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How old are you at 45?
Find out which of the myths that foresee a faster aging are valid and which are not. There is a guy we know and who swore that his baldness is expanding. He showed it to us and he is right, it obviously gets bigger. This wouldn’t ail him if his knees didn’t hurt and if his earlobes wouldn’t hang closer and closer to his shoulders, while his hair grows out of his ears leafier than it was.
This guy reached his middle age and he is convinced that all these changes are an integrated part of the same “I am aging”. We don’t believe that. It is true; an entire series of things start happening at the half of your life, but time may be less responsible than the way of living: too much food, too much Martini, few days at the gym and too many hours spent reading tabloids.
What is the good news?
Myth. When you are 45 women notice you less.
Well, we haven’t known you until now, so it may be evidence in what we are concerned, but it shouldn’t stay that way. You can be more attractive now than you have ever been! "Our impression of what it takes to be sexy as a man is a lot different than what women think", says Dr. Raymond J. Shaw, psychology professor at Merrimack College, who does researches on aging. Men are much more attractive in this period just because of their attitude, the way they behave. Women notice these things. To emphasize this image, get your hair cut.
The combination long hair in the back-leftovers in the front simply doesn’t work. Cut the hair from other parts too. "I hear people complaining that they look like hell, when in fact they have lost the desire to take care of themselves, to be careful with themselves", says Leon Hall, the host of a TV show. What he is trying to say is to remove fast the hair that grows more abundantly in the nose and in the ears.
Myth. When you are 45 the memory starts fading away.
If you forget things, don’t blame your age. Blame the new millennium we are living in. With 100 TV channels, e-mail and all the rest, our brain processes more information than a serious PC. "It is called overcharging", says Einstein. We are talking about Gil Einstein, PhD, president of the psychology department of the Furman University.
For most of us, the morning is the best time to focus and to avoid disruptions, thing which is more obvious when we age. So, do most of the activities before lunch, leaving the easier tasks for the afternoon.
Myth. At 45 you turn the TV louder because you start losing your hearing.
If you have problems with “catching” sounds, this is more likely because of the noise level you were exposed to when you were younger, says Amy Donahue, PhD at the National Institute for People with Hearing Problems.
The years in which the internal ear was constantly attacked by… motorcycles, drill presses, snowmobiles, jet-skis, your first wife, industrial cars and, of course, the electrical period of Bob Dylan, all these leave marks. Just like a simple gun tug or an explosion. That is why there are protection helmets. I said, that is why there are protection helmets.
Myth. At 45 you need more time to put things in order
There are some branched prolongations is the brain of the nervous cells, called dendrites, that transport the information to the cells to be processed by them. When you are very little and you learn, these dendrites keep adapting to the stimuli they are exposed to, creating nervous networks that help the brain work more effectively. These networks should last for the entire middle period, but you have to keep them fertile by thinking only about things which are hard to solve.
According to PhD Bob Jacobs, associated psychology professor at the Colorado University, you can give the dendrites a "restart shock" by taking on some solicitant mental and physical activities. To learn how to play an instrument is a great idea. Sport of any kind is welcome for those who have white collar jobs, but if your work is mainly physical, try complementary things which solicit the brain: reading, painting, or sculpting.
Myth. When you are 45 you have more heartburn.
Once you get closer to the age of 50, the valve that keeps the gastric acid away from the esophagus starts losing its initial tightness. So, when you lay down, the acids from your stomach, which can melt the coin from your pocket, get to the esophagus. That is why you have the pressure feeling from your chest. And this is the reason for which you shouldn’t get to bed before two hours passed from dinner.
This way you will give the gastric acid enough time to stop from "boiling" before you lay down. And you shouldn’t get fat either. "The fat tissue from the thoracic area helps the acid get to the esophagus", says Timothy Koch, medicine PhD, chief of the department of gastro-enteric studies from the West Virginia University.
Myth. At 45 the knees and all the other things bother you more often.
This thing will certainly happen if you will do nothing else but eat. Make constant exercise and you will not notice this major change. A research of the Stanford University watched 410 people who run and 289 who aren’t doing any exercise, with the ages between 53 and 75 years, for a period of 6 years. The idea was to notice if the long term running causes pain.
But this didn’t happen. Moreover, the runners have less pain than those who didn’t run, despite the extra solicitation of the knees and of the articulations. As long as you maintain your articulations elastic and your muscles powerful, you won’t get through a physical decay which you started to notice at other men of similar ages to yours, says Dr. Alan E. Mikesky, director at the Performance Institute of the Purdue University in Indiana.
Myth. At 45 you can’t hit upon the toilet from 3 different points of the bathroom.
The hell with it! How are you going to impress your cloakroom neighbor? Starting with the age of 25, hormonal changes lead to the progressive increase of the prostate, a change called prostatich hyperplasia.
You don’t notice its effects until you get close to the age of 40, when the bladder starts increasing the pressure on the urethra, reducing the “flow” in a significant way, says Dr. Jon L. Pryor, urologist at the Minnesota University. If you have persistent problems during urination, see a specialist about it. There are a lot of treatments and medication which open the "valve" at its maximum.
Myth. At 45 the baldness starts extending on the entire body.
We would be thrilled if the hair would start leaving only the head. “It is very normal to start losing hair from your legs too after 50, especially from the tibias”, says David Alkek, dermatology Ph D at the Medicine University from Texas.
The circulatory system pumps the blood less effectively through the extremities, so the follicles start atrophying gradually. You can’t do anything about it, but the frequent friction with the socks can accelerate the process.
Our advice: don’t use socks anymore or stick to the long trousers option.
Myth. At 45 the penis is smaller.
That is not true. But it may look smaller, if the rest is bigger. When you gain weight, the fat tissue from the pubic area becomes larger and leads to a masking to up to 2-3 cm of the length you were proud of.
Myth. At 45 your body can have internal burnings like they were 15 years ago.
Once you grow older, the metabolism starts slowing down. But most certainly, it is more possible that this weight gain to be because of a change of habits: you eat pretty much the same thing, but you exercise less, says Judith S. Stern, nutrition and internal medicine professor at the California University.
Adjust both data from the equation. Add some minutes of exercises and try not to empty the dishes every night. Or just put less food in them.
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