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4 Senior Health Myths

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4 Senior Health Myths

Getting older is inevitable but getting less healthy at the same time doesn't have to be. There's a general misconception that once people reach a certain age, they start losing their mental faculties, becoming less active and generally less healthy.

But that's simply not true anymore, especially since better health care options are more widely available and more information is known about nutrition.

Find out about these four senior health myths and exactly what makes them lore instead of fact.

Myth 1: Brain functioning declines as seniors age.

Hitting your mid 60s means a lot of things — retirement, travel and grandkids, to name a few common experiences for many. But it doesn't necessarily mean your brain's functioning is going to decline rapidly.

Yes, you might lose your ability to recall specific details and events, or it might take you a minute to remember the exact date of your grandson's birthday or why you walked into a room to retrieve something, but you now have a wealth of knowledge and insight that can only be accumulated with age. It can take longer to sort through all that knowledge, and wisdom can be a valuable tradeoff for speed.

That said, definitely continue to actively exercise your brain with tabletop puzzles, crosswords, trying new things and socializing with people in your community.

Myth 2: Seniors experience appetite loss.

Older adults do have higher levels of cholecystokinin, which is a hormone that contributes to your feeling full after eating. Many also have less-sensitive taste buds, which can also contribute to a shrinking appetite. Some seniors may experience a loss of appetite as a side effect of medication, but this shouldn't mean you lose your zest for eating altogether.

If you're looking for ways to revive your enjoyment of food, focus on seasoning food with aromatic spices, like ginger, garlic or cumin in your apartment at Bethesda Gardens in Frisco. Spices help make food flavorful, but in a much healthier way compared to adding more salt or sugar to meals.

Myth 3: Seniors can't build muscle mass.

Part of this is true: you lose approximately 3-5 percent of your muscle mass during every decade after you turn 30 thanks to increasing inflammation and declining hormone levels.

Participating in resistance exercise, such as movement with light weights or resistance bands, can help build up muscle mass, and that's something older adults can do throughout their lives.

Myth 4: It's too late for seniors to learn new things.

New medical evidence in recent years has suggested that new neurons keep forming throughout our lives. This means there's no reason why older adults can't learn new skills or hobbies.

Some older adults may find learning new things daunting, and that's understandable. But if you work on a hobby that pertains to your brain's strengths instead of a hobby that requires multitasking, you may have more success.