While there are many fears in the world, many of us can identify the fear of getting old. This very fear or insecurity is so strong and widespread, it fuels a $122.3-billion global industry (as of 2013). If we’re to evenly distribute that much money to 7.5 billion people in the world, each of us would all be billionaires (not in Philippine pesos but in US dollars, mind you), with individual net worth of $16.5 billion.
So, let’s not be hypocrites here. Many of us don’t want to grow old because looking old, feeling old, and being old seems to equate with dependency, time running out, infirmity, and a whole lot of negative things. But as they say, if we don’t die young, we die old, and the ultimate goal is to age gracefully.
However, aging don’t come easy for some people. For them, growing old doesn’t add as much grace and elegance to life as it should. Some even look, feel and act old without having that many years added into their age. The stresses and pressures of life just make them so frumpy.
- Receding Hairline
While the women can be very particular about the do of their hair, it’s the men who are most affected by balding and receding hairline. Hair loss is mostly genetic, although disease and other external conditions may also affect hair health. Growing bald and losing hair is one of the many signs of aging. Those who want to grow back their hair may try hair growth shampoo, castor oil, and even hair transplant.
- Bulging Fats, Sagging Skin
As we grow older, our metabolism goes slower. Add to that a sedentary lifestyle, and bulges in all the wrong places will develop like grass – grows easy, dies hard. Exercise coupled with a good diet remains the best way to combat fats and flabs, but then again, there’s liposuction and other no-exercise-needed things we can try to get a slim bod.
- Leathery Skin
Baby skin is soft and supple – so darn good to touch. But old skin feels leathery, rough and dry, and often full of spider and varicose veins. Just as much as we keep our leather goods in mint condition by protecting them from extreme conditions, keeping them clean, applying leather oils (moisturizers) – the same can be done to our skin. Then it wouldn’t feel as leathery, but supple and soft like a baby’s. Too much sun exposure does more damage to your skin than anything, so load up with sunscreen and stay in the shade when you can.
- White Hair on Eyebrows, Nose
Yes, white or gray hair doesn’t only grow on the head, but in other parts of the body. Graying of eyebrows and other body parts when you’re still in your teens or 20’s may be due to genes, smoking, and vitamin deficiency. However, it’s also a sign that you’re growing old. So quit unhealthy habits and try natural remedies for graying eyebrows and nose hair.
- Bad Breathe, Yellow Teeth
Yes, tooth decay, bad breathe and other mouth problems don’t only afflict children with poor oral hygiene. Old people are notorious for smelling, well – old and rusty. Their bodies excrete that distinct odor, and their mouths, too. Old people, particularly those wearing false teeth and having health issues, have the worst mouth and teeth condition. Even if your teeth are A-okay, they’ll move and shift as you age, making it impossible to wear a perfect smile when you’re older.
- Bad Posture
The lack of physical exercise and nutrition deficiency, combined with illness or injury, affects our posture. Young people should be reminded that their lifestyle now will have a bearing on how they age many years later. If they’re such couch potatoes today in their teens and maintain this behavior, they’re more likely to slump before 30 or 40.
- Crooked Fingers, Toes
When aging strikes, so does arthritis and other illnesses, which cause bone deformities. The many years you’ve been using your hands and feet will eventually curl up your fingers and toes. For instance, too much high heels and tight shoes make your toes crooked with old age. As if crooked extremities weren’t bad enough, nail disorders (toes and fingers) are common too among the elderly.
- Poor Eyesight
We see very young kids already wearing these thick glasses because they were born with vision problems, or got sick or injured. But for those who grew up with 20-20 vision, they may not grow old and die still with such great eyesight all because vision changes as we grow old. Our ability to focus and see clearly will gradually decline as we gradually age.
- Memory Loss
Our very own Kuya Kim endorses a product to keep memory sharp. One of its commercial showed an elderly couple celebrating their wedding anniversary, but the elderly man teasingly forgets the day, and this angers his elderly wife. In the Philippines, when we forget something, we’d quickly and jokingly diagnose our condition as “sign of old age.” However, memory loss isn’t a laughing matter. According to experts, mild forgetfulness is a normal part of aging, but it may be a sign of a more serious mental condition.
- Grumpy-Old-Troll Attitude
Perhaps nothing makes you older and badder than an grumpy attitude. People tend to be grumpier and grouchier when they grow older. This could all be the product of the many stressful years they’ve had, the chronic pains they’re suffering, and other problems that worry them so much. However, some people, although still very young, are just grumpy as if a grumpy attitude and a grim face were a fixed part of their body, and for that they’re likely to earn the moniker grumpy old lady or grumpy old man.
There you have it – ten signs other than gray hair and wrinkles that indicate we’re growing old, with the last one being a potential sign of not aging gracefully. People desperate to age gracefully resort to all sorts of things – spending large amounts of money to pause or reverse the aging process. Hence, the ballooning anti-aging industry, expected to reach $191.7 billion by 2019.
Thus, we continue with our quest for the elixir of life (well because there really is nothing wrong with lengthening your life and staying healthy and strong). However, let’s remember there are far more meaningful things we can do in life than simply preventing wrinkles on our face and gray hair on our head. So smile a lot, think positive, hope for the best, exercise, eat healthy, and be nicer. These are the best and definitely costless ways to stay younger.