Aging and How it Affects our Senses

As we go about our usual day, our activities are largely influenced and affected by our five senses. We may not think about it often but these senses play a large role in everything we do! As we age, there are changes that occur throughout the entire body, which also includes our senses of hearing, vision, smell, touch and taste.

The extent and speed of these changes are largely determined by our lifestyle, current health and conditions as well as genetics. The loss or deterioration of any of these senses can be often be quite challenging and frustrating but continue reading to discover ways in which these changes can be corrected or relieved!

Our bodies require a certain level of stimulation before our senses will recognize it. It has been discovered that during the aging process the level of stimulation that is required increases. It is probably no surprise that the most obvious senses affected by aging are the loss of hearing and vision.

How Vision is Affected

Eye are dryer and more uncomfortable due to less lubrication being produced
Slower reaction between the pupil adapting between bright light and darkness
Clarity of vision decreases
Pupils decrease in size
Increased difficulty in tolerating glare
Particles in the eye may appear (known as floaters)
Difficulty driving and reading
Field of Vision reduces
Cataract Development

All of these changes have the potential to cause injury, eye strain, headaches and fatigue.

How to improve vision problems:

– Eye drops can be very helpful in relieving dry and irritated eyes
– Contact lenses or glasses are highly effective in correcting vision problems
– Incorporate the use of warmer colors (red, yellow, orange) around the home as these colors are easier to distinguish between than cooler colors.
– Schedule regular eye examinations

How Hearing is Affected

As we get older hearing loss occurs due to the structures and nerves gradually breaking down within the ear.

Eardrum thickens
Presbycusis – This is the most prevalent type of hearing loss associated with aging. Sounds of high frequency become more difficult to distinguish and general hearing may decline. The degree of this type of hearing loss is linked to the exposure to loud noise in the past.
Tinnitus – Tinnitus is a very common condition that is experienced amongst many older member of society. If you notice a persistent ringing or unusual sounds it is very likely to be tinnitus.

The loss of hearing can have a dramatic impact on our lives. Unfortunately some level of hearing loss can’t be avoided, when it comes to aging. The good news is that there are many ways in which hearing can be improved. All it takes it a visit to your health professional to find out the various forms of assistance available. You may be referred to a specialist or qualify to use hearing aids or implants. There are also a range of devices for around the home that are designed especially for those experiencing hearing difficulties.

How Taste and Smell are Affected

The senses of taste and smell are closely related and work together brilliantly. As we age these senses decline, which can lead to problems.

These two senses assist in ensuring that we consume and enjoy healthy food. They also act to keep us safe. However the decline of these senses can cause a lack of appetite and nutrition deficiency. Someone with difficulties with taste and smell are also more like to accidently to ingest food that is not fit for consumption!

Many find that increasing the concentration of flavors or adding more spices assists in enhancing the enjoyment of food!

If you experience changes in you taste or smell, speak with your health professional as such losses can also be due to other factors, aside from aging, that can be easily treated.

How Touch is Affected

The act of touching involves receives signals and vibrations, which let you know whether something is pleasant, unpleasant, soft, hard, hot or cold! During the later years this reduces in sensitivity due to a reduced level of blood flow to the touch receptors. This can make it more difficult to distinguish between sensations such as hot and cold.

These changes pose a risk to such problems as:

– Difficulty walking
– Frostbite
– Burns
– Hypothermia
– Pressure Sores

Safety Strategies:

Regularly check your entire body for skin condition, sores and other abnormalities. You never know what you may discover even if you’re not experiencing pain!

Adjust the water heater in your home so that it doesn’t exceed a certain temperature. This will reduce the likelihood of accidental burning occurring.

If unsure on the appropriate level of dressing for the current temperature, consider having a quick glance at a thermometer, to guide you.

Aging and Body Pains

iStock_000009735766XSmall

Do you wake up in the morning expecting to feel refreshed only to discover you’ve found yourself with a stiff and sore back or knee or hip? We’ll you’re not alone!

You may have found that in earlier years, such pain would be the direct result of a strenuous sports game or other vigorous activity but now seem to receive the same result from a short errand or light gardening.

As we age we are more prone to feeling aches and pains throughout the body. Sometimes these require medical attention. Severe inflammation of the joints, known as arthritis, is a very common condition that is experienced amongst the older population. This can cause tremendous pain but luckily there are many avenues for treatment and relief available, with the help of a doctor.

Most times, general aches and pains can be dealt with at home with fantastic results!

Prevention

Before I continue, it must be said, that prevention is better than cure! Sure, aging and aches are inevitable, however, these pains and stiffness can be greatly reduced if your body continues to stay physically active! I’m not talking about running a marathon but am referring to gentle walking or other non strenuous activities to keep your body flexible and therefore less prone to injury and pain!

Pain Relief

Stretching

Activities such as Pilates and Yoga are a wonderful and gentle exercise program that increases strength, tone and flexibility. With increased flexibility, comes reduced risk of injury! These exercises are also renowned for their stress relieving effects!

Massage Therapy

A good massage not only relaxes and relieves muscle pain but is also a highly effective stress reliever! Massage is ideal for dealing with chronic pain.

Products

A trip to your local chemist will provide you with a range of products that are readily available to ease the discomfort of body pain. Topical analgesic creams and muscle relaxants provide tremendous relief for cramps and aching joints. Many doctors recommend the use of anti-inflammatory medication to relieve severe muscle pain. However, this should be used with caution and with the guidance of a doctor due to its slight blood thinning effect.

Holistic Medication

With the increased awareness of chemical and medicinal side effects, more and more people are turning towards holistic alternatives and have found great results! Many people swear by nutritional supplements, TENS therapy and seek relief through Acupuncture and Chiropractors.

If you are concerned about unusual aches and pains, seek advice from your doctor.

Healthy Eating on the Go…And Getting What You Need

iStock_000005673431XSmall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No doubt you value the importance of losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight.  In this day and age though, is it really possible to eat on the go and still get what our body needs?

Many people in their quest to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight turn to the ever popular meal replacement.  Meal replacements have been with us awhile now and that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.  Today’s supermarket shelves are loaded with drinks, powders, biscuits, shakes, bars and soups – all of these are meal replacement options.

But when it comes to meal replacements, are they really the way to go?

Well, you certainly can lose weight using meal replacements, but at the end of the day, they won’t teach you how to eat a healthy, balanced died.  I mean, do you seriously want to spend the rest of your life (that is how long you want a healthy body weight, right?) substituting two or three meals a day with a meal replacement?  And do you really want to spend the money that expensive meal replacements cost for the rest of your life?

At the end of the day, I encourage people to commit to a lifestyle change that involves a balanced, healthy diet and daily exercise.  That’s all you need to achieve the healthy body weight you should be.

But even then, with your healthy balanced diet, are you still getting everything your body needs?

Today, many people take fish oil and multivitamins, in order to get what their body needs.  I am a big believer in fish oil and multivitamins.  I’ll explain by telling you what the benefits of each are.

Fish oil helps:

 Prevent diabetes;

Prevent age-related eyesight decline;

Prevent impaired brain development and vision in children;

Prevent sudden cardiac-related death;

Prevent irregular heartbeat;

Prevent some forms of cancer;

Prevent stroke;

Prevent pregnancy complications;

Prevent age-related enlarged prostate in males;

Prevent and treat Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Systemic Lupus and other inflammatory conditions;

Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease;

Reduce fatty food cravings;

Maintain healthy weight; and

Improve skin, hair and nails.

According to experts, we should take 6 grams of salmon oil per day with food.  You would have to eat a lot of fish to get this dose each day, and to eat that much may result in consuming too much mercury.  By taking a supplement of salmon oil, you know you are getting what you need each day.

As for multivitamins, according to experts, daily multivitamins will improve our general physical and mental health – and improve our wellbeing as well.  Multivitamins basically prevent us suffering from any deficiencies when it comes to vitamins.  In pregnant women, multivitamins can help decrease the risk of passing malnutrition on to her unborn child.  And in most people, multivitamins will help reduce stress and energize us.  They can also reduce the risk of cancers and cardiovascular disease.

So what is my take on all of this?

Well, I recommend you enjoy a healthy, balanced diet every day, and if you so choose, you can enhance your health and wellbeing by taking daily supplements of fish oil and a multivitamin.  Avoid meal replacements, and put your energy into a healthy, balanced diet.

It is always a good idea to discuss nutritional matters with your doctor, so make an appointment today to discuss your nutritional needs at length – and get the tailored guidance you need.

No Time? NO Excuse!

watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sure, so many of us want to get fit, we want to get healthy and we want the fit body.  But so many of us come up with every excuse NOT to do the exercise we need to do, to achieve it.

When it comes to exercise, as a personal trainer, I’ve heard all the excuses!  But up there with the best is the excuse of not having enough time.

They say to shoot for 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day 3-5 days each week for weight loss and health benefits.  Now, that isn’t really a lot of time when you think about it(less then 3% of your total time if you think about it), but still, people cry and complain on about not having the time for that.

If that’s you and you find it a struggle fitting half an hour into your schedule 3-5 times per week, listen up.  Your luck is about to change…or is it?

No time is NO excuse anymore!  It’s all thanks to findings coming out of London.  In the UK, some experts say that you can squeeze (wait for it), an entire week’s workout into (sit down for this one)…less than an hour!

That’s right!  Less than an hour!  There goes your excuse of having no time, because it’s just not an excuse anymore.

So how is it possible to do a week’s worth of exercise in just under an hour?

It’s all thanks to a little thing called interval training.  Interval training was initially developed for Olympic athletes.  Basically it involves intense exercise in short bursts, and originally, it was thought to be too intense for normal people of low to average fitness levels.

Further research though in recent years has found that interval training can in fact help not-so-fit people – even older people and those with health problems – lose weight and get fit.

So what does intense interval training actually involve?

Basically, it involves you working very hard for just a few minutes, with rest periods in between these few minute bursts.  The research over recent years has involved intense running or biking, but intense interval training can also include activities like swimming or rowing.

Exercise Expert, Jan Helgerud from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology recommends trying four sessions lasting four minutes each – with a recovery time of three minutes between the sessions.

So, how do you feel after this intense exercise session?

According to Helgerud, “You should be a little out of breath, but you shouldn’t have the obvious feeling of exhaustion”.

Interval training will help you see results a lot faster, but it’s important that you stick to the routine, like everything.  Interval training will work wonders for your fitness levels, by doubling your endurance and improving your oxygen use and strength by more than 10 percent.  Speed can also be increased by 5 percent.

The short, intense bursts of activity are just what your body needs to build your muscles which will create a higher metabolism for you.  That means your body will burn fat and carbohydrates for hours after your few minutes of exercise.

So you can imagine the positive effect this will have for you once it becomes second nature.

I recommend you do the four minutes of intense activity for four minutes at a time, with the three minute recovery between each session.  Do this at least once per week, and combined with a healthy, balanced diet, see the great results that will come about.

If you enjoyed this article.  Meet with a local 24 hour fitness trainer to create your very own specific interval plan today.

No time is NO excuse!  You CAN set aside 25 minutes in one week!

LET US KNOW YOUR FEEDBACK.  WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.