We often tend to focus on the negative effects ageing has on our physiology. But this article in Everyday Health suggests seven real benefits we can look forward to as we grow older.
Decreased Tooth Sensitivity If you’ve always had painfully sensitive teeth, they’ll become less so as you age. That’s because the surface between the enamel and nerves lays down more dentin (the tooth’s inner hard tissue) as teeth age, resulting in extra insulation and a diminished pain response.
Milder Allergies Plagued by allergies all your life? They’ll be less bothersome as you get older. After age 50, the body reacts with less vehemence to hay fever and other seasonal allergies, perhaps because older bodies produce less of the allergic antibody IgE,. Many food allergies diminish, too. However, severe sensitivities to tree nuts and peanuts may not go away. For unknown reasons, these food allergies tend to be life-long.
Fewer Colds and Other Viruses You’re less likely to get sick with colds and other minor viral infections after midlife. The reason: Each time your body is exposed to a virus, it develops antibodies that make you immune to that virus in the future. This means that more you age, the more likely it is that you’ll be immune to many — but not all — cold viruses. Unfortunately, this increased immunity doesn’t apply to the flu virus, as this bug mutates every year.
Low-Maintenance Skin Say goodbye to problems with oily skin. After age 50, the skin’s oil secretions slow down in both men and women. Cosmetic surgery scars can be hidden more easily when you’re older because mature skin is less likely to spring back and show a separation than young, elastic skin. And you can shave less often and can stop using deodorant.
A Fitter Brain Some memory functions, such as vocabulary and long-term memory, continually sharpen if you stay mentally active. In fact, research shows that memory skills can be honed well into old age.
A Youthful Heart Surprisingly, the heart hardly ages at all and actually can strengthen — as long as you keep your cholesterol and blood pressure in check.
Heightened Sexuality A shift in the hormonal balance beginning in the early 50s can increase a woman’s libido and her ability to have orgasms, says Jessica Fields, Ph.D., In fact, some research suggests that the frequency of orgasms increases for women in each decade, up until the octogenarian years (age 80 – 89). But men have reason to celebrate, too. After age 60, the ligaments that attach the penis to the body begin to relax. Assuming a man stays slim, this makes the flaccid penis look longer with each 60-plus decade. A Scottish study of 3,500 people found that men and women who made love at least three times a week looked 10 years younger than their less lusty counterparts.