If you love running, then you’ll probably care about your health. Thus, it’s no secret that as we get older, we start to experience problems that are new to us. This can have a knock-on effect on everything from sports and leisure to (of course) healthcare. It’s imperative to stay healthy during your entire life; a healthy you is a happy you, and you’ll feel much better knowing your body is still servicing you even as you grow older. Here are 10 common problems associated with aging and how you can take steps to treat them.
Sciatic pain / sciatica
The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back all the way down to your feet. As such, any problems you develop in this area are quite likely to be related to problems with this nerve. Anything from a herniated disk to spinal stenosis could cause sciatic pain. For more serious conditions, you need to visit your doctor. If it’s milder, you could try home remedies like the Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion or simple bedrest. Make sure not to do any heavy lifting if you’re suffering from this type of pain, and don’t overexert yourself during exercise.
The rate of obesity among older people is actually much higher than it is among the young, in the UK at least. Obesity levels are at their highest between ages 45-74. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your body weight as you age. It’s quite hard to lose weight once you’re over the age of 40, and this goes double for obese people since there’s so much to lose. Exercise, a healthy diet, and addressing underlying mental health conditions are all great ways to make sure your weight stays within a healthy range.
Chronic health problems like cancer or diabetes
The single biggest risk factor for cancer is age. As you get older, your body becomes more susceptible to cancer, and it’s also easier to contract conditions like type-2 diabetes or to have strokes. As with many conditions, engaging in exercise and maintaining a healthy diet are crucial to staving off these problems. You should also look into your genealogy to see if you’re more likely to inherit cancer from your family. Staying prepared for these conditions won’t make them go away, but it will help you when you’re fighting them.
Dementia / Alzheimer’s disease
There’s a strong perception that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (its most common form) are inherited. In fact, this is usually not the case. As such, if you’re worried about battling the effects of dementia, there are things you can do to keep it at bay. Substance abuse significantly increases the risk of dementia, so if you’re a smoker, a heavy drinker, or a drug user, it might be time to stop. If you do find yourself struggling with dementia, you will need to seek medical help for a treatment plan and the appropriate medications. It’s not a done deal, though, so look after yourself.
Depression and anxiety
We’re only just starting to realise the full extent of mental health issues around the world. It’s not always easy to spot the symptoms of a mental health condition. Severity can range from mild to serious; if you’re able to work and go about your daily life, your depression likely isn’t serious. If you find your life being impacted by your depression, then you should seek immediate medical attention. Otherwise, spending lots of time outside, spending time with family members and friends, and doing the things you love can add years to your life.
Malnutrition and dietary problems
As we age, a number of factors contribute to potentially poorer diets. We might become more irascible in our old age, meaning we’re less likely to seek out healthy food. We could also change our outlook and decide that it “doesn’t matter” if we eat poorly since we’re in the latter half of our lives. The truth is that our craving for junk food actually decreases as we age, so our diet is in our hands. Getting appropriate nutrition from a balanced diet that works for you is crucial in middle and old age. Don’t let yourself succumb to a problem that’s so easily fixed.
Bladder control and incontinence
For some reason, bladder control is a verboten subject in public discourse. Polls suggest that people don’t like to talk to their doctors about issues around incontinence. This is a shame, as it can be a serious issue that affects many people. The remedy is fairly simple if you’re not seriously suffering. You can do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the area around your bladder and ensure no urine can accidentally escape. As usual, maintaining a good weight and ensuring you eat well can be wonderful for preventing incontinence (and constipation, too).
The heart is one of the most dangerous organs for a person entering middle to old age. From coronary heart disease to hypertension, there are plenty of conditions that could affect your cardiovascular system. We know we’ve said a lot for regular exercise and a good diet, but this is one of the most crucial areas those two things can affect. It’s absolutely imperative that you exercise regularly and eat well if you want to maintain good heart health. Taking three brisk walks per day of around 1.5 miles each is a fantastic way to keep your heart and circulatory system healthy.
Unfortunately, it’s not currently possible to cure Parkinson’s disease. If you suffer from this condition, however, there are plenty of ways to manage and treat it. Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the brain and can manifest itself as slow movement, shaking limbs, and stiff or inflexible muscles. Around 1 in 500 people are currently suffering from Parkinson’s disease in the UK, so if that’s you, you’re not alone. Plenty of people lead rich, fulfilling lives with this condition, so even if you do find yourself suffering from it, it doesn’t have to be a disaster.
Older people are at greater risk of developing chronic bronchitis, which is a condition affecting the respiratory system. If you’ve ever seen an older person with a persistent cough, it could be chronic bronchitis. Naturally, if you’re a smoker, you should quit immediately if you don’t want to deal with this condition as you age. It would also help to remove yourself from environments in which smoking is common. Otherwise, get lots of exercise, make sure your diet is healthy, and make sure you get lots of fresh air. It isn’t much fun to cough and splutter all day, so you should work to prevent this if possible.