- Aging is a natural process that involves many changes.
- While many physical and emotional changes happen when you age, some beliefs about the effects of aging are not valid.
- Researches have shown evidence that some myths regarding growing old are entirely untrue.
Aging includes changes in the physical, physiological, emotional, and social aspects. While many beliefs about aging are true, some information about getting old is proven wrong by studies.
Here are some of the facts about aging that researches have proven to be the truth.
1. Arthritis and osteoporosis are preventable.
It is not aging that makes you more prone to developing arthritis and osteoporosis, but it is by not being physically active and not doing regular exercises. While arthritis and osteoporosis are common among older people, they are still preventable.
Research among Australians by the Monash University Medical School found out that women aged 40-67 years old who exercise for about 20 minutes at least once every two weeks have more cartilage in their knees. Another study involving females aged 100 above showed that only 56% of them developed osteoporosis and not until they are 87 that they had it.
2. The brain continues to develop and does not shrink as you grow older.
Others believed that as you grow older, your brain stops developing and starts shrinking.
According to studies, the brain continues to develop and form new connections while strengthening old ones. So it is recommended that you still do new things that can challenge and improve your brain functionality.
Also, previous studies were suggesting that the hippocampus of older people is smaller than younger people. The hippocampus controls the brain’s memory.
However, recent studies have also suggested that chronic stress and not old age could cause a shrinking hippocampus. Researches examined the hippocampus of 177 people with an age range from 18-85. The result showed that among the participants, 25% of those who are 18-24 years old have the same size of the hippocampus with those who are 60-75 years old.
3. Genes are not the key determiner of how you will age.
While genes are already set even before you were born, it is not the only factor that will dictate how you will age. Certain factors like diet, lifestyle, physical activities, and exposure to chemicals can also influence your genes.
4. Older people still have sexual desires.
Although sexual desire can indeed decline as you age, impotence and reduced libido are also associated with medical conditions like diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular diseases. And if you prevent these conditions, impotence and reduced libido are also preventable.
The New Jersey Institute of Succesful Aging surveyed people aged 60 and above and who are living in independent living facilities. They found out that about 60% still had regular physical and sexual engagements. These engagements could be in the form of holding hands, hugging, kissing, and touching. Although they want to continue having such experiences, having no partners is preventing them from doing so.
5. Creativity continues as you age.
Being creative can all the more improve the overall health of older people. A study by George Washington University showed that aged people who were in a choir were healthier, required less medicine, and had a better outlook in life and happier.
6. Aging will not make you unhappy.
According to forty centenarians surveyed in Heidelberg, Germany, 71% admitted being happy and often laughing despite getting old and experiencing many changes.
Source: The Healthy