Estimated reading time: 15 minutes
What happens to your body in your 60’s
What happens to your body in your 60’s?
Is it possible to maintain or turn your health around in your midlife?
Yes, I think it is.
But only if you’re prepared to put some effort in.
Let’s start with some numbers
In case you were wondering if there’s more over 60’s in the world than ever before, here are some numbers for you to ponder.
By 2050, about 2 billion people are expected to be over 60, which represents 22% of the world’s population.
Break that down a little and target one part of the globe and it means that by 2030 the population of Europe (including the UK) that is expected to be over 60, is between 25% and 29%.
the increase in over 60’s will mean challenges for governments
An ageing population presents it’s own challenges for governments.
But keeping this closer to home. What does it mean for you?
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT AT AGE 60?
Your body changes as you get older. Fact.
But what happens to your body in your 60’s?
Without question your body will show signs of wear and tear as you reach your 7th decade.
Turning 60 is one of those milestones that used to usher in retirement and a life of inactivity in the minds of many people.
Millennials spring to mind as still holding that view. But then again, they think anyone over 40 is old.
But you know that getting older isn’t such a bad thing after all or you wouldn’t be reading this.
If you truly thought that you’d slip into a pair of comfy slippers and while-away your time gardening. Or watching TV, whilst planning your next holiday (as long as you can get the insurance), you wouldn’t have bothered to type the search term you did into your search engine.
You wouldn’t have bothered because you wouldn’t give a damn what happens to your body in your 60’s.
But you did bother.
Just Like you, 41% of people > 50 say they’re optimistic about getting older
That’s a great mindset.
And a great way to start to prepare for this next phase of our lives.
So what can you expect of your 60’s?
Everyone ages differently and lifestyle plays a major role in the ageing process.
Your 60’s can be a time when you reap the rewards of the lifestyle you’ve had over the years.
If you’re a little worried that you haven’t paid enough attention to your health and wellbeing and feel it’s too late to make amends. You could be wrong.
It’s never too late to start to prioritise your health and fitness.
The games not over yet.
There’s still time to change bad habits by developing new healthier habits.
Habits such as getting regular exercise.
Habits like adopting a healthier eating plan that includes the vitamins, minerals and fibre your body needs.
Keeping your mind healthy by continuing to learn new things.
And thinking positively about ageing.
Start by being clear on what changes to expect
Your body does change with time. Getting older is inevitable and much preferable to the alternative.
But what does happen to your body in your 60’s?
Your Skin Will Be Drier and More Fragile
Your skin will be drier and more fragile. Wrinkles that started to appear in your 40’s and 50’s will be more noticeable especially if you are or were, a smoker.
Joint Aches and Pains
Ageing and inactivity can lead to joint aches and pains. As you age there is naturally a loss in the joint fluid that lubricates joints and your muscle strength starts to decline.
Your Metabolism Slows Down
Your metabolism begins to slow by around 5% each decade of your life so you may start to put on weight in your 60’s.
You Need To Exercise To Maintain Health
Many people over 60 take this decade as an opportunity to slow down and cut back on exercise resulting in an increased risk of heart disease.
Hearing Loss And Poorer Eye Sight
Age related hearing loss and deteriorating eye sight is common.
You May Be Slower At REmembering Things
And you can expect part of your brain circuitry to start to age.
Do you know the kind of thing? You walk from one room to the other and completely forget why you went in there. Or you open a cupboard and stare into it with no clue of why you opened it.
It happens to everyone, at every age.
All of the above can happen to anyone at any age
Even though we know all of the things listed above are normally related to those who are over 60, they can and do happen at any age.
So don’t read that list and think there’s no up sides to ageing.
Seriously. Don’t panic now that you’ve read that last section and jump to the conclusion that it’s all downhill from here.
Seeing only the downsides will only make you anxious and feed any feelings of ‘life as I know it is at an end’ that you may already have had.
Now more than ever, you should choose your own response to the physical changes that are happening now that you are in your 60’s. Taking steps to make sure this stage of your life is positive, active and enjoyable has the potential to reap huge rewards
The quality of this phase of your life is, largely, up to you
The changes you should consider at 60
- Check your diet to make sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need
- Stay active or get active if you’re neglecting your exercise routine
- Have routine health checks including hearing and eye tests
- Look after your feet
- Maintain your social life
- Don’t smoke
Check Your Diet
Adopt A Diet That Matches Your Needs
As we mentioned earlier, in your 60’s you can expect your metabolism to slow and your dietary needs to need a little tweaking.
Unless you’ve been told by your doctor that you need to lose weight, possibly to manage conditions such as type II diabetes, you probably don’t need to change your diet to lose weight.
Instead, give some thought to adopting a healthy eating plan that gives your body what it needs.
Now is a great time to add to your knowledge of vitamins and minerals, the benefits of each one to your body, and the foods that provide them. (Remember that it’s never too late to learn something new.)
You can make a great start to overhauling your diet by downloading these guides to vitamins and minerals from our Freebies page.
Your free Guides to Vitamins & Minerals
To get access to the guides to vitamins and minerals, including those created for vegetarians, simply complete the sign up form below and we’ll send you the password by email.
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Our helpful guides enable you to add to your knowledge about vitamins and minerals and their role in maintaining your overall health. Plus they have lists of foods where you’ll find them.
Armed with that knowledge you can find recipes using those ingredients and start to create food that is not only delicious but is packed with the nutrients you need.
In addition, to help you, all my recipes contain a brief outline of the health benefits of the ingredients too.
With all that information to hand and just a click of your mouse away, you can start on your healthy eating plan right away.
Your skin will tell it’s own story
You’ll see changes in your skin as it becomes more fragile and the wrinkles that appeared in your 40’s and 50’s take up more permanent residence in your 60’s.
For both men and women, the decline in sex-related hormones has an effect on both the body and the skin. Women lose oestrogen and progesterone and men experience declining levels of testosterone. Follow the links above to find out more.
The loss of sex-related hormones in women from the menopause causes bodily changes and has a direct effect on the skin.
The loss of testosterone in men however, is not so marked and doesn’t appear to have anything like the same physical effects.
In some men, testosterone levels remain high throughout life, but in most, they begin to decline at about age 40. Unlike the huge drop in hormones that women experience at menopause, however, the decline in men is gradual, averaging just over 1% a year.
That results in an imperceptible change at first, but by age 70, the average man’s testosterone production is 30% below its peak.
Still, testosterone levels remain within the normal range in at least 75% of older men, which is why many men can father children in their 80s and beyond.
(At this point I must be honest and say that I begin to question if ‘Mother Nature’ is the right term. When the ageing stats seem to favour the male of the species so much you have to wonder.)
Physical Activity Earns Brownie Points
Stay – or get – active
If you’ve been active over the years the good news is that your bones, joints and muscles will stay in pretty good shape during your 60’s.
If you’ve not been active, it’s not too late to mend your ways!
In fact, a recent study tells us that women who take up healthy habits in middle age can slash their risk of a stroke by more than a third. As women are generally more prone to strokes than men so this is great news.
Types of Exercise You Should Consider
This list holds true at pretty much any age but you may find some easier to incorporate into your life than others.
- Resistance training. It’s easy to work with resistance without putting money down to buy equipment. Yoga uses your own bodyweight to provide resistance making it a great way to workout.
- Yoga also introduces stretches to your life that in turn promote and maintain flexibility.
- HIIT. HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training – is a great way to increase your strength and fitness. And you don’t have to work out for hours to get benefits. Just check out HIIT instructors such as Joe Wicks on YouTube and you’ll find that as little as 15 or 20 minutes 3 or 4 times a week will give you huge benefits.
- Resistance Bands. Resistance bands are inexpensive and really easy to use. You simply add them to normal workout moves such as squats and leg raises and you introduce a level of resistance. Resistance training helps to build muscle and protect bone health.
- Use the stairs. If you have stairs at home, try to run up them. Or at least increase your speed when you walk up the stairs!
- Lift weights. Lifting weights will not make you look like a muscle-bound hulk. The images you see of weightlifters is from a form of weight training that’s a world away from the weights you need to lift to protect your bone health. Lifting weights is vital as you get older as it helps to delay, or prevent, the onset of osteoporosis. It can help some types of arthritis (check with your GP), helps with your posture, and even strengthens your pelvic floor muscles.
- Walk. Walking is a great exercise. And walking is the most accessible form exercise of the lot.
- Balance. As we age our balance suffers. Yoga and standing on one leg will help.
But mainly the advice is J.D.I.
Just Do It.
Take Up the offer of health checks
As you age you will be offered health checks. Checks of your weight to determine your BMI. Checks of your blood pressure and checks on your overall health.
Additionally, you should take advantage of eye and hearing checks.
Those checks are there to highlight the onset of health issues that may become problems if you don’t do something about them now.
Look After Your Feet
You’re probably asking why this article includes a section on your feet.
As you age your skin becomes dry and your feet have put in a lot of hours so far in moving you round.
That dry skin on your heels that used to look unsightly in summer shoes could become far worse now and worsen to form cracks that could allow an infection to get in.
If you want to stay active you will need your feet to be in good health.
Start with home pedicures or treat yourself to monthly sessions with a podiatrist.
Your feet will thank you and you’ll walk that little bit taller as you’ll feel more comfortable in your skin (and shoes).
Maintain Your Social Life
Friends add so much to your life. Spending time with friends and family adds so much to our feelings of security and helps to maintain good mental health. Social interactions are great for our feelings of wellbeing and quality of life as they help us to feel less isolated and more connected to the world around us.
When major life changes happen, such as retirement, divorce or bereavement it’s easy to retreat into ourselves. Having a good circle of support will help greatly with general wellbeing and quality of life.
You may even find a workout buddy in your social circle who will help keep you moving!
You already know you shouldn’t smoke so I won’t labour the point.
There are lots of products available to help you change your habits and remove smoking from your life.
Smoking is health limiting. Enough said.
Just remember – The game’s not over yet
Just define how you want to play the game of mid-life.
Arm yourself with the knowledge of how to get and stay healthy.
Build your new habits into your daily routine.
And go for it.