Aging: What to expect in later years
by Jerry Vance
Our average life span is nearing 90 years; that’s a long time to live. Body, mind and abilities change as you age. Here’s a little insight into what to expect with the years.
When you are 40, you have 50 more years to enjoy life. Take a good look at your body. Good nutrition and exercise will add to your life expectancy and reduce your thighs and belly at the same time. The 40s are the years when stress appears, both on the job and at home. It can also affect how your body metabolizes food.
The good news is, the 40s are the years when your kids are grown and there is more time for yourself. Have your vision, blood pressure and cholesterol checked. Take a look at your career and job possibilities. Set new goals, make new friends, and enhance your self image. Most physical flaws can be fixed, changed, or simply overlooked with a good self image.
In your 50s, learn to relax more and be open to changes. Delegate responsibilities at work and home, and rest more often. This is the time to plan your retirement years. Goals for later life are just as important as those set in college years. Cut your calorie intake, and watch your fat intake. Take more time for fitness and relaxation. Yearly or semi-yearly health checkups are a must for people during their 50s so the 60s will be healthy and enjoyable. Smoking and lack of exercise seem to cause the most health-related problems during this time in life.
The 60s bring a wonderful, light, relaxing time of life known as retirement. Travel more and make new friends. Exercise often, take college courses or sports lessons, and watch your grooming habits. The 60s bring retirement and a slowing down of capabilties. Enjoy it. It might take you 10 minutes longer to accomplish a task than it did 10 years ago. Who cares?
You have the 70s, 80s and 90s ahead. Stay active. If you cease to move, you lose the ability to move. Take long walks, watch your liquid intake, take pride in your appearance, and make sure your food intake is adequate for maintaining an active lifestyle. Regular health checkups, vitamin supplements and closely followed medication levels will help you enjoy the years on the way to 90. Adding years to your life need not restrict your ability to enjoy that life.
Jerry Vance is owner of The Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Senior Center and Healthsmart.