There comes a time in everyone’s life when you find yourself asking quite reasonably, is your body ageing too fast, and what can I do to fight back against progress of the years. Everyday situations that used to be simple now take a little longer or need a little more effort but what are the symptoms of this slow descent, what is causing them and is it possible to turn back the clock either physically or mentally?
Physical Symptoms Of Ageing
Let’s run through all those individually small things that start to add up slowly from starting to walk slower, developing sun spots, small memory lapses, aching joints and dry skin. These are the relatively insignificant elements involved in the process because as time passes it seems to get worse with symptoms that seem altogether more frightening. We are talking about bruising easily, difficulty climbing stairs, loss of hand strength, vision impairment, and weight gain.
In the grand scheme of things you might be thinking some weight gain is normal and harmless but do you know health problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes become a risk quickly. A waist line of 35 inches for a woman or more than 40 for a man put you into a risk group.
But what about the rest? What dangers do they pose and how can we combat the signs, or symptoms of ageing?
If walking slows down in our 40s this could be a sign of premature ageing, but as walking is the best exercise for overall health so the answer is to walk more and develop a routine that increases in duration incrementally. Developing sun spots on the face arms and hands in common and just one of the effects of aging on skin in our 50s, and they are only dangerous if they blacken, change shape, or bleed. Basically, reduced exposure to the sun can help prevent these from appearing.
The issue of memory loss is always a difficult one to put a finger on because obviously we all forget things, especially in our 50s. It’s not until around 65 that serious problems like Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia can occur, but it’s important to understand dementia is not a normal aging process. To help keep a clear mind it’s important to eat healthily, stay socially active and take plenty of exercise.
Aching joints don’t effect everyone but if this is something affecting you it’s worth seeing a doctor because osteoarthritis is a real risk as we age, around 45 for men and 55 for women.
The issue of difficulty climbing stairs could be perfectly normal due to lack of exercise or pain and balance issues, or even medication causing to issue. Just like everything else hand strength can suffer as we age. For all these complaints Aching joints, climbing stairs, reduced hand strength can all be combated by strength-training and aerobic exercises.
As we age in to and past our 40s our skin produced less oil so we can have dry skin. To combat this we can change our habits like showering rather than taking a bath, use gentle cleansers, moisturizers, drink lots of water, and try not to stay in dry air conditions.
Some people are lucky and only need glasses later in life but it’s normal to stat wearing them in our 40s. This is normal and not something to be worried about. However, always get your eyes checked because serious illness can occur like glaucoma, cataracts, and muscular degeneration. Some ways to prevent eye damage and wear is to quit smoking, eat healthily, and again keep up the exercises for strength.
Possibly one of the most troubling issues as we age and one that gives us food for thought is the easy bruising as we enter our 60s. It seems at the drop of a hat a bruise will appear and take forever to go. This is caused by the thinning of the skin and fat layers leaving the blood vessel open to damage.
How Age Affects Sleeping?
Three things are well known on the subject of sleep. Firstly, it is recommended we get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, secondly, as we age we get less and less, and thirdly, sleep deprivation is so serious and detrimental to health that it is used as torture in many parts of the world.
Getting old affects us all in similar way, particularly in sleeping patterns where it becomes more difficult getting to sleep, easier to be woken, meaning we can find ourselves tired during the day and prone to napping.
There are contributing factors at play here, such as chronic pain brought about by age related Arthritis, or back pain. Or it could Neurological factors at play for example Parkinson’s can cause involuntary movements disturbing sleep or Alzheimer’s can unsettle people around the time they want to sleep.
For those on medication for serious condition like high blood pressure, thyroid problems, heart disease, interrupted sleep is common due to the side effects of the medications, but your doctor may be able to adjust the dosage to help reduce the symptoms to aid sleep.
Waking in the night for bathroom break is also common and can be nothing but a nuisance, but sometimes it can be a sign of diabetes, heart failure, infection, inflammation, and other age-related bladder problems. The first thing to do is cut back on alcohol and caffeine and see if there is an improvement before seeking help from your health care provider.
Sleeping patterns also change which can be an issue if you are still working and need to stick to a timetable. However, if you are retired it could be beneficial to listen to your body’s internal clock and sleep when you feel sleepy and wake when you are rested.
Unfortunately some conditions like Sleep Apnea where breathing is repeatedly cut off through the night can occur as early as your 40s, and leaves the sufferer exhausted. In some cases this can be treated by losing weight but other times it needs to be treated by a professional.
It’s been seen that those with problems of depression and anxiety can see the condition worsen with age. This may be brought on by worrying about everyday issues while dealing with aging and general worries of health and the future. If it becomes so bad that sleep is effected a doctor should be consulted.
Lastly, heart issues can be a big player in this problem of too little sleep. As the symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, racing pulse occur it interferes with sleep and in turn causes the worsening of the heart condition meaning a loop of poor health forms, in this situation it’s imperative to seek medial help to reduce the symptoms.
The options to combat sleeplessness
The options to combat sleeplessness caused by pain may range from physical therapy or surgery in serious cases, to over-the-counter pain relievers for pain and inflammation. With Neurological and cardio vascular issues it’s a medical professional who should the symptoms of these conditions.
In general terms there are some effective ways to self help. These are lifestyle changes from cutting back on Caffeine and Alcohol, taking time to exercise to loose weight and stay healthy. A positive attitude is also a real advantage so cognitive therapy, hypnosis, taking up a relaxing hobby, or just talking to friends can help elevate worries.
So, you may find yourself asking what can I take to help me sleep or what is the best medication for insomnia? If we understand the causes of sleeplessness then surely we can find a way to combat this condition, whether it’s natural ways to help you sleep or medication for insomnia.
Small changes to sleep routine can be helpful such as leaving mobile devices out of the bedroom, playing relaxing music, creating a relaxation routine. If you find your self thinking and worrying about the next day and the tasks that need doing, a good idea is to create a list before going to bed meaning neither your conscious or unconscious mind needs to think about those details. Hopefully, allowing you to fall asleep and stay that way.
Otherwise, there are natural herbal remedies that help promote sleep, as well as medication that may help but it’s better to ask a medical profession before taking that route, just to be safe as some side effects can be expected.
The Answer Is Developing Resilience.
One interesting idea regarding mental, physical, and emotional health is something called Resilience, but what is it and how can it help?
Put simply Resilience is the practice of finding a way to face life’s challenges, adversities, and crises and come out with the capacity to recover from difficult life events. That could be poor physical health such as cancer, mental issues such as depression, or emotional stress brought on by such things as bereavement.
Trying to find ways to deal with depression by developing mental toughness is a complimentary approach to other treatments but is it something that can help, just as it will help show how to improve self confidence, develop compassion, acceptance, meaning, and forgiveness.
These qualities can be a serious boost to dealing with difficult life threatening circumstances. You have heard the express “laughter is the best medicine” well, yes and no, if you have cancer then surgery or Chemotherapy could be your best option. However, a strong belief in ones own strength and abilities to overcome serious illness can never be under estimated. It can literally mean the difference between someone having the strength and ability not just manage emotionally, but physically recover for serious illness. For a more details look at this fascination idea just follow this link to Developing Resilience.
The Take Away
So what I hope we take away from this piece is the fundamental need to develop a healthy lifestyle and develop mental and emotional strength and maturity, to help take us through all the life challenges that we are all inevitable going to experience.
If we can work towards preparing ourselves for those battles we have a better chance of not only coming out the other side, but also suffering less in turns of personal trauma throughout the difficult times ahead.
If this was helpful or interesting please share with others who may benefit from this post. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a line.
Thanks for visiting. See you next time.
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