Tips for Aging Gracefully and What to Expect as We Get Older
Boomer’s–Don’t Let Aging Take You Down
Here we are embarking on another year and it’s already the middle of January. The time seems to pass by ever so quickly these days that it’s almost scary. I pride myself in having a bit of a routine to follow in the morning, mid-day, then in the evening and before I know it, I’m repeating the process all over again.
With that as a backdrop along with my last blog, I thought about what matters to Boomers and Seniors the most these days, and it appears the subject of “aging” wins out again. So, I’ve decided to devote the next several blogs to this non-elusive, matter-of-fact, here it comes knocking on our door process of aging.
I want to point out, as usual I spend time referencing the contents of my blogs to sources that I deem credible and contemporary in thinking. Such is the case here and I want to acknowledge Active Beat (www.activebeat.com) as one such source for valuable input. Special credit is given to both Chelsea Dolan and Katherine George for their editorial contribution.
Yes, you can talk to your doctor all you want about your aches and pains and how to slow down the aging process, but there is a softer and more subjective side of aging that often times does not get discussed. That’s why I’m here.
First and foremost, aging is inevitable and pretty much out of our control. Sorry folks, we can’t avoid it so we have to learn to go with the flow and make it as smooth as possible. Now then, here’s the kicker, we aren’t getting any younger, but we can age more gracefully and with stronger determination by doing just a few things to improve the process. I will be delving into a myriad of things we should be doing as we get older to enhance our lifestyle and prolong a healthy longevity.
That is a major discussion topic and will be the focus of my later blogs, so for now I thought it would be fun and enlightening to talk about expectations. Of course, there are the traditional aches and pains, but what about all the other nuances that accompany aging. Sometimes it’s not a pretty picture, but here goes a check on reality. YIKES!
WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MY HAIR AND WHERE DID IT GO. A fairly well-known fact among hair restoration professionals is that as we age the hair on our head is thinning. For us women, it’s most likely due to a loss of estrogen. Try adding a vitamin supplement. A friend recommends Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin and Nails gummies from Costco (www.costco.com) and has noticed a dramatic improvement, especially with longer and thicker hair. As if hair loss and hair thinning isn’t enough, apparently our eyebrows and eyelashes are at risk too, so if you find that happening, use an eyebrow pencil to fill in the patchy areas.
NOW I HAVE MORE FACIAL HAIR. The shift is on. My hair is thinning but I find more hair growing on my face, especially in the area of my chin. Men also experience this phenomenon but more so in the ears and nose. According to the medical experts, this is most likely caused by a natural shift in our hormones and there is little we can do about it. Make sure you have a good mirror and tweezers.
AM I REALLY GETTING SHORTER? Another fact of the aging process is that we do indeed shrink with age, and we have good ol’ gravity as the primary culprit. Overtime, the spaces between our vertebrae compress and in some cases our joints experience the same, thus giving cause to all of us shrinking about an inch during our lifetime. Remember our parents—they would hound us on posture, posture, posture.
MY BODY TEMPERATURE SEEMS TO BE CHANGING. For most of us women who have gone through our life changes, we will experience our body temperature to be slightly colder than when we were younger. As a result we find ourselves dressing with longer sleeves and wearing pants even in slightly warmer temperatures. Admittedly, some changes are a result in your medical condition and any particular medications that you might be taking such as for diabetes, high blood pressure, blood thinners, etc.
YEP, I’VE GAINED MORE BELLY FAT. Even when we’re in good health and great shape, it is inevitable that we put on a few pounds of unsightly belly fat. Here, your best friend is a full length mirror. Don’t just scream, do something about it with your diet and exercise. As Boomers being overweight can lead to more serious issues down the road, e.g. cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
I SLEEP PRETTY WELL AT NIGHT, BUT STILL FIND A NAP IS NECESSARY. Well, all I can say is I find the idea of a nap quite appealing. Come on now. If you’re like me, we don’t have the energy levels at 70 that we did when we were in our 30’s and 40’s. In addition, my sleep habits are probably not optimum in that I don’t fall asleep right away and most likely don’t go into a truly deep and restful sleep.
With all that, it is essential we get somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Yes, sleep patterns change as we age, and we have to be mindful of how these changes manifest themselves throughout the day. Don’t hesitate one minute to discuss this matter with your primary care physician if you feel it is becoming problematic.
I’M AN EARLY RISER. Even with the good night’s sleep, we find ourselves rising earlier in the morning. It’s certainly not a bad thing as we can get going earlier in the day and be slightly more productive which is a good thing.
I FIND MY SENSE OF SMELL AND TASTE IS DULL. As we age our senses actually diminish. Whether it’s due to medications, state of health, allergies or whatever, our sense of smell and taste seem to be most affected. One source recommends battling this by cooking with things that will spice up flavors such as rosemary, thyme, garlic, onions, peppers and various mustards. Make sure you stay away from adding excess salt for the flavor.
I FIND I CAN MANAGE STRESS BETTER. If you’re like me, we’ve been through a few rodeos and have a great deal of experiences under our belt. We still spend time worrying about things like money, work, family, friendships, relationships and health, but we tend not to overly concern ourselves about these matters as we did when we were younger. Don’t get me wrong, stress doesn’t just disappear as we get older, but I do find it’s more manageable than in my youth.
MIGRAINES CAN DISAPPEAR. According to WebMD, people over the age of 70 tend to have less migraines than frequently experienced in their younger years. Not only is this good news, but they’re not replaced with headaches. They seem to disappear altogether.
WRINKLES AND ACNE—ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I suppose most of us have come to the conclusion that facial wrinkles are just part of the process. They’re primarily due to the fact that as we age our skin dries out and along with collagen loss makes it more prone to wrinkling and god forbid, acne. It’s almost like we’re going full circle when we look in the mirror and there it is, a horrible pimple. Don’t fret, at our age they are typically formed as a result of eating certain foods or improper cleansing that allows for oil build-up. Start using a good cleanser every evening, one that comes with retinol to help soften and moisturize your skin. Soon you’ll look like you’re 40—just kidding.
I am picking up from Costco a new vitamin complex with Collagen and Biotin which is designed to help smooth out some of the wrinkles. I’ll be sure to let you know how it works. One other remedy I can’t stress enough—drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
These are just a few of the interesting tidbits you will notice about your aging process. Not everyone will experience all of them, but I’ll bet you know someone who has a few of those and more.
There are three more installments on this wonderful journey of aging that I trust you will find helpful in not only understanding what you might experience but also how to best deal with them.
Please reach out to me and let me know if you find this material meaningful. As mentioned, I did source a great deal of it from Active Beat which I consider a reputable publication and put it into a format that I thought would be most readable and appreciated.
All the best to all of us Boomers as we walk down this path of getting older. Just remember, while we might be adding on a few years, we are still RELEVANT!
Editorial sourcing and contribution: Active Beat, by Chelsea Dolan and Katherine George