Don’t Dread Getting Older: 10 Ways Your Health Gets Better With Age
While there are definite realities of getting older we’d rather not face, there’s also an upside: The aging process may not be as horrific as you think. When you’re ready to see the glass half full, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 ways your health can actually get better with age.
1. You may get happier with age
It may sound like an oxymoron, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Just think about how many life experiences you have under your belt. A newsletter from United HealthCare says, “Research shows that as people grow older they’re more likely to have optimistic attitudes than those in younger age groups. They also tend to experience fewer emotional storms — and enjoy greater inner peace.”
Generally speaking, most people go through the ups and downs of major life decisions during their 20s and 30s. The concerns of nailing down a stable career and deciding where you want to raise your family — if settling down is your thing — are probably behind you by the time your later years roll around. Phew.
2. Sex gets better with age for women
Well, this is news worthy of shouting from the rooftop: The best sex of your life may still be ahead of you. So, is there any actual evidence to back this mind-blowing claim? Sure is. In fact, an article published on Today discusses two studies presented at a meeting of the North American Menopause Society.
In both studies, the majority of women surveyed said an improved body image — which comes with age — led to better sex. Furthermore, participants of the first study, composed of 39 women ages 46 to 59, also cited improved communication skills, while the second study, which included 505 women ages 40 to 75, noted sex as important in the overall quality of life.
3. You get better at decision-making
Making decisions is a part of everyday life. From the time you were a kid, right up until the time you’re on your deathbed (not to be a downer here), decision-making is just a fact of life. Thankfully, research suggests skills will only improve with age.
“We found that older adults are better at evaluating the immediate and delayed benefits of each option they choose from. They are better at creating strategies in response to the environment,” Darrell Worthy, one of the study authors, said in a press release. The researchers concluded that, the older you are, the more reasoning methods you’ve learned.
4. You may have decreased stress levels
By this point in your life, it’s likely you’ve lived through some pretty significant events. And with each of those situations — good or bad — has come the ability to better cope with unwanted stress. Research shows “the elderly report fewer stressful life events than do the young.” One reason for this is the type of major life events that can cause stress, such as marriage, divorce, new jobs, and having children are in the past. Furthermore, daily stressors are likely to be less worrisome for older adults. So, you can kiss those days goodbye soon enough.
5. You could get smarter
Everyone’s familiar with the adage that getting older means getting wiser. And there’s probably more truth to it than you think. Not only does it explain how experience can improve your standing in the “old and wise” category, but it actually has some well-researched merit.
Reader’s Digest discusses the Seattle Longitudinal Study, one of the most well-known trials, which has had more than 6,000 participants since 1956. People in their 40s to their 60s did better in areas of vocabulary, spatial orientation skills, and inductive reasoning than they did in their 20s. How’s that for positivity?
6. Your migraines may get better
Anyone who’s ever suffered a migraine will no doubt rejoice over this one. According to one study, migraines become less painful and less frequent over time. One of the researchers told WebMD migraines typically develop around the age of 20, with the average time span lasting about 25 years. Luckily, you’re still sharp enough to do the math (read No. 5). Your head will thank you later, just give it some time to run its course.
7. You’ll get better sleep
Apparently, complaining about poor sleep is for those who haven’t hit their elderly years. Time discusses a study in which 155,877 adults were asked about the quality of their rest. And the age group who reported getting the best sleep? Folks in their 80s, that’s who. Pretty interesting stuff, considering so many people struggle with poor sleep habits. If you’re one of these people, you might try some of our tips that’ll give you a better shot at a restful night of quality sleep. Rest assured, your best years of shut-eye may still be ahead of you.
8. A woman’s emotional well-being improves with age
There’s good news for the women of the world: Ladies do get better with age. In fact, one study found younger women had poorer emotional well-being than older women. Younger women tended to be more concerned with aging, given its relation to a decline in health and physical appearance.
“Our society’s marginalization of older women can have consequences for women across adulthood,” researcher Anne Barrett, said in a press release. “It can erode their emotional well-being long before they reach old age.” The good news is females seem to get over their insecurities with the simple passing of time.
9. Your allergies could subside
Pollen can be a real pain in the butt, wouldn’t you agree? Luckily, Michael J. Welch, co-director of the Allergy & Asthma Medical Group and Research Center in San Diego, tells Prevention seasonal allergies could subside over time. Although Welch admits he’s not exactly sure why, he told the publication they “do see that older people don’t have as many symptoms of seasonal allergies.” Even though there’s certainly no guarantee on this one, at least there’s a glimmer of hope you’ll eventually outgrow your allergies.
10. Your skin can get better
Teens aren’t the only ones who deal with stubborn pimples: Acne can follow you right into your adult years, and refuse to let up. But as you age even more? Not so much. This can be attributed to the fact that your skin becomes less oily over time, Julie Karen, M.D., tells Everyday Health. Less oil typically means clearer skin, so there’s that.