As you age, it would be understandable to believe that your health will only decline. After all, we know our bodies and minds are not invincible; we slow down physically and mentally as we get older.
However, some research has shown that there are aspects of your health that might actually improve with age, as opposed to declining as you might expect.
Of course, whether these factors apply to you will depend on your unique circumstances but you could be pleasantly surprised to learn that your health might improve in some ways as you get older.
Here are five ways your health might improve as you age.
1. You might catch fewer colds
Although your body does weaken in many ways as you get older, one thing that can become stronger in middle age is your immune system.
Indeed, according to UC San Diego Health, by the time the average person reaches middle age, they may achieve peak immunity to the common cold. If you have been catching a cold at least once every year since you were a child, then chances are your immune system will more easily fight off the common cold than that of a young person.
Nevertheless, in the wake of the pandemic, it could still be constructive to continue taking preventative measures against catching colds and flu.
2. Your stress levels could decrease as you age
The secretion of cortisol, the hormone that is released during times of intensity or stress, often lessens as we age.
In addition, it could be that your tolerance for stress builds up as you get older. Life experience can help you gain perspective on hard times, so you could find that, compared with your younger friends and family members, you have a much higher threshold for stress in middle age.
This means that whatever comes your way in the future – be it the death of a loved one, a change in lifestyle when you retire or children leaving home – you may be able to shoulder it more bravely in the years to come.
3. You could experience improved brain sharpness
Although our cognitive abilities get slower when we become elderly, you could continue to improve your brain sharpness as you get older. By continuing to engage your brain in logical ways each day, some scientists believe you could find yourself becoming sharper as you age.
Indeed, your mind will always benefit from brain-taxing activities such as:
- Online games like Wordle or Tetris
- Completing a newspaper crossword every day
- Mathematical challenges like Sudoku
- Word-based board games such as Scrabble
- Geographical board games like Globe Runner or Risk
- Memorising addresses, phone numbers and appointment times rather than relying on your phone
- Learning a new language.
To delve into the science of how brain-taxing puzzles improve brain sharpness as you get older, you can read more insights on the subject.
4. Allergy symptoms might decrease
You may already be aware that the human body’s allergy responses can change over the course of a person’s lifetime.
For example, a person can develop autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis or coeliac disease in adulthood, having never suffered from them as a child. Conversely, children who have allergies like hay fever can “grow out” of these ailments.
If you have always experienced mild allergic reactions to environmental factors, according to Healthline, you may outgrow them by the time you reach middle age. This “outgrowing” can be a combination of tolerance to the allergens you are exposed to and physiological changes that allow your body to cope with the previously triggering substance.
5. If you are a woman, you might have fewer headaches as you age
A report published by Everyday Health claims that women who experience hormonal migraine attacks are likely to find relief after menopause. While menopause can be a physically stressful time, the light at the end of the tunnel might be that any proneness to migraines may lessen afterwards.
Of course, headaches can be caused by all sorts of factors, including stress, exhaustion, dietary intolerances and eyesight issues. If you do experience migraines, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before taking further steps.
If you are worried about your health declining as you age, these five factors might bring you some peace of mind. While ageing is not an easy process, you could be comforted by the idea that some aspects of your health might keep getting better and better.