5 Myths About Aging to Unlearn Right Now

We won’t kid you into thinking that growing older is all fun and games (ouch, the knees! ), but taking care of yourself as you get older is not just something that celebrities who have the means to do should do. There are many misconceptions about aging that we hold, and dispelling them can help you feel great at any age and live a longer, healthier life.

Myth 1: As you get older, you require less sleep.

The reality is that, although it would be nice given that getting older can make it harder to sleep, it is not possible.

The founder and medical director of Precision Medical Care in Florida, Catherine Johnson, M.D., asserts that “the majority of adults of any age do best with at least seven hours of sleep.” According to the Mayo Clinic, regularly getting less can increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, depression, and weight gain. The issue is that older adults have a propensity for lighter sleep, slower sleep onset, and more frequent awakenings. Dr. Johnson advises using a sleep mask, going to bed at roughly the same time every night, and engaging in some form of relaxation before bed (such as taking a bath, reading a book, or practising meditation). Keep your bedroom cool as well. Sleep is essential. Work on modifying your lifestyle if you wake up in the morning, advises Dr. Johnson.

Myth #2: If Alzheimer’s runs in your family, you’re bound to get it.

The truth, according to Rebecca Edelmayer, Ph.D., the Alzheimer’s Association’s director of scientific engagement, is that only 1% of people with Alzheimer’s have an inherited form of the illness. Regardless of family history, one in three seniors will develop Alzheimer’s dementia by the age of 85, according to Edelmayer. Therefore, even though there is no known genetic cause for dementia, it is likely to occur more frequently in your family if your relatives have a tendency to live long lives. You can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by managing your blood pressure, quitting smoking, increasing your physical activity, and maintaining social connections. According to Edelmayer, there is mounting evidence that leading a healthy lifestyle can help lower the risk of cognitive decline. She continues by saying that since dementia and cardiovascular health are linked, many of the healthy habits that help protect your heart may also help protect your brain.

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Myth #3: You’ll become weak and flimsy.

The reality is that while we all lose muscle as we get older, we can also gain muscle at any age.

In fact, a Wichita State University study found that weight training with dumbbells or a kettlebell for as little as four weeks could significantly increase muscle volume and strength in women ages 63 to 77. Sarcopenia, or the age-related loss of muscle, must be prevented: According to Dr. Johnson, having low muscle mass, the primary cause of frailty, can make it difficult to maintain your balance. According to the CDC, over 32,000 older adults die as a result of their falls each year, which affect about 36 million of them. But continuing to exercise can help you maintain and add to your muscle mass. In one study, previously inactive older adults who increased their moderate exercise, such as walking, reduced their risk of disability. Maintaining muscle requires eating enough protein, which nearly half of adults over 70 don’t consume.

Myth #4: Osteoporosis is only a problem for women.

The truth: By the age of 65 or 70, men are losing bone at the same rate as women, and it’s a big deal: According to Nicole Didyk, M.D., a geriatrician and associate clinical professor of medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, breaking a bone is associated with a higher risk of death in older adults. Men who have hip fractures are twice as likely to pass away within a year or two than women. All men aged 70 and older, as well as higher-risk men over 50, should get screened, according to the Endocrine Society. Although bone loss cannot be completely stopped, it can be prevented or slowed by giving up smoking, engaging in regular exercise, and consuming enough calcium and vitamin D.

Myth #5:You will grow bored with sex.

The reality is that, according to the National Poll on Healthy Aging, almost two out of every three adults between the ages of 65 and 80 say they are interested in having sex. “There is a stereotype that older adults are cute, asexual people. However, many older people, like younger people, have a healthy interest in having relations, claims Dr. Didyk. Additionally, 54% of those surveyed who were in a relationship reported having sex. However, older men are more interested in having sex than older women, and as people age, they become less crude overall. Age-related changes to the body and libido can reduce interest in or enjoyment of sex. Women may experience dryness and labia or vaginal shrinkage. When estrogen levels fall, that is something that pretty much everyone experiences, according to Dr. Didyk. Men, however, sometimes struggle to achieve or maintain an erection. However, there are ways to improve and ease sex for older adults who are interested in it. According to Dr. Didyk, these include using a water-based lubricant to prevent dryness, taking an erectile dysfunction drug, and having sex at times of the day when participants are feeling more energized or less uncomfortable.

Also Read ABout AHA Announces New Heart Health Checklist