These days there is a lot of talk, particularly amongst baby boomers, about downsizing and this usually relates to the family home. In actual fact, downsizing is all about making something smaller. As you get older downsizing takes on a new dimension because as we age we become smaller in height. So, how low can we go? The process of “body downsizing” starts around age 40. We can lose up to centimetres in height as we get older. It has to do with the gel like discs in our back that lose their cushioning and through osteoporosis – a condition whereby the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue.
My “one and only” (O&O) and I are on the downsizing scale as ageing kicks in. I was never tall. At school we used to line up in height order. I was usually last or second last in the row. I hope that does not happen in schools today. Whilst thinking about this I had to get my O&O to measure my height. Now in my mid 60’s it seems I may have lost around 15cms in height. There is also the possibility that the height measurement on my driver’s licence was exaggerated by me, all due to that school line up! My O&O said that is was a rough measurement so I am of the belief that my body downsizing is minimal at this stage.
While the height shrinkage, I prefer to call it “body downsizing” exacerbates after age 70 years there are a few steps we can take to maintain our height. If you are Vitamin D deficient than your doctor may prescribe a Vitamin D supplement. Other measures are to get enough calcium. About 99% of calcium is found in our bones. In order to maintain strong bones we need to eat foods such as dairy products (low fat contain about the same calcium as full fat); salmon/sardines; greens such as broccoli, bok choy and silverbeet. Instead of sour cream for our curries at our place we have plain yoghurt. Yoghurt is more nutritious and has less fat than sour cream. Eating “foods for height” is a good idea. The same foods will also keep us healthy. In my next post I will talk about our house downsizing that has just happened. A new and exciting era of our lives.