When it comes to aging, we often focus on the big changes, such as moving into a nursing home. While it’s natural to focus on larger changes, aging is a spectrum and many smaller changes will happen before the big ones. Here are eight different ways that your daily routine will start to change as you begin to get older:
Give Yourself More Time in the Morning.
Arthritis leads to physical stiffness and discomfort, especially when you haven’t moved for long periods of time, such as sleeping overnight. If you’re used to jumping out of bed and going about your day without a pause, you might find yourself moving slower and slower in the morning as you age. You might need to start your day with some stretches to limber up your body or sleep with a heated blanket or mattress pad to dispel stiffness. Your morning routine will also take longer to complete since arthritis in your hands will make activities such as getting dressed more difficult.
You Might Have to Change Your Diet.
Sadly, our gastrointestinal tracts undergo changes as we age, and you may find that you can no longer eat some of your favorite foods without risking an upset stomach, menopause and bloating, or worse. You might also develop diabetes, high blood pressure, or another health condition that requires dietary changes in order to keep it in check. All of these bodily changes may require you to significantly change what you eat and drink on a daily basis in order to avoid flare-ups of your gastrointestinal problems.
Your Sleep Habits Might Change.
Many older adults find themselves sleeping at different times than they used to. Generally speaking, they go to bed earlier and get up earlier than younger people, causing their daily routine to shift. Other age-related changes such as menopause fatigue and night sweats can affect older adults’ ability to fall and stay asleep, further disrupting their nighttime routine and impacting their entire schedule. Certain lifestyle changes, such as starting an exercise routine and taking melatonin temporarily, can help you get your sleep schedule back on track so you can get a restful night’s sleep once again.
Update Your Exercise Routine.
Speaking of exercise routines, if you’re already committed to fitness for menopause relief or other benefits, you might not be able to continue exercising at the same rate and frequency as you age. You might find yourself getting winded or tired on exercises that you could have easily conquered a decade ago. Certain exercises and sports that are very hard on your joints, such as running, can also exacerbate age-related physical changes and increase pain and discomfort. It also becomes more important to deliberately work on balance and flexibility — which can help prevent falls — as you age. Don’t be afraid to alter your exercise routine so that it’s helping you rather than hurting you.
You Might Need To Alter Your Wardrobe.
Many adults gain weight due to a variety of factors, so you might find that your clothes no longer fit as years go by. Getting dressed and undressed can also become really difficult if you have arthritis or another condition that limits your mobility, especially in your hands. When this happens, there is nothing wrong with making changes to your wardrobe. Pants with elastic waists, slip-on shoes, or even tools designed to help with zipper pulls are all great options, and no one will even notice unless you choose to say something.
Your Personal Hygiene Might Change.
Skin and hair changes may seem superficial compared to the other things going on in your body, but they have a big impact on your personal hygiene needs. For instance, many older people’s skin becomes drier and thinner as they age. Not only does this necessitate switching up skincare products and moisturizing all the time, it also means that their skin is slower to heal from a cut or scrape, so they have to be much more careful. Some older adults also find that their skin, hair, and scalp is more prone to sunburn or sensitive to fragrance in products.
You Might Need To Write Things Down More Often.
Dementia is not an inevitable part of aging, but some short-term memory is a common side effect of getting older. Most older adults will occasionally forget appointments, grocery lists, and other essential information while their long-term memories remain intact. If you don’t already have one in place, start devising a system that helps you keep track of things, whether that’s a physical planner or a calendar app on your phone. Once you get in the habit of writing down things and setting alerts as soon as they cross your mind, you’ll greatly lower your odds of forgetting something essential.
You’ll Probably Start Taking More Medications.
Most people are on some kind of regular medication or vitamin regimen, but this definitely increases in complexity as you age. You will likely have multiple pills that you have to take at different times of day — with or without food — which means that you’ll need to find a way to build them into your daily routine so that you don’t forget to take them. It’s usually best to take them alongside an established part of your routine, such as eating breakfast or brushing your teeth at night. You should also consider making alerts for them as part of your calendar app or setting alarms for them on your phone.
What are some other ways that you have found your daily routine changing as you get older? Let us know in the comments below!