Yesterday, I told you about the incredible Benjamin Button jellyfish. It ages in reverse. And it may hold the secret to immortality. But, as I said yesterday, I don’t know that I would want to age in reverse. And I would wager I’m not alone in this sentiment. Most of us just want to achieve “healthy aging.”
So today, I’ll share with you some of the significant physical health benefits that come with aging. (Aside from becoming wealthier and wiser.) As the years accumulate, you can take these six benefits of age to the bank…
No. 1—Less tooth sensitivity
Many people suffer from dental pain and tooth sensitivity in their younger years. But this problem tends to fade as you age. Your teeth lay down more dentin (the inner hard tissue) between the enamel and the nerves. And this tissue acts as insulation. So your sensitivity to heat, cold, and dental procedures may become less painful. But you must maintain good dental hygiene to keep the enamel strong, which protects the dentin and underlying nerves.
No. 2—Milder allergies
After age 50, the immune system does not react as severely to typical allergens, such as plant pollens (“hay fever”) and other seasonal allergies. In fact, the immune system produces less of the antibody IgE associated with allergic reactions. So, you may be able to get along better without taking antihistamines and other allergy medications.
Many food allergies diminish as well. Although severe sensitivities to nuts may not disappear. These food allergies tend to be life-long for reasons that are unknown.
No. 3—Fewer colds
As you age, you may be less likely to come down with as many colds and viral infections. First, you have more control over not being stuck in unhealthy environments where viruses are passed around. Second, every time you came down with a particular virus in your younger years, you developed antibodies. In fact, about 200 different viruses cause the common cold. But by the time you reach 50 years old, you have already been exposed to many of them. And this exposure makes you immune to all those particular viruses in the future.
However, as you know, each year we face a new strain of the influenza virus. But that doesn’t mean you need to resort to the flu vaccine. I know many doctors hound their older patients to get the vaccine. But research shows the vaccine is ineffective for older adults. Plus, the problems with the government’s annual influenza immunization seem to multiply faster than do the viral strains themselves.
I recommend you practice good sanitation and regular hand washing. But avoid “anti-bacterials” and ingredients like triclosan, which the FDA will ban…eventually. Plus, remember these steps for keeping your immune system healthy as you age:
- get restorative sleep
- eat a healthy, balanced diet
- get plenty of vitamins B, C and D
- get plenty of minerals, including magnesium, selenium and zinc
- manage stress
- practice light exercise a few times a week
- avoid steroid drugs and injections
No. 4—Smoother skin
Yes, yourskin changes with age. And we all know about the wrinkles it causes. But there are some benefits to older skin.
After age 50, skin oil secretions decline. This makes it harder to keep the skin moist and supple. But if you have very oily skin in your younger years, you may enjoy less oil production.
Your facial and body hair growth slows too as you age. As does your sweat gland production. These are cosmetic “benefits” for some.
But you have to be careful. Sweating less also means you run a greater risk of overheating and suffering heat stroke. Especially if you spend a lot of time outside in the heat.
As you get older, drink plenty of water to hydrate the body. I always recommend adding red bush to your water to make sure you’re fully hydrated at the cellular level. Hydration of the body, as well as cellular hydration, protects you from the heat and helps your skin stay moist, supple, and attractive.
No. 5—Enjoy the wisdom of your years
Brain function does not invariably decline with age. In fact, many cognitive functions–such as vocabulary and long-term memory–naturally improve with age. But you must build up, train, develop, and maintain your memory, just like any muscle. If you make the most of your memory, and use it regularly, that portion of your brain actually gets better with age.
You can continue to sharpen memory skills well into old age. Learn new words to build vocabulary. Or go all the way and learn a new language! Many local and community colleges offer courses geared specifically to seniors. Also, continue to keep mentally active by reading the Daily Dispatch, Insiders’ Cures, and other sources of quality information.
And of course, eat plenty of “brain foods” as you age, like fish (and fish oil), apples, and blueberries. And look for vegetables with lots of the brain-supporting carotenoid–lutein. You find lutein in green, leafy vegetables and yellow-orange vegetables.
Your brain also needs healthy fats and cholesterol. So continue to eat meats and dairy as you age. These foods contain cholesterol, which builds and maintains brain and nerve cells. It especially supports the nerve fibers’ “insulation,” which allows them to transmit and communicate effectively.
No. 6—Improved sexuality
It’s another myth that sexuality invariably declines with age.
Of course, big pharma doesn’t want you to know the truth about normal, natural sexuality. They want men taking their dangerous and faulty “low-T” treatments. (For more information about the dangers of low-T treatments, refer to the August issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.)
For women in their 50s, changes in hormonal balance can increase libido. It can also improve a woman’s ability to reach orgasm, as well frequency and intensity. For men, the ligaments that attach the penis begin to lengthen after age 60. So many men have more of a commanding appearance as they age.
But you should take steps to keep you sexuality strong. I recommend regular, light exercise. I always recommend swimming in particular for its health benefits while not causing wear and tear on the joints. In one Harvard study, 160 male and female swimmers in their 60s reported sex lives comparable to those in their 40s. Another study found that exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system, which encourages blood flow to the genital region. It also found that regular, light exercise improves testosterone production in men and sexual responsiveness in women.
Bottom line: When you practice good diet and nutrition, light exercise, and hygiene in your older years, you will stay healthy, wealthy, and wise.
1. “Peak performance,” American Fitness 2000; 19, 32–36
2. “Four workouts to improve your love life,” Prevention 2003; 55, 76–78