One of the problems that people in their 50s begin to experience is difficulty getting a full night’s sleep. While old mattresses can be a contributing factor, Arya Nick Shamie, MD, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, says your mattress needs to support the body differently when you are in your 50s. The best mattresses alleviate pain by allowing the spine a good curvature, and they ensure the heels, head, buttocks, and shoulders are all supported and in their proper alignment.
Sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t provide enhanced support and pressure relief will result in painful mornings, days and nights. Before choosing your next mattress, consider the following:
1. Age of the Mattress
Many people will sleep on a mattress that is 10 years old (or older) because it still looks new. Many of the ailments that you feel as you reach 50 years of age are a direct result of the quality of the mattress you are sleeping on. We spend one-third of our life sleeping, so it is vital our minds and bodies get the appropriate deep and restorative sleep every night. If you find that you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, you have more ailments than usual, or you wake up feeling exhausted even after spending eight hours in bed, it might be time to purchase a new mattress.
According to Michael Breus, PhD, sleep expert and the author of Beauty Sleep, a full night’s sleep helps the body deal with ailments and fight off new illnesses. Choosing the right mattress to address your current health needs goes a long way in enabling you to get the most out of your time in bed.
2. Changing Body Requirements
While an innerspring mattress may have been perfect before the age of 50, that type of mattress may no longer be effective at helping your body to properly heal at night. According to studies conducted at Berkeley College in California, by the time we reach the age of 50, our bones are changing at a much more rapid rate. The mattress that supported you and alleviated pressure point pain 10 years ago likely won’t do the same today. As the body ages, so do sources of aches and pains, so you should reconsider your mattress type.
Mattresses wear out just like people, and the springs inside a traditional spring mattress may no longer be effective at removing pressure in your legs, and as a result you may walk around with severe leg cramps most of your day.
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS), meaning it affects the brain as well as the spinal cord. The central nervous system controls all actions performed by the body. When MS alters the myelin coating on the nerves that relay messages to and from the brain, symptoms may start to occur in almost every body part. Here’s a list of the early signs of multiple sclerosis:
About eight out of 10 people experience fatigue in the early stages of MS — one of the most common symptoms of the disease. Fatigue significantly affects the ability to function at work and home, and may be the most protuberant sign in an individual who otherwise has minimal activity limitations.
Some people experience MS lassitude, which is a very serious fatigue that occurs daily and appears to grow worse as time goes on. Most people will describe it as “unlike anything they have ever felt,” according to a report by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in New York.
Lack of sensation in different parts of the body (numbness) is often one of the initial symptoms that brings people with MS to health experts. Numbness may occur in the body, the face, or the legs and arms, and can affect walking, the ability to hold objects, and chewing as well if it ends up affecting the face. Sometimes the feeling may progress over days or hours, but it eventually subsides on its own.
Tingling is closely related to numbness, in which case one may feel as though the arm, toe, or fingers are falling asleep, yet never really wake up. Just like other MS signs, tingling occurs as a result of distorted nerves relaying unclear signals to the various parts of the body. This sensory phenomenon associated with multiple sclerosis is often referred to as “MS hug” by medical professionals.
4. Coordination and Balance Problems
Movement problems are one of the first signs that a person could be suffering from MS. Impaired nerve conduction will mean that muscles aren’t able to behave as they should — movement and coordination problems are a surprise.
People report feeling suddenly weak in just one limb, or they may find objects easily slipping out of their hands. If the cerebellum (the part of the brain responsible for controlling balance) ends up damaged, people are prone to falling, and might also be unsteady on their feet.
Those who have reached the age of 50 and beyond need to better understand the limitations of the body as it ages. Exercises that you could easily perform in your 20s and 30s could cause serious injury today. According to Dr. McCance, spinal surgeon at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, some people over the age of 50 are pushing themselves too hard. He cites an example of a physical trainer he treated who was 50 years old, working out too hard and ruptured a disc. Studies at Health magazine show that among 78 million baby boomers, back injuries from exercising are on the rise. Before you become another statistic, consider these exercises for the people over 50.
Adults over 50 today are well aware of the heart benefits in exercising, and studies conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association show that those who exercise regularly will live longer than unfit adults.
Never try to cram too much into one session. Exercise to your comfort level and stop. If you are new to exercising, narrow the routine and focus on one exercise per week. In no time you’ll be able to make it through the entire regimen.
The first part of this exercise program is focused on strength training. According to WebMD, as we approach and pass the age of 50, muscles become smaller and lose the ability to contract. Lower muscle mass means increased risk of diabetes. Plus, many adults over 50 have a higher fat content than young adults. You can combat this by incorporating strength training into your exercise routine. The following exercises should be performed twice a week using 5-pound dumbbells. As you develop your muscles, increase the weight to 8 and then 10 pounds.
1. One-Legged Wall Squats
This exercise will benefit the abs, hamstrings, buttocks, and quads.
• Begin this exercise by placing an exercise ball between your lower back and the wall.
• The feet should be approximately 1-2 feet in front of you and hip-width apart.
• Straighten the right leg first, allowing the foot to be 6 inches off the ground.
• Now bend the left knee and lower your body to the squat position.
• Straighten out the leg and return to standing position.
End with Lowering your foot to the floor and repeat using your other leg. Continue until you have completed 8 reps. This 15-minute exercise routine will help to build and maintain muscles and bones while increasing your metabolism.
Just about anything can cause a migraine headache, from changes in weather, certain foods and drinks to a lack of sleep, strong odors, and increased stress. If you understand exactly what triggers your migraine headaches, then you are in a better position than most people. Unfortunately for many, migraines are an unexpected surprise. If you are battling these painful headaches and don’t know what’s triggering them, consider these seven foods that fight migraines that may help to bring you some comfort.
If you are having trouble with persistent headaches, consider eating a few bananas. The magnesium in bananas relaxes the blood vessels throughout the body and can help ease pain. Potassium is a crucial part of overall electrolyte balance. In addition to helping bring comfort from a stubborn migraine, bananas can also help ease muscle fatigue and prevent nausea.
2. Fresh Salad
The pain from a migraine headache is due in part to the body experiencing dehydration. The high fiber and water content in vegetables, such as spinach and lettuce leaves, will rehydrate your body and reduce the pressure on the blood vessels in the brain. Iceberg lettuce has a higher water content, but it lacks the nutrients needed to fully eliminate pain. Consider adding romaine, escarole, arugula, spinach, or butter lettuce to your salad as an alternative to iceberg. Rather than eating baked snacks throughout the day, keep a fresh salad in the refrigerator and enjoy the healing benefits.
Iron is an essential mineral that plays a big role in your overall health and well-being. Without the daily recommended dosage of iron, the body can begin to malfunction. According to the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention as part of the Henry Ford Health System, the primary role of iron is to carry oxygen in the bloodstream to each cell in the body. When the body is not getting enough iron, a person may begin to exhibit these nine signs of iron deficiency:
1. Frequent Infections
When your body is not getting enough iron, this can make you more susceptible to a variety of infections. The red blood cells transport oxygen to the spleen and lymph nodes, where infections can be fought off. When you have an iron deficiency, white blood cells are not being produced in abundance. Those cells developed do not have adequate oxygen and are weak. The lack of white blood cells will make a person susceptible to infections.
2. Extreme Exhaustion and Fatigue
One of the signs of iron deficiency is a constant state of fatigue. In this case, bloodstream is no longer carrying the appropriate amount of oxygen to cells, and as a result, energy levels suffer. When you have a lack of iron in the blood, the result is the inability to focus, feeling weak, and walking around sluggish all day. Rather than dump cups of caffeine into your system to get a jolt, see a physician and have your iron levels checked.
3. Shortness of Breath
Regardless of how deep you take a breath, if your oxygen levels are lower than normal due to iron deficiency, then you will constantly feel like you are out of air. The feeling of shortness of breath will occur when doing normal things like walking, getting out of bed, or carrying in groceries from the car. Speak with your physician about a potential iron deficiency if you have shortness of breath during your normal daily routine.