How We Really Age
Growing old is no fun, but there are things you can do to maintain optimum health. One way is to keep your body as flexible as possible. Our spines are like the trunk of a tree; it can tell you how old you feel by it's flexibility or lack thereof. The rest of your body (both skeletal, muscular and vascular) is also a good indicator of how you are aging. Here are some things you should know and what you can do to help maintain optimum health:
1. Bones - Women must pay careful attention to their bones. We tend to lose bone mass when we reach our 40s and it can significantly decrease after menopause. Up until age 50 women should be taking 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day along with 200 units of vitamin D. After age 50 you should be consuming 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 units of vitamin D. If you are over 70, you can take up to 600 units of vitamin D a day, but never more than that as it can be toxic. Make sure you get a bone scan at age 50 and try to add some aerobic and weight bearing exercise if you haven't already done so.
2. Joints - Again, exercise is key to maintaining good joint health. Keep your leg muscles strengthened to support your knee and hip joints. There are joint soothers that you can buy in health food stores which can also be very helpful to keep joints from stiffening. Remember to warm up joints prior to exercise and apply heat to alleviate stiffness.
3. Heart and blood vessels - Again, exercise is key in order to maintain a healthy heart. Try to work in 30 minutes of brisk walking a day if possible. Also, eat more fiber rich foods such as oatmeal and whole grain breads, rice and pasta. Add folate to your diet, limit sodium intake and try to add fish to your diet at least twice a week. Also, eating vitamin B12 fortified foods or taking a B12 supplement is recommended after the age of 50.