As you age expect increasing amounts of fat tissue toward the center of the body. Fat will increase and lean body mass will decrease. The liver, kidney and other organs may lose some of their cells. Bones lose some of their minerals and become less dense. Water in your body is decreased by tissue loss. You may even become shorter. This loss of height is related to aging changes in the bones, muscles and joints. Height loss is greater after 70 years old. All total you may lose 1 to 3 inches in height as you age.
Ways to reduce height loss:
• Physical activity
• Proper diet
• Treating osteoporosis
The change in total body water may make older people more likely to get dehydrated
Loss of muscle mass in the legs and changes in body shape can affect balance which contributes to falls.
Most age-related changes cannot be prevented. Steps you can take to help slow or reduce these changes include:
• Avoid smoking
• Eat healthy
• Excessive alcohol use and illicit drug use can accelerate age-related changes
Your lifestyle will play the largest role in how fast these age-related changes take place. Do not accept the picture of a hunched over, frail man or woman with a big belly, skinny arms and legs as something that happens to everyone in old age. You don’t have to look like that.
Probably the most obvious sign of aging is hair color change. As you age the hair follicles produce less pigment (melanin), which causes the graying process. Gray hair often starts to appear in the 30s, although this varies. You may start to notice graying at the temples. The hair becomes progressively lighter and most usually eventually turns white.
Hair coloring is probably the easier and painless way to conceal a person’s true age. The quality of hair coloring has improved so much over the years that most people would never guess it was not your own natural color. Hair coloring is usually best done about every 6 weeks. In fact, hair color products can actually improve the texture of the hair and provide more body, even more shine. An important note here might be: Choose a knowledgeable and skilled hair stylist or specialist for your hair coloring. I live in a very small town, and I could not be more pleased with the expertise of the hair stylist who colors my hair. Good hairdressers and hair products do not belong only to the rich and famous!
Graying is a lot genetically determined. Caucasians gray sooner. Asians are late to get gray hair. Nutritional supplements, vitamins and other products will not stop or decrease the rate of graying. However, I have two sisters who both started graying much sooner than I did. Of the three of us, I am the most health conscious! I believe healthy lifestyle also plays a part in when our hair starts to gray.
Almost everyone will experience some hair loss as the result of aging. The quantity of hair you have on your body and head is determined by your genes. Even if you had thick, coarse hair as a young adult, it will eventually become thinner, fine and light-colored. Men may begin to show signs of baldness at age 30. By age 60, about two-thirds of men have significant baldness. With new technology and products even “baldness” is correctable to a degree for some individuals.
Source: National Institute of Health
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional.
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© 2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved