Do you dread growing older? Fret not, there are certain perks that come with age.
Ageing can seem like a scary prospect. It doesn’t help that we live in a culture that glorifies youth, and that several things actually do get worse as we get older.
For instance, it gets harder to maintain our physique. Research has shown that we start to lose muscle and bone mass after 30. Our metabolism – the rate at which you burn calories – also begins to slow down. According to the American Council on Exercise, our basal metabolic rate drops roughly one to two per cent per decade.
An active lifestyle, in particular strength and resistance training, helps to mitigate these changes. So does a healthy diet with an adequate consumption of lean protein, calcium and vitamin D.
Thankfully, not all is lost as we age. Backed up by research, here are six really good benefits to look forward to as you get older.
You’ll be smarter (in some ways)
Always wanted to go back to school for a second degree or to do your PhD? The good news is, age is on your side. An extensive psychological US-based study called the Seattle Longitudinal Study recorded that vocabulary, spatial orientation, verbal memory and problem solving abilities of their participants peaked in their late 40s and 50s.
You’ll sweat less
Ok, this isn’t such a big deal since we live in a tropical country, but if you’re the sort who perspires buckets the moment you step outside, you might be pleased to know that our sweat glands aren’t as easily stimulated as we get older. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that women between the ages of 52 and 62 perspired way less than those in their 20s.
(Also read: 9 Ways to Reduce Sweaty Palms and Feet)
You’ll have less sensitive teeth
Do you avoid eating ice cream or drinking hot beverages because your teeth are sensitive? Well, here’s something to smile about: dentin – the inner layer of your teeth – gets thicker over time, providing more insulation. Research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association backs this up. It found that those between 18 and 44 years old were three and a half times more likely than older folks to have sensitive teeth.
You’ll have fewer migraines
Women are more prone to migraines than men as female hormones and migraines are linked. Once menopause kicks in, these migraines are likely to happen less frequently or be less severe if they were brought on by hormonal changes. This is because your hormone levels don’t fluctuate much after your period stops for good.
(Also read: What’s Causing Your Migraines?)
You’ll have better sex
This might be surprising but researchers have found that many people enjoy sex more in their later years. A study by the National Commission on Aging in the US uncovered that women over the age of 70 reported sex to be more physically satisfying than in their 40s. Sex was also found to be more emotionally satisfying for both men and women within that age group. This greater sense of fulfilment is likely linked to the fact that older people generally have fewer hang-ups about their bodies.
You’ll be happier
Studies have documented that older adults report higher levels of positive emotions and lower levels of negative emotions compared to younger adults. One study by the University of Alberta published in the journal Development Psychologydiscovered that we get happier as we get older, starting in our teens. Participants of this study were happier in their 40s than they were at 18. Researchers explain that this was probably the case because our lives tend to get calmer as we get older – relationships, careers and even hormones all stabilise with age.
(Also read: 5 Daily Habits of Happy People)