Take a quick look in your bathroom vanity mirror- do you recognize the person that you see looking back at you?
Of course not! None of us enjoy the realization that we are getting older and certain body parts are no longer as toned or youthful as before. I’m guessing that you probably still feel the same as you did at thirty, but that image in the mirror just doesn’t match who you are on the inside.
But how do you know if what you see in that mirror is normal or if your body is aging too quickly? Here are five telltale signs that something may be off with your internal clock-
Your Balance is Compromised
Do you find yourself struggling to keep your balance at times? If so, that could be a sign that your body is becoming a much higher risk for stroke or numerous other issues. Now, don’t get overly alarmed here if you’re tripping over the grandkids toys or slipping on the bathroom tile; that’s not the type of poor balance we’re talking about here. Try this test on for size-
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with arms at your side
- Raise one leg forward so your foot is about three inches off the ground
- Hold that pose for at least twenty seconds, then repeat with the opposite leg
If you struggle to pass this test, then it may be a good idea to have a regular check-up with your doctor and mention balance issues.
You are Losing the Sense of Smell
Of the five senses, the one to pay the most attention to is your sense of smell. Researchers have found that losing the ability to smell certain aromas could be an early warning sign for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and several other mental ailments that rapidly worsen over time. So if you notice that freshly cut roses or a apple pound cake doesn’t smell as fragrant as it once did, it’s time to speak with your physician about some additional testing.
Of course, this is nowhere near as accurate for those of us with seasonal allergies, so don’t panic if your cinnamon brooms don’t seem to fill the air with autumn freshness in September. Loss of smell is simply an easy to spot symptom…not a definitive sign of serious problems.
You Experience Dry Mouth in the Morning
I have briefly talked to you about sleep apnea in the past, but what I didn’t share at the time was that a main symptom is waking up with chapped lips or a dry throat/mouth. This is indicative of heavy snoring and periods of not breathing at all, which prevents the body from properly regenerating at night and drastically raises risk to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and dozens of other ailments. Additionally, this is one symptom to take extremely serious since sleep apnea is easily treated.
If this section is ringing any bells, then speak to your doctor about scheduling an in-home sleep study in order to diagnose your quality of sleep. And in the meantime, try to boost your physical activity by at least 20 minutes per day in order to minimize sleep apnea risks.
You Become Easily Fatigued
This category probably caught your attention since we all become easily fatigued from time to time. For instance, I felt like I was going to pass out from working in my rose garden during the hottest part of the day last week. That was really my own fault though for not staying properly hydrated.
General fatigue can be a warming sign for numerous ailments, and some of them can be life-threatening if left unchecked for a period of time. So here’s how I want you to handle feeling sleepy during the afternoon from now on-
- Cut back on morning coffee, teas and sugary drinks
- Try to avoid processed carbs, especially for lunch
- Adjust your sleep schedule to include 8 hours of ZZZ’s
- Find time for 30 minutes of light exercise per day
If you find yourself following the above list and still feeling sluggish, then it may point to an iron deficiency in your blood. Check with your doctor sooner rather than later since there could also be issues such as diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism or fibromyalgia.
I’ll also leave you with one final antiaging tip that may be the most important- you’ll always be as young as your outlook allows you to be. Don’t shy away from things that you love because of the number on your birth certificate; an active lifestyle is the number one way to stay young. Plus life is just more fun that way!