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Ellie Goldbloom, M.D.

By: Ellie Goldbloom, M.D. on January 18th, 2017

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When Does Aging Begin and How to Prepare

Medical Perspectives | Lifestyle & Wellness

We start aging as soon as we’re born - but what does that really mean? For most people, “aging” really begins when they start feeling mild aches and pains, such as stiff knees after long periods of sitting still. However, your age may not always be an accurate picture of your overall health.

When Does Aging Really Begin?

It is often said that age is just a number. That is true, but your age can be a great guide for monitoring your health. In turn, you can slow down the aging process. Since you are at a higher risk for certain illnesses as you age, it is always a good idea to take preventative wellness measures.

There’s no need to panic about your next big birthday milestone, though. Aging well is all about preparation and prevention.

  • Get a free sample meal plan and exercise tracker to help you with healthy aging in our eBook.

Aging Risks

As we age, there is an increased risk for certain health concerns. Part of aging smart means planning ahead of time, before there might be a problem. For example, if you’re a healthy woman age forty or older, you’ll want to start scheduling regular mammograms. Unless you are considered high risk, at fifty, both men and women should start scheduling regular colonoscopies.

Another concern associated with aging is the rising risk of falls. The risk of falling can easily be mitigated by adapting your home and lifestyle to prevent a tumble. Place a chair in the shower and use more rugs in hallways to reduce your risk of slipping.

Prepare to Age Well

By taking just a few easy measures, you can prevent many health risks of aging all together. No matter your age, you should get a yearly physical to assess changes in cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels. Women should also include a regular OB/GYN visit each year.

If you’re living alone or at an advanced age, consider investing in assisted living devices, such as Life Alert, to make sure you can get help in an emergency. As you age, it’s also important to prepare directives, such as a living will, so that your wishes can be followed in the event of an emergency.

Slow the Aging Process

While you can’t stay twenty forever, you can slow down the aging process by making a few small lifestyle changes.

One great way to slow the aging process is by exercise. It’s recommended that all individuals get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. That sounds like a lot, but it’s really only about twenty minutes per day! Daily exercise will also help you keep your body mass index (BMI) within a healthy range - between 18-25 for most adults.

Other healthy changes to slow the aging process include routine blood work and up-to-date vaccinations. If you’re a smoker, now is the time to quit. You’ll feel better, and exercise will be easier.

Enjoy Your Age

Prepare to age well and stay younger longer. Most importantly, remember age really is just a number. You’re only as old as you feel, so take preventative measures to limit health risks and make changes to suit your lifestyle.

Learn more about the nutrition and exercise that supports aging well by downloading our guide today. 

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