Seven Things That Happen as We Age…and What to Do About Them
Getting older happens. It’s inevitable.
And with age, your body will change.
These changes typically start as early as a person’s 30s. Certainly by the time someone reaches their 40s, the symptoms of aging can’t be denied.
Getting older may be inevitable, but a lot can be done to slow down (or even prevent) these aging-related changes. In fact, to a large extent, the aging process can be managed. What’s more, the way you respond to these physiological changes could significantly impact your quality of life as you get older, not to mention your lifespan.
Here are seven of the biggest changes associated with aging…and what you can do to keep them from holding you back.
- Loss of muscle mass
- Weight gain
- Slower metabolism
- Loss of mental acuity
- Declining hormones
This is so common, there’s actually a medical term for it: sarcopenia.
Most people will lose 3-5% of their muscle mass every decade after their 30s. To make matters worse, this muscle loss is often accelerated during a person’s 60s, 70s, and beyond.
The primary cause for this decrease in muscle mass is hormone decline. In particular, men and women both need adequate supplies of the hormone testosterone to maintain lean muscle mass.
Meanwhile, reduced muscle mass is a significant contributor to the three F’s (falls, frailty, and fractures) as people get older.
The solutions: Resistance training goes a long way toward preserving muscle mass and strength. Making sure you get enough protein in your diet is important, too.
But diet and exercise will only go so far if your hormones are in decline. If you’re having trouble building and maintaining lean muscle mass, in spite of adequate resistance training and a healthy diet, get your hormones tested. If your hormones are deficient, an individually tailored hormone replacement program may be the answer. More on this below.
As people age, it can be harder and harder to lose weight…and easier and easier to gain it. It’s not uncommon for people to put on a pound or two per year once they reach their 30s and 40s. That may not sound like much, but over time it adds up.
Adult responsibilities, parenthood, and busy schedules can be common culprits in this trend as they often lead to the consumption of high calorie convenience food, as well as insufficient time for exercise.
But the bigger issue is what naturally happens to a person’s body composition with age. Thanks to declining hormones, body composition shifts, resulting in less muscle and more fat.
The solutions: Commit to a healthier lifestyle. Exercise regularly…with a mix of strength training and cardio. Maintain a healthy diet that is heavy on protein, fresh vegetables, and healthy fats, while avoiding sugar, carbohydrates, and processed foods. If your hormones are in decline, consider hormone replacement therapy.
The slide in terms of metabolism often starts during a person’s 30s. As you gain fat and lose muscle, your body will burn fewer calories. Many people will become less active as a result…which means more weight gain…and so on. It can become a viscous cycle. Meanwhile, many people continue to eat as though they have a 20-year old’s metabolism. The result? More calories get stored as fat.
Hormones have a role to play here, too. Declining hormones will result in a declining metabolism for most people.
The solutions: Reduce portion sizes as you get older. In particular, cut down on sugar and carbohydrates. Use exercise to keep your metabolism revved up. And make sure your hormones are in proper balance.
Let’s be honest. We all know it’s important to exercise and stay active…but that’s hard to do if you’re tired all…the…time.
Age-related changes in your body…particularly when it comes to your energy level…can make it easy to choose an afternoon nap instead of a trip to the gym. And the stresses associated with modern day adult life can also wear a person out.
The solution: Focus on making healthy lifestyle choices with proper nutrition, exercise, hydration, adequate sleep, supplements, and stress management. Incorporate mindfulness activities like meditation or yoga into your daily routine if you need extra help coping with stress. And…you guessed it…keep your hormones balanced with hormone therapy if you need it.
Do you often forget where you left your keys…or your wallet…or your glasses? Does it feel like your thoughts are stuck in quicksand? Do you sometimes have trouble finding your words or recalling names?
Aging can bring about what we often call “brain fog”. This change in mental acuity can make it seem like your brain is slowly squeezing out thoughts, where it used to snap to the right information instantly.
Lack of sleep, chronic health issues, stress, and certain medications can all contribute to slowing your previously quick brain. But…so can declining hormones.
The solutions: Sufficient sleep and a healthy lifestyle are critical for optimal brain function. Nootropic foods like blueberries, broccoli, and olive oil provide antioxidants to support brain health. Nooptropic supplements (like Omega-3 fatty acids) can help, too. If your hormones are deficient, consider a custom-tailored hormone restoration regimen.
As people get older, it can be increasingly difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Meanwhile, not getting enough quality sleep can leave you feeling tired during the day. It can also compromise your health overall.
Poor sleep hygiene is one common culprit. Stress is another. Declining hormones is a third.
The solutions: Turn off the TV and other screens (like your smart phone) at least an hour before bedtime. Try to maintain the same sleep schedule each day. Keep the temperature in your bedroom on the cool side. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress. Avoid eating or exercise right before you go to sleep…as these activities can get your mind and body revved up when you need to shut down. Manage stress wherever possible. Try taking supplements like melatonin and magnesium for better sleep. And keep your hormones balanced…
You have probably noticed an obvious common thread in the issues described above:
All of these symptoms can be tied back to age-related hormone decline.
For women, changes in estrogen and progesterone can cause weight gain, a sluggish metabolism, fatigue, brain fog, and insomnia. The same can be said for men when testosterone is low and/or estrogen is too high.
Men and women both need adequate levels of testosterone for building and maintaining lean muscle mass.
A decline in thyroid, DHEA, pregnenolone, melatonin, and growth hormone can also impact metabolism, energy level, mental acuity, and sleep.
The bottom line:
Hormones are critically important to a person’s overall health, wellbeing, and longevity. Unfortunately, deficiencies can begin as early as a person’s 30s, with almost everyone being impacted by their 40s, 50s, and beyond.
The solution: Renew Youth can test your hormone levels to determine if anything is out of balance…and we can restore your hormones to optimal levels with doctor-supervised hormone replacement therapy.
Want to learn more?
Call Renew Youth at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.