As you get older, your body changes in many ways. You may feel the same inside, but your physical appearance and abilities change with age, so the way you look after yourself should change as well. Our bodies require more care the older we get, but there are some health issues that are more common in certain periods of our lives. If you know this then you can prepare for their arrival.
In your twenties
At this age you are still young and healthy, so make the most of it! You should be extremely active and eating a good, nutritious diet. Don’t worry too much about what you eat, however, because obsessing over a healthy diet and body weight can be counter-productive and even dangerous. Eating disorders are a common health problem at this age, especially among women, and indeed mental stress over trying to “have it all” can be debilitating for young people feeling pressurized by advertising and unrealistic lifestyle models.
Also, even though in your twenties you might feel invincible, be aware that your actions at this stage in your life can impact on your health in decades to come, leading to problems like hearing loss or arthritis.
In your thirties
It’s in your thirties that you have to start thinking about your health a bit more seriously. Your body doesn’t bounce back from a night out quite so readily, so you might want to watch your alcohol consumption. You may also start putting on weight more readily, leading to pre-diabetes– a high level of glucose in the blood that can put you at risk of full-blown diabetes. Women trying to have their first child at this age may also experience fertility issues.
In your forties
Again, as your metabolism slows down further you’ll need to watch your diet and alcohol consumption to avoid putting on too much weight. Exercise regularly, not only for physical fitness but to relieve stress and the risk of depression. The risk of cancer and heart disease also increases in this decade.
The risk of eye diseases increases greatly in your forties, as more people experience macular degeneration, suffer from glaucoma or require cataract surgery. Foods high in antioxidants and vitamin supplements can help, alongside regular eye tests.
In your fifties
During the menopause women tend to accumulate fat around their waist and hips, while in men it goes straight to their gut, especially if they are drinking too much and not getting enough exercise. Cancer risks also increase, particularly for breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Cardiovascular disease affects over 30% of 45-54 year olds, and covers arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease, arrhythmia, heart failure, hypertension strokes and heart disease, the last of which is the leading cause of death in the US.
In your sixties and over
Almost 75% of over-sixties suffer from obesity, which is related to type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gall bladder disease, high blood pressure and various cancers. The best policy is to increase exercise, reduce drinking and reduce your calorie intake. Cut out smoking and Trans fats while increasing your intake of healthy, unsaturated and omega 3 fats. Avoid sugar and high fructose sweeteners, and try to eat as naturally and healthily as possible.
Photo via: Pixabay