Men used to have shorter life spans than women, according to statistics that seemed unchanging for many decades. But lately the gap started to close, and at least part of the male population is now making headways in terms of healthy aging and longevity.
Well-to-do older adults who are reasonably healthy have many more options to fill their ‘golden years’ with activities and pursuits than their forbearers could ever imagine. By contrast, insufficient financial security and chronic diseases can lead to a rather precarious endgame. For most retirees, it will be something in between.
Fear of aging, including financial concerns, deteriorating physical and mental health, loss of loved ones, social isolation, and the progressive inability to cope with daily tasks and challenges can make people dread the so-called “golden years” rather than embrace them. Surveys show that most adults are more afraid of losing their independence in their twilight years than they are of death.
As we grow older, many of us find it harder to avoid or undo unwanted weight gain. This is such a widespread phenomenon, it is almost taken for granted that aging and weight problems go hand in hand. However, while there are objective reasons for such a connection, they are by no means the whole story.
An unfortunate part of our modern-day busy lifestyle is chronic sleep deprivation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lack of sleep has become a major public health concern, with insufficient rest being linked to medical problems, accidents and occupational hazards. People who regularly stay awake for too long are at a higher risk of developing illnesses like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and also mental issues like depression and memory loss, the agency warns.
We all get routinely lost in unnecessary activities, in stuff that is oftentimes frivolous and silly. A lot of time and energy is wasted on complaining, gossiping, antagonizing, fighting, and being plainly miserable, or on doing things that yield no real benefits, like reading or watching so-called “news” about people and events unrelated to us, or updating our social media status with irrelevant information.
Several recently published studies on aging all seem to lead to the same conclusion: when it comes to diet and lifestyle choices, older adults are well advised to practice moderation. Whether it concerns weight management, physical activity, or alcohol and tobacco use, health experts urge people to consider their limitations and changing needs as they approach their senior years.