How to Care for Your Ageing Body | Caravan Sonnet

How to Care for Your Ageing Body

August 2, 2019


Picture by Leninscape

What most of us have in common is that we want to be fit and able when our retirement date strikes and we want to be alive and well so that we can see and look after our children as they grow up. Sadly, aging is something that all of us will endure. A few signs of aging may have even been brought to your attention already. Such as, your vision may have begun to change and you may notice that your hair is changing as the texture and color are something new to you. Not to mention the energy you once had seems to have dissipated into thin air. Although mentally, we may still feel like we’re 21 years old, our bodies slowly tell us that we can’t physically do the things we once did with ease or without effort anymore. How quick your body ages, however, is mostly down to several factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, and your environment. 

Not to labor too much over what areas of our body begin to show deterioration, as it’s not particularly riveting or comforting to read about, but the changes in our digestive system for one is something most of us can resonate with past 30 years old. The food we eat in our early twenties, now happily sits on various places of our body if we’re not careful and refuses to budge. Our skin deserves a mention too. Being the largest organ in the body, it holds us together and is continuously working to keep us protected from bacteria, pollution, and the sun! As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and doesn't produce as much oil as it once did. Meaning our first defense to out of body threats becomes weaker, and because of that, we are susceptible to becoming ill. 

However, all of this talk about our aging bodies isn’t the be-all and end-all. It’s never, ever too late to start taking care of your aging body. Here’s what you need to do to keep you in good health and full of beans.

Regular Exercise

Picture by Arek Adeoye

Before you skip to the next step, with an ‘I know this one already’ look, exercise doesn't have to be the dull workout in the gym you’re imagining. When exercise is made out to be a chore, it's challenging to stick to it. And so, if at-home workout videos and power walks around the park make you cringe (if they don’t then, good for you), there are so many other areas of exercise to explore. Like passive exercise! Such as gardening and cleaning. Hoovering your home and scrubbing the floors takes energy and action! And pushing the lawnmower around and plowing the soil in the garden gets you moving too. Furthermore, going to the park with your children or grandchildren, and playing tag, or football - is social, fun, and is bound to work up a sweat. But, amongst all this, don’t overdo it! We all have our limits, and there’s no point straining yourself to the point you experience an SD hernia, meaning that you can’t move for the next three days. Take it easy and start small by getting active.

Checkups

Avoiding the doctors' polite invitation for a checkup is a no go. Since you were born, the nurses and doctors have been on your case about vaccinations, BMI assessments, and any aches and pains you may be experiencing and so forth to check you are healthy and able. That doesn't stop when you get older, it’s just as important to see the medical professionals. Whether to see what's going on with your blood pressure, or that wheezy cough that you’ve not been able to get rid of for the past few weeks. It's also an opportunity for you to bring worries up at the doctors appointment and changes in your body you've noticed, such as restless nights and cold sweats you've been experiencing lately. We should never assume that we know everything about our body or just shrug unusual changes off as okay. Not to mention, it's quite nice to have some peace of mind when the nurse or doctor agrees that you are in fact all okay.

Sleep Schedule

Speaking of sleep. There were those times that you could happily forgo sleep and STILL have energy the next day. Where did that time go? And now those days are long gone, caffeine may be a regular friend of yours just to keep you awake on a typical working day. The solution (well part of it) to your fatigue is simple, cheap, and effective - it’s sleep, and it’s incredibly overlooked. To the point that some of you may have just had a sudden realization that you don't actually sleep as much as you probably should. It’s understandable to a point, as we get older, we take on more commitments to build the life we want meaning our career, family, hobbies sap up our time and then sleep is sometimes put on the back burner as an ‘I'll do it later’ task. The fact is, your sleep shouldn’t wait for anyone or anything (if you can help it). It should be at a set time each night, without technology and bright lights, but with sleep masks and the aroma of lavender oil to soothe you into a deep healthy sleep. Our sleep is our bodies time to experience heightened relaxation and recovery. Without it, diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or a heart attack is the threat that looms of those with chronic sleep deprivation. To give your aging body a fighting chance of keeping healthy, try to sleep for at least 8 hours of sleep per night. 

The human body is a remarkable vessel. When we think about the capacity of what it does without our prompting. From the digestive processes to warding off illnesses, and regulating our body temperature, a lot of us can probably agree that we’re not making a conscious effort or active approach to give our bodies what it needs to stay in good health. So make an effort to attend your medical appointments, workout what exercise fits into your lifestyle and prioritize your sleep to help take care of your aging body.

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