Accepting unsubstantiated health myths as facts can be detrimental to your mind and body. Instead, arm yourself with the truth about misconceptions middle-aged adults may have.
“Isn’t Middle-Aged Spread Inevitable?”
No! Decreased activity, muscle mass loss, underactive thyroid, previous pregnancies and food or beer overindulgence can cause a spare tire that may coincide with middle age. Luckily, most men and women over 40 can avoid developing belly fat or lose the belly fat they already have through these diet and exercise tips.
Lose weight slowly. Take off just 1 to 2 pounds a week.
Limit calories. Lose weight byconsuming fewer calories than your body uses.
Choose whole grains. An “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” study of obese subjects noted that a calorie-restricted diet rich in whole grains trimmed excess waistline fat.
Fill up on nutrients. Scientific evidence indicates that you can reduce your waistline on a well-balanced, calorie-limited, nutrient-rich diet of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs and low-fat dairy.
Try the “Flat Belly Diet.” This diet book recommends eating a 1600-calorie diet rich in monounsaturated fats.
Exercise strategically. Daily crunches won’t flatten an overweight belly. So walk, run, bike ride or do any calorie-burning activities to drop pounds first. When excess fat no longer covers your abdominal muscles, tighten up with strength training.
“Why Can’t Menopausal Women Lose Extra Pounds?”
They can! The aging process is more likely to cause an average five- to seven-pound menopausal weight gain than hormone levels. To combat the resulting gradual metabolism reduction during and after menopause, slim down with these lifestyle changes.
Set your mind for success. Believe in your ability to lose weight.
Eat less. Realize you need to eat less during these years.
Make healthier food choices. If processed bread, sugar and junk food increase your cravings, choose proteins instead.
Differentiate exhaustion and hunger. When you feel tired, go to bed instead of staying up for a late-night binge.
Practice strength training. Minimize the amount of muscle you lose.
Try yoga or Pilates. Reduce anxiety, improve focus, increase stamina and build muscle while centering your body and mind.
“Can’t Most People Avoid Infertility?”
Not always! If you believe the myths that you can delay pregnancy until middle age, consider the real evidence.
“Women have decades to conceive.”False! Female fertility peaks between 20 and 24, declines slowly at 27 and drops steeply at 35. By the early 40s, only half of a woman’s eggs are viable.
“Aging men maintain fertility.”Untrue!While some elderly men can father children, fertility usually declines slowly at 35. It can dip quickly if an infection hinders sperm production.
“Vasectomies are final.”False!A Johns Hopkins Medical Institute report shows that some vasectomy reversal patients have over a 50/50 chance of fathering a child. Those odds lower the longer a man delays the reversal procedure.
“Isn’t Arthritis an Old-Age Crippler?”
No! Discover the realities of arthritic joint inflammation and pain.
“Osteoarthritis (OA) is an elderly disease.”Untrue! The most common form of arthritis can start at 45. As joints degenerate with age, osteoarthritis can cause shoulder, hand, hip and/or knee stiffness and discomfort. Staying active and controlling weight can bring relief.
“Rheumatoid arthritis is a natural, untreatable consequence of aging.”False!While less common than OA, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive disease — not a side effect of growing older. Medical advancements strive to prevent or slow further joint damage and promote remission. For convenience and peace of mind, choose a reliable online pharmacy to fill your prescriptions.
“Doesn’t Insomnia Occur Naturally With Age?”
No! Some sleeping pattern changes are a normal part of maturing. Beginning in middle age, you may feel tired earlier, sleep less deeply and/or wake earlier. However, this doesn’t mean the following sleep disturbance myths are inevitable as you age.
“Older people require less sleep.”False! You need the same amount from age 20.
“Poor sleeping ability is a normal middle-age state.”Untrue! Difficulty falling asleep, nighttime waking and next-day tiredness aren’t typical of aging. A good night’s sleep can improve concentration and memory, repair cell damage and boost your immune system. You can purchase natural sleep aids to help get uninterrupted rest.
“Sleep deficiencies don’t affect health.”False! Interrupted sleep alters your blood pressure’s normal decline, leading to hypertension and cardiovascular problems. Inadequate sleep affects growth hormone secretion linked to obesity. Insufficient sleep impairs your body’s insulin usage, which can cause diabetes.
“Your brain rests during sleep.”Untrue! While your body rests, sleep recharges your brain while it remains active to control many body functions including breathing.
Now that you can replace myths with facts, work on solutions to live a happier and healthier life as you age. Healthy food image byNational Cancer Institute from Wikimedia CommonsJogging couple image by Ed Yourdon from Flickr’s Creative CommonsAbout the Author:Dr. Rodney Sewell, M.D., is a contributing blogger who has been a medical practitioner for almost two decades. He demonstrates his devotion to people’s welfare by focusing on pressing health-related issues in various blogs and periodicals.