Taking Care of Your Health and Your Appearance in Your Later Years

Taking Care of Your Health

Our bodies go through numerous changes throughout the entire life cycle, and the most rapid changes seem to happen during infancy and early childhood, adolescence, and during middle age. The changes that occur in the first half of life are all good changes, but the changes that occur during the second half of life are associated with decline— which is why it’s important to take extra good care of your health during these years. However, your appearance is just as important as well, and here’s how you can achieve both.


Bones and Joints

It’s no secret that our bones and joints get weaker as we get older. In fact, osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis and is very common after the age of 50. Osteoporosis is another common disease that occurs after age 50, and it’s when bones become weaker and more brittle. 

The main reason these two conditions are pretty common in later life is because we reach our peak bone mass at 30— after that, we begin to lose bone density and this can put strain on the joints as well. The best way to reduce your risk of both osteoporosis and osteoarthritis is to participate in weight-bearing exercises. Depending on your ability level (not necessarily age), you can lift weights or try pilates.


Eyesight and Hearing

Eyesight and hearing are two of the five senses that tend to diminish quickly as we age, though this isn’t true for every senior citizen. Still, the majority of people over 65 admit that their eyesight and/or hearing isn’t as clear as it once was. Ideally, you’ll want to prevent hearing and vision loss before it starts by protecting your ears and eyes. This includes not listening to loud music in your headphones and not staring at a computer screen for hours on end.

However, it’s never too late to preserve your eyesight and hearing— as long as you still have them. You can preserve your hearing by turning down the volume, keeping your ears dry, and by not using cotton swabs in your ears. Preserve your eyesight by doing the following:

  • Eating nutritiously (foods high in omega-3s, vitamins C and E
  • Quitting smoking
  • Wearing sunglasses outside and blue light glasses while on the computer


Hair, Skin, and Nails

Our hair, skin, and nails also start to go through some changes as we age. Hair and nails become more brittle and can break off easier, while skin becomes less elastic and wrinkles appear. It helps to have a good hair care and skincare routine, but what you eat can also impact all three of these areas. Eat these vitamin B-rich foods to improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails:

  • Beans
  • Dairy
  • Fruit
  • Lentils
  • Poultry
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains

Collagen is also a great supplement that helps support hair, skin, nails, and joints. Not many food sources provide a significant amount of collagen, so it’s best to take this in supplement form. This, combined with healthy lifestyle habits can improve appearance and function.


Teeth and Oral Health

Just as our bones weaken with age, so does the enamel on our teeth— which can lead to various dental problems. It’s still important to brush twice a day (just not too vigorously) and to continue seeing your dentist to help avoid more serious problems, such as oral cancer. You may even want to invest in a toothpaste that helps rebuild enamel and limit your intake of foods that weaken your enamel, such as citrus fruits, fruit juices, soft drinks, and wine. Your oral health will positively (or negatively) impact your overall health.

Still, over a quarter of adults over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth— which is why many older adults get dentures. However, dentures aren’t the same as they were a few decades ago, and some older adults may not even need a full or half set. If you only have a few teeth missing, look into getting snap on teeth. These false teeth cover imperfections, including broken or chipped teeth.


For best results, try to start taking better care of your health as early as possible to increase your risk of developing any of these issues. Even if you’re already of senior citizen age, it’s still not too late to start taking better care of your health. Every little bit you do counts and can make a huge and positive impact on your health.

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