Just Do It…Before You Lose It
Have you ever heard the adage that “age is just a number” or the expression that “60 is the new 40?” Popular society is now more open than ever to regarding age as a concept of ability and choice, rather than a static stigma.
In the strictest sense, age has never defined what you could or could not do. Fred Astaire could still cut a rug at 71, and Ernestine Shepherd, who just turned 82 this past June, is the greatest body-building grandma ever.
If you think genetics are the only reason for their season think again. An exciting field called epigenetics suggests that behavior can alter genetic expression, how we live, how we age, and our quality of life. It proves the validity of another expression: use it or lose It. While nearly everything from bones to brains shrinks with age, below are four ways to use what you have before its too late!
Oral Health and Your smile
A team of Japanese researchers led by Nozomi Okamoto confirmed that gum disease is associated with the onset of dementia, and that persons with missing teeth may suffer from less brain function than their “toothier counterparts.” While the power of oral health may surprise you, researchers believe that the bacteria that causes gum inflammation may spread and affect other parts of the body. As it turns out, poor oral health also correlates with high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. As they say, floss the teeth you want to keep.
Your Brain on Retirement
An international analysis of cognitive function by Susann Rohwedder and Robert J. Willis discovered that nations with an earlier retirement age had the greatest decline in cognitive function. The study suggests that lack of stimulation and brain work can be harmful to one’s health, and that greater mental stimulation correlates with longer mental preservation. Staying physically active and mentally active helps to maintain cognitive prowess. Consider including school and meaningful volunteer work in your retirement plans to preserve memory and mental muscle. In other words, never let your mind go to the beach, even if you occasionally do.
Muscle and Massive Action
Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass with aging. It typically begins during the mid-30s and progresses more rapidly with those who are inactive with as much as a 3–5% loss each decade. Loss of muscle mass and strength will adversely affect your ability to walk and increase the chance of falls and life debilitating injuries. Those that begin a regimen of resistance training and those that take decisive action to stay active will live a longer and stronger life. Walk, run, swim and lift while you still can.
Yup, Sex and Erectile Dysfunction Too
A study out of Finland showed that men who have sex “at least once a week were half as likely to suffer from ED as men who had sex less frequently.” Consistent sex also stimulates circulation to the genitalia which benefits the erectile muscle strength in men and the lubrication and elasticity of vaginal tissues in women, inevitably enhancing the enjoyment for both. Some researchers posit that the amount of sex you have can also affect your ability and desire to have more of it. Additionally, Kegel exercises are one way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles not just for sexual health and pleasure, but also to maintain bladder control. Sex is like a muscle too, just do it before you lose it.