In honor of my most recent birthday, I decided to write a post on how your body gets BETTER with age. Once you reach your forties, most people start to feel nervous and down about getting older. You hear about gray hair, wrinkles, and expanding waist lines. There seems to be little to look forward to as you get older.
Emotionally there are many ways that life gets better as we age. We learn to take things less personally. We’ve had time to figure out what is important to us and we are less likely (not perfect) to compromise ourselves to please others. Many women in their 40s are confident in who they are. They have had enough life experience to know that they are strong, smart, and capable.
But when it comes to our bodies, we are nervous. Some of us still have added pounds from having babies. We hear stories of menopause, hot flashes, night sweats, and expanding middles. Stories abound about how your stomach expands and it is impossible to lose weight. Then we hear of back problems, knee and joint issues and sagging boobs. Is there anything to look forward to? Yes!
Here are 6 ways your body improves with age:
- You experience less stress- when you reach your 50s your body chemistry changes. Your body secretes slightly lesser amounts of the stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine leading to less stress overall.
- Lessening of Allergy symptoms- some people may not be bothered as much by allergies because after 50 years the body produces less of the allergy antibody IgE.
- Fewer Colds- each time you catch a cold your body builds up immunities to that virus. By the time you reach your 40s and 50s you have had plenty of colds and built up immunity; relieving you from catching every cold that comes along. (This is not true for the flu which mutates slightly every year)
- Less gum and tooth pain- though your gums recede slightly with age this is a good thing for toothaches because it reduces the size of your dental nerves. You will experience less pain caused by cold drinks or even dental procedures.
- Clearer skin and less body hair- after age 50, the skin produces less oil so your skin will be clearer and less shiny. You won’t need to shampoo as often because your scalp produces less oil. The hair on your head, legs and underarms grows more slowly and your sweat glands produce less, meaning you won’t need deodorant as often.
- More brainpower- while you may have trouble retrieving words and it may take you a longer time to solve abstract problems, you have years of experience on your side. You will have a larger vocabulary and more ways to solve problems from generic experiences in the past. If you keep yourself intellectually stimulated through reading and puzzle solving you can be a brain powerhouse.
So while gray hair is inevitable for most of us, there is always hair dye for that. I’ll take increased brain power, less stress, and shaving less often even it means I have to dye my hair and eat more salad and less pasta. You can use all your knowledge and experience to dress to your body and if you exercise and watch what you eat you do not have to expand in the middle. Use that brainpower and enjoy that peace of mind. You are only getting better beautiful.