Aging Well

About 1% of Americans live to be centenarians. You can increase your longevity by avoiding health issues that come with age. Below are health conditions organized by decade, tips for preventing them, and resources for healthy aging.

Stages of Life

Cancer is unlikely in the 20’s, but other health challenges can occur like infertility, muscle atrophy, sexually transmitted diseases, and weight gain. Protect skin with sunscreen and avoid over exposure to sunlight. Follow best practices for hygiene and nutrition. Maintain well-being with exercise and social activity throughout life. Get medical checkups every few years.

Slowing metabolism makes weight control more difficult in the 30’s. Hair may start receding, thinning, or turning gray. Skin cells won't form as quickly as in earlier years. Start using moisturizers and watch for unusual skin growths. Consider coloring to camouflage gray hair. Prioritize well-being with a nutritious diet, exercise schedule, and fitness tracker. Continue getting checkups every few years.

Serious health issues begin to appear in the 40’s so consider switching to annual checkups. Exercise regularly to avoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Men should begin screening for prostate cancer. Women should screen for breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers. Colonoscopies are recommended for both men and women starting at age 45. Research your family health history and ask your doctor about appropriate screening and early treatment for genetically inherited diseases.

Many conditions first appear in the 50's, including acid reflux, damaged skin, hair loss, heart disease, impaired hearing, lactose intolerance, nearsightedness, and sleep apnea. Immune systems become less responsive so consider getting vaccinated for flu, hepatitis, pneumonia, shingles, and TDAP. Continue healthy lifestyles, annual checkups, and screenings. Ask your doctor if you're at risk for artery disease. Consider monitoring health with a wearable device like an Apple Watch, Google Fitbit, Garmin Vivo, or Samsung Galaxy.

60's and Older
Aging accelerates in the 60's. Some may experience health conditions like Alzheimer's, arthritis, cancer, or cardiac arrest. Many will have balance, hearing, or vision issues. Vitamin supplements can offset age-related deficiency of vitamins D and B12. Weight training can help prevent loss of height caused by compression of aging spinal cords. Drinking more fluids and eating fibrous foods can prevent  constipation that comes with aging. Enhance your longevity and wellness with aerobics, nutritious diets, mental exercises, and strength training. Maintain balance with resistance training and yoga classes. Get a booster for flu, shingles and TDAP. Switch to annual eye exams.

Aging is inevitable, but many age-related problems can be avoided or reversed. Avoid stress, eat healthy, exercise daily, get periodic checkups, and sleep 7 to 9 hours every night. See the accompanying resources for more information about living a long, happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Exercise - Nike Training
Meditation - Headspace
Nutrition - Fooducate
Weight - LoseIt

Joanne Declare, Healthy Aging by Decade, Kaiser Permanente, Mar.15, 2015.
Michele Marill, Is This Normal Aging or Not?, WebMD, May 4, 2022.
Sumathi Reddy, The Health Tests You Need at Age 30, 40 and 50, Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2023.
Staff, Aging: Aging: What to Expect, Mayo Clinic, May 31, 2023.
Staff, Complete Guide to Annual Health Screenings by Age, Columbia University, Jan. 7, 2020
Staff, How Much Does Your Metabolism Slow Down as You Age, WebMD, Oct. 25, 2021.

Neal Templin, Why You Should Lift Weights in Retirement, Forbes, Apr. 1, 2023.

Rosanne Leipzig, Honest Aging: An Insider's Guide to the Second Half of Life, Johns Hopkins Press, Jan. 10, 2023.
Colleen Murphy, The Science of Aging, Princeton University Press, Nov 14, 2023.
Gail Sheehy, Predictable Passages of Adult Life, Dutton, Oct. 8, 2013.






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