Wine isn’t the only thing that gets better with age. Did you know that, in some ways, your body actually gets better with age? The changes aren’t dramatic and they certainly won’t turn back the hands of time, but it’s the small things in life that makes it great!
Here are some benefits you can look forward to as the number of candles on your birthday cake grows.
1. Fewer Colds and Other Viruses
You’re less likely to get sick with colds and other minor viral infections after midlife. The reason: Each time your body is exposed to a virus, it develops antibodies that make you immune to that virus in the future. This means that more you age, the more likely it is that you’ll be immune to many—but not all—cold viruses.
2. Milder Allergies
Plagued by allergies? They’ll be less bothersome as you get older. After age 50, the body reacts with less intensity to hay fever and other seasonal allergies, perhaps because older bodies produce less of the allergic antibody.
3. Decreased Tooth Sensitivity
If you’ve always had painfully sensitive teeth, they’ll become less so as you age. That’s because the surface between the enamel and nerves lays down more dentin (the tooth’s inner hard tissue) as teeth age, resulting in extra insulation and a diminished pain response. This may make dental procedures less painful, too.
4. Low-Maintenance Skin
Say goodbye to problems with oily skin. After age 50, the skin’s oil secretions slow down in both men and women. The shiny look that many people hate will start to improve. And you can shave less often and may stop using deodorant. Due to hormonal changes in the later years, the growth of facial and body hair slows, and sweat glands disappear.
5. A Fitter Brain
Some memory functions, such as vocabulary and long-term memory, continually sharpen if you stay mentally active. Memory can be trained just like muscles. If you make the most of your memory and use it regularly, that portion of your brain can actually get better as you get older. In fact, research shows that memory skills can be honed well into old age.
6. A Youthful Heart
Surprisingly, the heart hardly ages at all and actually can strengthen—as long as you keep your cholesterol and blood pressure in check. Although there is some narrowing of arteries with aging, the pumping ability of the heart stays strong throughout life in healthy people. Genes do play a part in the way your heart ages, but the healthier your lifestyle, the more likely your heart will stay strong well into your 80’s and 90’s. Exercise, diet and not smoking are more important than genetics in maintaining the health of the heart after age 60.
7. Heightened Sexuality
A shift in the hormonal balance beginning in the early 50’s can increase a woman’s libido and her ability to have orgasms. Many women also report an increase in the frequency and intensity of orgasms as they grow older. In fact, some research suggests that the frequency of orgasms increases for women in each decade, up until the octogenarian years (age 80–89). But men have reason to celebrate, too. After age 60, the ligaments that attach the penis to the body begin to relax. Assuming a man stays slim, this makes the flaccid penis look longer with each 60-plus decade.