Healthy Aging: What's Normal Versus What You Should Worry About

Feb 15, 2021


Welcome to the comprehensive guide on healthy aging. At Muir Diablo Occupational Medicine, we believe that aging gracefully and maintaining good health is of utmost importance. This guide will provide you with valuable insights into what is considered normal during the aging process and highlight areas that may require extra attention. Our team of experts has compiled a wealth of information to help you lead a healthier and more fulfilling life as you age.

Understanding Normal Aging

Aging is a natural process that everyone goes through. It is important to distinguish between normal signs of aging and potential health issues that may arise. As we age, certain changes occur both internally and externally. These changes can affect various aspects of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Physical Changes

Physically, aging may involve a decrease in muscle mass, bone density, and overall strength. Our metabolism tends to slow down, making it easier to gain weight. Additionally, our skin may become thinner and less elastic, leading to the formation of wrinkles. However, these changes are normal and can be managed with a healthy lifestyle.

Mental and Cognitive Changes

As we age, it is common to experience mild memory loss and a slight decline in cognitive abilities. However, severe memory problems or cognitive impairments may indicate an underlying health issue that requires medical attention. It is important to seek professional advice if you are concerned about changes in your mental well-being.

What to Watch Out For

While certain changes are normal, there are specific symptoms and signs that should not be ignored. These can indicate underlying health conditions that require prompt evaluation and treatment. Here are a few areas to pay extra attention to:

Cardiovascular Health

As we age, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure increases. It is crucial to monitor your blood pressure regularly, maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and consult with a healthcare professional for proper cardiovascular assessments.

Bone Health

Age-related bone loss, also known as osteoporosis, is a common concern for older adults. It is essential to include calcium and vitamin D-rich foods in your diet, engage in weight-bearing exercises, and undergo regular bone density screenings. Your healthcare provider can guide you on preventive measures and treatments available.

Chronic Conditions

Many chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension become more prevalent with age. Managing these conditions effectively requires close monitoring, regular check-ups, adherence to treatment plans, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Aging Tips

While aging itself is inevitable, there are numerous proactive steps you can take to age gracefully and maintain optimal health:

1. Balanced Diet

Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your daily meals. Stay hydrated and limit the intake of processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages.

2. Regular Exercise

Engage in physical activities that you enjoy regularly. Incorporate aerobic exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises into your routine. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program.

3. Mental Stimulation

Keep your brain active and engaged by reading, solving puzzles, learning new skills, and engaging in social activities. Stay connected with friends and loved ones to maintain a strong support system.

4. Proper Sleep

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, ensure a comfortable sleep environment, and limit exposure to electronic devices before sleeping.

5. Regular Check-ups

Visit your healthcare provider regularly for preventive screenings, vaccinations, and check-ups. Address any concerns or symptoms promptly to prevent the progression of potential health issues.


At Muir Diablo Occupational Medicine, we prioritize your health and well-being. Understanding what is normal during the aging process and recognizing potential warning signs are crucial steps towards a healthier and more fulfilling life as you age. Remember to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance and advice tailored to your specific needs. Embrace the journey of healthy aging and make informed choices to nurture your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.