Getting better with age
Sure, there are a few extra aches and pains, but there are also ways in which your health and wellbeing can improve as you get older, plus local news & diary date
With passing birthdays, not everything sags, droops, or wears out. Some changes are for the better and some things really do improve with age, including your self-confidence, your skin, and your sex life! Here are six changes that may make you overlook the number of candles on the cake…
- Fewer migraines
According to The Migraine Trust, a UK-based migraine research charity, 40% of migraine suffers will notice they don’t have them anymore by age 65. If you are a woman who suffers from migraine attacks, you are likely to find they become less severe or frequent, and in many cases may stop altogether. This could be due to the menopause, as oestrogen is a common migraine trigger – women are three times as likely to have migraines than men –
but it may also be because stress levels drop, too. Since other health conditions could provoke migraines, aim to keep existing problems under control, and to prevent others from developing.
- Building brain skills
With age, lots of people worry that their brain power is on the decline. However, while we might process and retrieve information more slowly when we get older, this doesn’t mean our thinking is less sharp. Some of our cognitive skills, such as the ability to remember names, learn new words, and process information, peak at different times. If you make the most of your memory and use it regularly, that portion of your brain can actually improve when you get older.
- Fewer colds
Every time your body is exposed to a cold and other minor viral infections, it develops antibodies – or an “immune memory” – so it can more easily fight it off next time round. This means that the more you age, the more likely it is that you’ll be immune to many – but not all – common colds. There are more than 200 different viruses that cause colds. Unfortunately, this increased immunity doesn’t apply to the flu virus, as this bug mutates so it’s worth getting a flu jab every year.
- A youthful heart
Surprisingly, the heart hardly ages at all and actually can strengthen – as long as you keep your cholesterol and blood pressure in check. Although there is some narrowing of arteries with aging, the pumping ability of the heart stays strong throughout life in healthy people. Genes do play a part in the way your heart ages, but the healthier your lifestyle, the more likely your heart will stay strong well into your 80’s and 90’s.
- Improved self-confidence
As we age, our knowledge of the world – and ourselves – grows. Our sense of self-identity gets stronger, and we’ve acquired a lot of different experiences to support that. With all these things together, you know who you are and what you’re about, and you have a lot more self-confidence than when you were younger. Levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine become lower as we age. That, combined with the fact we may also begin to feel more laid-back and have life experience to draw on, means we won’t worry about the small things so much, which also boosts our self-confidence.
- Better sex life
Things inevitably change as you get older, but don’t assume that sex needs to fall by the wayside. Many 60-plus people enjoy an active sex life that is often better than what they enjoyed in early adulthood, due to having more time to spend together, less worries and stress from the pressures of everyday life. Having a physically and mentally healthy partner and satisfaction with sleep are some of the other reasons credited with the increase of sex in the millennium’s seniors, according to recent Swedish research.