age, you have to plan for the future. One way you can do this is by investing in affordable life insurance. Life insurance will help your family deal with financial aspects once you pass away. It can help cover daily expenses, the mortgage, or help your family pay off debt.
It’s also important to get your will in order as you age. Your mind will be at rest knowing that if something were to happen, you’d have a plan for what happens to your assets. Write up your will and divide your personal belongings among your friends and family. Then, look up a wills attorney to look it over and ensure it’s legitimate.
As you age, your health may decline. It’s important to plan for any situations that may come up so you and your family aren’t caught off guard.
Long-Term Care May Be Needed
When analyzing the relationship between age and health, one thing to remember is that you can’t prevent aging from happening. What you can do, though, is be prepared. As you age and evaluate your future needs, don’t be afraid to plan for long-term care. As you age, your health may decline. That means you may need help as the years go on. This is a natural part of the aging process that must be taken into careful consideration.
There are many options for long-term care. You could choose to pursue home health care and get personalized care in the comfort of your own home. Or, you could choose to look into nursing homes that focus on provide around the clock care. Remember to look into options that work best for you. You may feel pressure to look into options that your family or friends think is best, but at the end of the day, it’s your health you have to look out for. Explore the options that work best for you and your situation.
There’s a lot to take in as you think about the relationship between age and health. At the end of the day, you have to pay close attention to your health as you age. Aging is a natural part of life, but some people may feel scared to think about health as they get older. If you’re feeling that way, you must confront your fears and take your health seriously as you age. The better you pay attention to it, the more preventative action you can take and be a healthier version of yourself.