Every so often, during our morning routine, the fog of delusion we immerse ourselves in will lift, and the face we see in the mirror is not the one we imagine in our mind’s eye. We are rudely reminded that we have aged, and our youthful appearance is a but distant memory.
While fine lines and wrinkles on your face are a prominent and constant reminder of fading youth, the body has many other ways to remind us about the passing decades and that we are not so young and spry as we once were.
You Now Have to Wear Glasses
Suddenly being told that you need to wear glasses for reading and computer work can be a rude shock to the system that you are getting older. When once you woke up to a world that was sharply in focus, text is now hard to read and working on the computer for any length of time gives you a headache.
Many of us can make it to our forty’s before we need reading glasses, but once you hit 50 there’s a good chance the news from your latest visit to the optometrist won’t be good.
The lenses in your eyes are hardest hit by the passage of years and harden over time. The increasing inflexibility makes it more difficult for your eyes to keep the world in focus. [*1]
Nightly Visits to the Bathroom
Sleep patterns change as you get older and you will find yourself needing less sleep. You also sleep less deeply and will start to wake earlier than usual or be easily woken throughout the night.
A lessening ability to get enough sleep each night probably accounts for a lot of the “cranky old man” syndrome. It’s important to change your habits to ensure you are getting at least 7 or 8 hours of good quality sleep every night. [*2]
Deafness to High Frequency Sounds
Your ears become less responsive to high-frequency sounds as you age and tonal shifts in speech become difficult to make out. Once you reach the age of 55, the decline becomes more rapid. [*3]
A Slowing Metabolism
You may be eating the same amount, but you keep putting on weight anyway – despite maintaining the same level of activity. Aging bodies need less energy. When you aren’t burning as many calories as you used to, the leftover energy converts into fat.
You could eat less, but you risk consuming less nutrients. A wiser course of action is to increase your level of activity. If you do reduce your food consumption, be mindful that you are eating nutrient rich foods and fewer empty calories. [*4]
You Lose Bone Density
Bones weaken with age and you can become more prone to broken bones after a fall. Fortunately, you can slow the decline by taking up strength training exercises and consuming more calcium and vitamin D rich foods, or supplements if required.