5 Ways Your Health Gets Better As You Age


Healthier Environments

For most people (excluding camp counselors and fitness trainers), the workplace isn't an especially healthy environment. Many jobs involve long hours of sitting, possibly mixed with high stress, chain smoking, unhealthy snacks, fast-food lunches, and too much caffeine during the day. Then, after a hard day's work, many people will consume too much alcohol at night attempting to relax.

Other jobs are physically demanding or dangerous, such as those found in the military, on construction worksites and on farms. In 2007, around 40 percent of workplace fatalities occurred while driving [source: Whelan]. The most dangerous jobs are fishing, logging and piloting.

So in addition to extra time and less stress, retirement may signal a decidedly safer phase of life. While older adults may continue to work past retirement age, they're less likely to dig holes on the side of the interstate, stock warehouses, or work on roofing crews.

That's not to say that physically demanding jobs don't have health benefits, but as long as we get proper exercise (especially using weights to build muscle and strong bone), we can duplicate the health benefits of hard labor without all the physical risks.

Finally, one undeniably great thing about getting older is that when a heavy box needs to be lifted and moved, it's the younger people near the box who are expected to become unwitting "volunteers."

Keep reading for lots more information about how your health gets better as you age.

Related Articles


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Basic Statistics." HIV Surveillance Report: Diagnoses of HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2009. Feb. 28, 2011. (May 10, 2011)http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm#hivaidsage
  • Dolliver, Mark. "Nobody Here (Almost) But Us Healthy Eaters!" Adweek. March 13, 2006. (May 10, 2011)http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising/nobody-here-almost-us-healthy-eaters-84420
  • Fleck, Carole. "Poll: Older Adults More Likely to Live Healthfully." AARP Bulletin. May 1, 2011. (May 10, 2011)http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-05-2011/older-adults-lead-healthier-lifestyle-poll.html
  • Healthwise. "Stress Management." WebMD. April 22, 2009. (May 10, 2011)http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/stress-management-topic-overview
  • MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. "Antioxidants." April 22, 2011. (May 10, 2011)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/antioxidants.html
  • Office of Applied Studies. "2007 National Survey on Drug Use & Health: Detailed Tables." Dec. 30, 2008. (May 10, 2011)http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k7NSDUH/tabs/Sect2peTabs1to42.htm#Tab2.1A
  • Peralta-Catipon, Terry and Jengliang Eric Hwang. "Personal Factors Predictive of Health-Related Lifestyles of Community-Dwelling Older Adults." The American Journal of Occupational Therapy. May/June 2011. (May 10, 2011)http://ajot.aotapress.net/content/65/3/329.full
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "RWJF Investigators Link Social Security to Improved Health." March 9, 2011. (May 10, 2011)http://www.rwjf.org/humancapital/product.jsp?id=71994
  • Stein, Rob. "Study Is First to Confirm That Stress Speeds Aging." The Washington Post. Nov. 30, 2004. (May 10, 2011)http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20394-2004Nov29.html
  • Whelan, David. "Most dangerous jobs aren't what you may think." Forbes. March 17, 2011. (May 10, 2011)http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42074304/ns/business-forbes_com/t/most-dangerous-jobs-arent-what-you-may-think/
  • Zelman, Kathleen M. "The Anti-Aging Diet." WebMD. 2006. (May 10, 2011)http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/anti-aging-diet


One in Six Say They'd Rather Die 'Young.' What Age Is That?

One in Six Say They'd Rather Die 'Young.' What Age Is That?

Think you're going to die young? You might want to rethink that. According to new research, your preferred life expectancy influences when you die.