250222 HEALTHY AGING: How to fight low metabolism, spicy rebellion, hormones, and other body changes by Treva Lind Part 4 of 4

Both the artist Molly Quin and author Treva Lind are from The SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

Cardiovascular stiffening

The Mayo Clinic said stiffening of the blood vessels and arteries is the most common age change in the cardiovascular system, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood.

“The heart muscles change to adjust to the increased workload. Your heart rate at rest will stay about the same, but it won’t increase during activities as much as it used to. These changes increase the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems.”

Again, counteract with physical activity and a healthy diet, along with pledges to quit smoking if you do, manage stress and get enough sleep.

Hormonal change

As women age, they produce less estrogen, which has a protective effect on where the body decides to put weight, Ropp said. You might even start to notice it in premenopause, with more weight around the middle.

“As you lose the estrogen, your body tends to put it more around the middle,” Ropp said. “It can also affect how you handle extra sugar and carbohydrates because hormones are deciding where those extra calories go or don’t go.”

Inactive men can have a similar issue, she said. “Their aging decreases their metabolism, but they also start sometimes to produce less testosterone, which then leads to loss in muscle. Muscle is much better at using calories than non-muscle fat tissue.

To fight back, get enough sleep to aid metabolism, along with regular exercise, fewer calories and better nutrition. Don’t give up on metabolism. “You don’t have to agree to that,” Ropp said. “You can go down fighting. Not all hope is lost as you get older.”

Treva Lind can be reached at (509) 4595439 or at treval@spokesman.com.

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