There’s something daunting about aging — especially if you don’t know the facts.
Behind every lie there is some truth. Below you will find myths about aging, the facts behind the myth, and ways to prevent these common misconceptions from becoming your reality.
Aging Myth #1 You’ll Feel Older
FACT: There will be physical changes as you age.
Decrease in Physical Strength, Endurance, and Flexibility- Muscle strength and flexibility decrease with age.
Decline in Efficiency of Body Organs – The heart requires more oxygen while working with less, lungs become less elastic, kidneys slow, and the skin ages.
Loss of Bone Mass – Shrinkage and thinning of the bones occur while compression of the spinal column is responsible for height loss and Osteoporosis.
Slower Reflexes – Joint movements slow and reaction time slows due to changes in the central nervous system.
PREVENTION: Live healthy.
Lifestyle – Limit alcohol consumption, avoid smoking, and stay active to age gracefully.
Nutrition – Healthy eating habits keep muscles, bones, organs, and the mind strong.
Medical Care – Regular check ups, vaccines, and taking prescribed medication will help maintain your well being.
Aging Myth #2 You’ll Lose your Mind
FACT: Memory loss is a part of the aging process.
Decreased Blood Flow – Older people are more likely to have impaired memory
and changes in cognitive skills because of decreased blood flow to the brain.
Deterioration of the Hippocampus – The region of the brain responsible for the formation and retrieval of memories starts to deteriorate with age.
Decline in Hormones and Proteins – Growth factors that protect and repair brain cells and stimulate neural growth decline with age.
Loss of Nutrient Absorption – As the body ages, the body is less efficient in absorbing brain enhancing nutrients.
PREVENTION: Be proactive; use it or lose it.
Medication Management – Combinations of drugs can cause cognitive problems and memory loss, talk with your doctor about all the medications you are taking.
Stay Hydrated – Dehydration can cause confusion, drowsiness and memory loss. Drink 6 to 8 cups of water per day to avoid dehydration and memory loss.
Exercise your Body – Regular exercise boosts the development of new brain cells and also manages anxiety and depression, leading to a healthier brain and reducing the risk of memory loss.
Exercise your Brain – Mental exercise can increase your brain power and lower the risk of dementia; play games that involve strategy like chess or Scrabble, or plan a project that involves design like a garden or a quilt.
Aging Myth #3 You’ll be Depressed
FACT: As you age, you can experience more loss.
Loss in Health – Changes in mental and physical capabilities can make it hard to cope with aging.
Loss in Social Life – Physical loss can result in the limit of ability to participate in social activities; thus, leading to fading relationships.
Loss in Work – Retirement can represent a loss in stature, position, money, authority, and independence.
PREVENTION: Learn to adjust and cope with your loss.
Stay Active – The best way to cope with aging and loss of ability is to engage in activities that help your body and brain function.
Remain Open – Do not close your mind to new possibilities. Listen to your family and friends when they make suggestions in ways to make your life easier. Develop new friendships, interests, and hobbies that you can still physically participate in.
Plan – Retirement can be everything you thought it would be. Planning is the key to a successful retirement. It can be a time to maintain close friendships, travel the world, do things you never had time for, and discover new hidden dreams.
These are just a few myths of aging that scare us. In reality, when you take care of yourself and learn to deal with your body’s changes, aging can be one of the most rewarding times of your life.
Do you have any other misconceptions or myths about aging to add? Let us know in the comments below.