Aging Gracefully

Maintaining Your Health

Getting older should be a joy. Age equates to more experiences, more memories, and more wisdom. As we age, it becomes more and more important to take care of our bodies so that we can experience this joy that we have earned with the extra trips around the sun. 

Take care of your skin

The skin is our largest organ totaling nearly 20 square feet! Protect your skin from the sun. We all know that sunscreen is the starting point for sun protection. Make sure you use at least 15 SPF and reapply every two hours. Many companies now make protective clothing with sunscreen built into the fabric. You may want to seek these options if you are not great at remembering to reapply sunscreen.

Both smoking and secondhand smoking are unhealthy for your skin. The toxins in cigarettes damage the collagen and elastin which keep your skin firm and supple. Without these components, your skin becomes harder and less elastic which results in early aging. Your skin will show more wrinkles around your eyebrows, eyes, and mouth. Sagging may also begin to show on the jawline. 

Our skin loves water and a proper diet. Be sure to drink plenty of water each day and include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Antioxidant rich foods seem to offer protection for our skin. These foods include: berries, nuts, beans, peas, lentils, fatty fish, leafy green vegetables, yellow/orange fruits and vegetables. 

Keep your body moving

Exercise has many benefits for the body. For an aging body, exercise can help you:

  1. Improve your metabolism. If you are looking to maintain or lose weight, exercise is very important to moving the needle on your metabolism so that your body can burn calories appropriately.
  2. Reducing the risk of chronic illness. From Alzheimer’s disease to blood pressure and even some cancers, exercise can reduce your risks for life altering chronic illness. Read more about the benefits from Mayo clinic.   
  3. Enhance your ability to move. As we age, our posture, flexibility, and balance can weaken. Exercise can improve your strength and have positive effects on these areas so that you reduce your risk of falling. 

Recognize changes in your senses

Your eyes can become drier with age and the lens can lose its accuracy to properly focus. You may notice your vision becoming blurry and out of focus. Annual checkups with your eye doctor can help you address these problems. It is especially important to have vision checkups if you have diabetes. 

You may also begin to experience hearing loss due to changes in nerves of hearing and ear structures. The higher frequencies are often the most difficult to hear. Discuss these challenges with your doctor. Hearing aids may be an option for you. These devices are quite small with modern technology and quite user friendly. 

Many of us love to eat and find comfort in familiar flavors. With age, you may experience a loss of sense of smell and taste. This can result in a loss of appetite and weight loss. 

Be sure to have annual appointments with your doctor. Discuss the changes you have experienced. This is a great opportunity to stay in front of any of the discomforts of aging so that you can continue to experience the joy of your life. 

HealthStar Physicians is a multi-specialty physicians group with 14 locations in six counties including three after hours clinics. We live and work right here in East Tennessee. We would love to meet with you to discuss your concerns with aging. Reach out to us and set up an appointment. We accept most forms of health insurance. Contact us to find out more.

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